Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Oooh! And Aaah!

Wake Up to the Rhythm: Neatly tucked away on shelves in Wake Island Airfield's base operations building, airmen uncovered an immaculate trove of 9,000 vinyl records—the 1970s collection of Wake's former radio station. Inconspicuously locked behind a door stenciled with the station's call letters KEAD, "it's a little time capsule," said Colin Bradley, a communications contractor. "I have not run across a collection that well preserved or that intact in my career." Originally provided by Armed Forces Radio and Television Service to entertain the troops, the island's 611th Air Support Group detachment is working to send the unique collection back to AFRTS in Virginia for preservation. Requiring an estimated $10,000 worth of packaging and 75 16-inch boxes to ship, the records will complete AFRTS' local museum collection, with any extras headed to the Library of Congress or National Archives. (Wake report by Capt. Amy Hansen)
Wow.  This lil item rings bells with me seein' as how I did a short stint (not quite a year) as a deejay at an AFRTS affiliate station (a very loose affiliate) in Sinop, Turkey back in the '70s.  Our station... KBOK (which was a play on words, "bok" bein' Turkish slang for excrement)...  received between $50 and $100 every quarter to buy records from the base exchange and YrHmblScrb was in a position to buy a lot of those records.  That money went a LONG way back in the day, seein' as how yer average LP only cost two and a half Yankee Dollars back then.  

Our station library was at least as large as Wake's and I took the opportunity to "borrow" records on a daily basis and tape them on my reel-to-reel recorder, an endeavor that produced about 100 reel-to-reel tapes with an average of five albums per reel.  It's too damned bad that I was "under the influence" during most of those taping sessions, coz the resulting tapes were mostly over-modulated and nearly un-listenable, in retrospect.  This, of course, was during the Golden Age of rock 'n' roll and I scored me some mighty fine music during that year.  Those tapes still exist... along with my Revox A-77 tape deck... and are in the care of SN2.  Mebbe I'll retrieve 'em some day.


  1. Great news indeed!

    I loved listening to AFaRTS, back in the day. They always played some interesting stuff which you could never hear on a commercial station.

  2. I would have loved to have heard you doing you DJ thing. For that matter, I'd dig listening to a station that had you as program director NOW. I don't suppose you have any air checks you'd like to share?

  3. Darryl: You speak The Truth about A-Farts. We were eclectic, if nuthin' else.

    Jim: SN2 has a couple o' tapes I made of my shows from that time... but I don't have any at hand. I SO envy you your archives, Jim. It seems like all my stuff from the past vanished into the ether. I suppose that's the downside of being a 20th century vagabond (or migrant technology worker, as I like to say): you lose shit.

  4. I do have those tapes... I've thought about transfering them to a digital recording for preservation. Add it to a (long) list of good ideas that need a little more traction.


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