Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Radio in Wartime

There's nothing like the power of radio during war. It's happening again right now in Iraq. From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

New take on ‘Good Morning, Vietnam,’” says an Army Times report on a three-month-old radio show that recently sprang up among some American soldiers in northern Iraq, fighting the Islamic State. They know about the Robin Williams-starring 1987 movie where the comedian channeled Vietnam-era broadcaster Adrian Cronauer – and they likewise say (or shout) “Good Morning, Vietnam.” The soldiers offer “news of the day along with commentary, impersonations and a bit of music,” and their energetic performances help “when guard duty gets dull.” Jared Thomas began the radio bit, though he'd never actually seen “Good Morning, Vietnam.” He did know about Williams’ manic vocal delivery of the title phrase, and he turned to YouTube for some research.

I know it wasn't wartime, but when we lived in Germany, the only radio station I ever listened to was Armed Forces Network (AFN). The quality of the soldier broadcasters wasn't that great (although I did hear current Channel 7 newscaster Jim Rose when he was still a soldier), but they were always enthusiastic and more importantly, they played American music. At that time they also aired Paul Harvey, Charlie Tuna, and Casey Kasem's American Top 40. Without that radio station, I would have been lost.