Here is some information from our files regarding Glenn Miller and the
so-called ³Secret Broadcasts² for anyone who is interested:
The United States Office of War Information (OWI) 16" 33 rpm discs
containing recordings by The AAFTC Orchestra directed by Captain Glenn
Miller were among several sets of OWI discs that were issued. The set
being discussed was ³Music from America². The contents were to be used by
announcers at local stations using their own voice-overs, hence no
announcements. The discs say ³Music from America² on top of the labels
and have the additional title ³This is the Voice of America² at the bottom
of the labels.
Alan Mandell (Alan Dell) held an incomplete set of the fifteen-minute
programs (less at least Programs 19, 22 and 24). The "Alan Mandell
Papers" including correspondence and 7 1/2² tape reel copies of his
broadcasts are preserved among our collections.
Other copies of the originally pressed and distributed recordings exist
and are preserved in several locations including our archive.
The original source may have been a contact who removed the discs from the
United States Embassy in London at some earlier date. The OWI discs were
shipped overseas for transmission from OWI (later VOA) sites. The
programs were intended for international audiences and not necessarily
allied service personnel. Although at the time, the fledgling AFRS (SSD
to Nov43) were piggybacking off of OWI for signal distribution due to
their lack of transmission facilities (hence the AFRS practice of
distributing thousands of their own 16² 33 rpm discs via scheduled Air
Transport Command shipments around the globe). OWI used the ³Music from
America² programs via their North American facilities on both coasts (they
utlilized the former NBC International [White Network] General Electric
transmitters) and as distributed via United States Embassies and used by
ABSIE (OWI London) in Europe, etc. The big shortwave facilities, as
powerful as they were, could not adequately cover the globe and had to be
augmented by local transmission facilities, both leased from local
authorities (such as the BBC) or built by the United States government.
It is difficult now to believe, but prior to 1942, the United States did
not have an international broadcasting service, as did Great Britain,
Germany, Japan and others. The private NBC international service via the
GE transmitters was the only available transmission facility available to
the United States for communicating to the global audience.
The recordings were not used for ³secret² broadcasts of any kind and were
well publicized by the OWI (ABSIE/VOA) foreign-service radio stations.
Some may have been shared with AFRS/AFN for use on military broadcasting
facilities, although the AAFTC also recorded a weekly fifteen-minute
program ³Uncle Sam Presents² at NBC for circulation overseas to OWI
stations. As opposed to ³Music from America², ³Uncle Sam Presents² was
programmed for allied service personnel and included English-language
voice announcements by Capt. Miller and announcer Lt. Donald Briggs.
Neither Miller nor Briggs spoke another language, as has been alleged
during recent years by several fraudulent authors.
There are 24 known fifteen minute ³Music from America² programs recorded
by Captain Miller between March 10, 1944 and June 2, 1944. Programs 22
and 24 are missing in our (and other) collections; however, the probable
content that was used for these programs is extant among 12² 78 rpm OWI
discs which were also recorded and distributed (see below). The 12" 78
rpm labels are not "Music from America" but the "Dance Music" series to be
used by local announcers. Some of the 12" 78 rpm issued recordings
overlap "Music from America" (used for both) but others are unique and
appear to be the contents of the June 2, 1944 "MFA" programs 22 and 24.
We would be very interested in any information about the missing
Please note that the Alan Mandell-Conifer project was not authorized by
the Miller family and led to the subsequent acquisition by BMG and release
by the latter of this material (some recordings overlapped in the issues
and some did not). Many of the OWI recordings were as everyone knows also
issued by Avid in the United Kingdom. RCA, then BMG and now Sony have had
a contractual relationship with the Miller family for many decades. By
agreement with the government in 1946, recordings by Glenn Miller and in
his name were given back to his family and estate as their property. The
family and estate placed recordings with RCA who also at the time of
course maintained their large library of NBC acetates. Some of the
material was used for the production of the original 1950s AAF 5-LP issue.
When Miller entered the military, he had conditions, including an
insistence that his work product remain his, to which the Army Air Forces
readily agreed in order to snag a major public relations and recruiting
asset. During his first dedicated V-Disc session, it came to Miller's
attention that the Army (as opposed to the AAF) intended to issue the
discs as simply identified as the AAFTC Orchestra. He required and
received the consideration that his name be put on the discs.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate and comment, as well as to
advisor Edward F. Polic for verifying information included in this reply.
Dennis M. Spragg
Glenn Miller Archive
University of Colorado Boulder
(ABSIE was "The American Broadcasting Station in Europe". Its station ID
was the first bars of "Yankee Doodle" which remains the ID for the Voice
AAFTC ORCHESTRA DIRECTED BY CAPT. GLENN MILLER
OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION
MUSIC FROM AMERICA
(16² 33 rpm)
1 17-1306 10Mar44
2 17-1299 10Mar44
3 17-1304 10Mar44
4 17-1405 24Mar44
5 17-1407 24Mar44
6 17-1408 24Mar44
7 17-1540 7Apr44
8 17-1544 7Apr44
9 17-1545 7Apr44
10 17-1613 21Apr44
11 17-1621 21Apr44
12 17-1617 21Apr44
13 17-1691 5May44
14 17-1688 5May44
15 17-1686 5May44
16 17-1768 19May44
17 17-1805 19May44
18 17-1808 19May44
19 17-1822-A 26May44
20 17-1819 26May44
21 17-1817 26May44
22 17- 2Jun44
23 17-1872 2Jun44
24 17- 2Jun44
An additional 16² 33 rpm set is extant:
³OUTPOST CONCERT - MUSIC OF JAZZ SERIES²
12 17-WL-124 Nov1943
22 17-2230 26May44
The OWI also issued 12² 78 rpm discs containing recordings by the AAFTC
directed by Captain Glenn Miller.
OFFICE OF WAR INFORMATION (OWI) USA 12" 78 RPM Discs
Recorded March 10, 1944 to June 2, 1944, NBC, New York
(Some of the recordings also used for the ³Music for America" series)
³DANCE MUSIC ALBUMS² 1-7 (including OSA 5-8) (24 items from Series 13-)
13-4245, 13-4294, 13-4396, 13-4295, 13-4362, 13-4364, 13-4365, 13-4397,
13-4438, 13-4439, 13-4440, 13-4441, 13-4484, 13-4485, 13-4486, 13-4487,
13-4573, 13-4574, 13-4575, 13-4576, 13-4733, 13-4735, 13-4737, 13-4739
³SPECIAL SERVICE SERIES² 38-41
From NBC ³I Sustain the Wings² domestic network broadcasts
14 items issued
On 6/11/12 11:26 AM, "Ted Kendall" <[log in to unmask]>
>On 11/06/2012 11:29, Don Cox wrote:
>> On 11/06/2012, Ted Kendall wrote:
>>> On 10/06/2012 20:09, David Weiner wrote:
>>>> Hey Mike,
>>>> For marketing purposes, THE SECRET BROADCASTS has more zing to it
>>>> than the
>>>> title, THE "WE'VE ALWAYS KNOWN ABOUT THEM" BROADCASTS.
>>>> Dave Weiner
>>>> On 6/10/12 2:38 PM, "Michael Biel"<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>>> From: Don Cox<[log in to unmask]>
>>>>> According to the booklet with the "Secret Broadcasts" set, the
>>>>> sources were mostly original 16 inch V-discs pressed on vinyl
>>>>> (which would give a quiet
>>>>> surface), with some tape copies from V-discs. Ted Kendall made the
>>>> There never were any 16-inch V-discs. They were meant to be played
>>>> by the soldiers themselves on regular phonographs, so the were all
>>>> 12-inches. Did you mean Armed Forces Radio Service discs which were
>>>> meant ONLY for broadcasters and thus were mainly 16-inches. These
>>>> two entirely different categories of recordings should not be
>>>> confused. I do think that some 16-inch lacquer masters were also
>>>> involved, if not for the Victor issue, for the issues prior to the
>>>> Victor CDs. I've never understood what was so "secret" about these
>>>> well-known broadcasts.
>>>>> Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
>>> The originals for the "Secret Broadcasts" set were largely OWI 16"
>>> vinyls, some in excellent shape, some not. They came from the
>>> collection of Alan Dell, who died during the preparation of the set.
>>> One, or maybe two, sides of originals were found only as tape dubs,
>>> although the original discs surfaced later.
>> Seems I misread the booklet and should have said "OWI" not "V-discs".
>> Are these vinyls still being preserved somewhere? I hope so.
>>> As to the title, I well remember arguing with Conifer's marketing
>>> people that the term "secret broadcast" was an oxymoron, but they
>>> replied with the unanswerable "we reckon we know what will make it
>>> sell". Well, they were right, weren't they?
>> I think the quality of the transfers helped the sales too.
>The originals are now in the British Library. And I do like to think the
>transfers helped it along....