United States Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRS) Collection
The Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) was established by the War Department on May 26, 1942 to entertain, inform and connect troops to back home. The broadcast were also intended to counter propaganda broadcasts by Tokyo Rose, Axis Sally and other radio personalities supported by the Axis alliance. The AFRS network was launched with a five hour broadcast on July 4, 1943. The network quickly grew and by the end of World War II included 300 stations, broadcasting to troops around the world. Programs were distributed to stations on 16" polyvinyl discs that contained fifteen minutes of information. Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra and other major stars of the day performed on the network free of charge as their contribution to the war effort. Radio networks and record labels provided free access their programming and recordings to help develop programming for the network. In addition to bringing the troops programming from networks and the record labels, the service also created original programs like Jubilee which featured African American bands and entertainers. The AFRS network continued broadcasting through Korea, Vietnam and other subsequent wars and conflicts. Now known as the Armed Forces Network, the service continues to entertain servicemen and servicewomen stationed around the world.
Marr Sound Archives
College or university
Performed music and Spoken word
Pressed LP disc
Radio programs and Radio serials
The collection chronicles the course of World War II, the Korean War and other events that shaped the "Greatest Generation." It also documents America’s changing musical taste from the swing era to Elvis Presley. Major entertainers and musicians from the 1940s and 1950s appeared on the network performing jazz and popular songs of the day. The collection also includes news and information programming that reveal how the government communicated with members of the military.