Sunday, February 14, 2021

Bob Crane — U.S. Armed Forces Radio Network (1968) [New Find!]

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I love it when I find new airchecks of Bob Crane's Radio Show. It's like a treasure hunt for me. They are so rare, and when they do surface, I'm giddy with excitement—like a kid at Christmas. I don't know what Bob will say, but I know I will be entertained. I might even learn something new.

My latest find was Part 2 of a show Bob recorded for the U.S. Armed Forces Radio and Television Network (AFRTN). Between 1967-1969, Bob recorded numerous shows for the AFRTN, during which he played songs, did some drumming, jibber-jabbered with his own pre-recorded voice impersonations, and interviewed guests or spliced in his pre-aired celebrity interviews from his time at KNX-CBS Radio. Many of these AFRTN recordings exist; however, they are incredibly difficult to find. 

Bob donated a lot of his time and broadcasting talents for many different charities, something for which he is given little to no credit. In October 1967, the following was published in the Valley News publication (Van Nuys, California) about his charity work:

Hogan’s Heroes own Colonel Hogan, Bob Crane, is one man who answers the call of civic groups, charities, and worthy organizations, no matter where they might be. Up to one-third of his free time is spent assisting and appearing in behalf of such groups. For instance, during his recent “HH” hiatus, he volunteered more than thirteen hours worth of Armed Forces Radio material. He brought laughs to the ex-POW convention in New Mexico. Pending is a grand marshal stint at the Richmond Tobacco Festival and full participation in the current Cystic Fibrosis Drive. And there’s more, much more. This “Hogan” is a real hero.

Think about that. One-third of his free time was donated to charity, which included United Cerebral Palsy, American Heart Association, the Arthritis Foundation, Funds for Dinah (a fund-raiser for an eleven-year-old Ohio girl with kidney disease who needed dialysis, but whose family could not afford the lengthy car trips to the dialysis clinic from their rural home), Operation Entertainment, entertaining U.S. veterans and former prisoners of war, public service announcements, and the list goes on.

In this recording, Bob includes his pre-recorded interviews with Otto Preminger, Bill Dana, Steve Allen, and Jayne Meadows, all of which originally aired on KNX in the early 1960s. 

I hope you enjoy our latest find! And don't worry—I'm always on the look out for more!