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Recorded Sound Section--Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division



Women on the Radio
Beyond the Microphone
Daytime Programming
World War II
NBC Radio Collection
Programs for and by Women
Meet the Press Collection
NPR Collection
WOR Collection
Pacifica Radio Archive
CBS Collection
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Women on AFRS
OWI Collection
VOA Collection
BBC Sound Archive Collection
Music Recordings
Drama and Literature Recordings
The Spoken Word




Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) Collection

The Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) (see Recorded Sound External Sites) provides radio (and television) programs to service members and families overseas. It obtains informational and entertainment radio programs from commercial networks and syndicators or specially produces them and distributes them to stations and outlets around the globe. The Library has more than 300,000 AFRTS electrical transcription discs from 1942, when the organization began as the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS), through 1998 when the service stopped distributing hard copies of its programming. Hundreds of musical, educational, and dramatic programs are included in the collection, but news broadcasts and local programs are not.

Researching AFRTS

A partial inventory of AFRTS titles held on sixteen-inch (pre-1959) discs is available. The division is undertaking a full inventory of the AFRTS Collection, which will be made available through SONIC, providing title and episode number, and in many cases, performers and song titles. The twelve-inch AFRTS discs are cataloged in the LC online catalog where they are searchable by program title, genre, and in many cases performer name and song title.


Seven published indexes to selected AFRTS programs are available in the Recorded Sound Reference Center.

Kiner, Larry F., and Harry Mackenzie. Basic Musical Library. “P” Series, 1-1000. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990; ML156.4.P6 K56 1990. An index to the first part of the popular music series of the Basic Musical Library provides name, series number, and song title indexes.

Lotz, Rainer E. The AFR&TS (Gold Label) Transcription Library: A Label Listing. Menden: Der Jazzfreund, 1978; ML156.4.P6 L67 Case. Includes indexes by title, artist, and type of music.

________ and Ulrich Neuert. The AFRS “Jubilee” Transcription Programs: An Exploratory Discography. Frankfurt (Main): Ruecker, 1985; ML156.4.J3L68 1985. Offers a chronological list of Jubilee programs with name and song title indexes. The authors claim that Jubilee “provides the most representative recorded coverage of black jazz in the United States during World War II and the immediate post-War years.”11

Mackenzie, Harry. AFRS Downbeat Series: Working Draft. Zephyrhills, Fla.: Joyce Record Club, 1986; ML156.4.B5 M3 1986. Provides show number and artist indexes for the series that eventually became a disc jockey show. Anita O'Day (b. 1919) and Kay Starr (b. 1922) were among the many women who appeared on the program.

________, comp. Command Performance, USA!: A Discography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1996; ML156.4.P6 C64 1996. Provides a chronological listing of this very popular program, including names of performers, musical groups, and hosts, an alphabetical index to names, and a chronological listing for Mail Call and G.I. Journal.

_________, comp. The Directory of the Armed Forces Radio Service Series.Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1999; ML156.2.M27 1999. An attempt to list all of the AFRS series. Includes sample AFRS issues under each series. Contains indexes to series and artists.

Mackenzie, Harry, and Lothar Polomski, comps. One Night Stand Series, 1-1001. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991; ML156.4.P6 M253 1991. A guide to the program that began in 1943 and featured a wide variety of bands, including a band led by Mildred Bailey (1906-1951).

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