May 8th marks the anniversary of VE Day (or Victory in Europe Day) when the Allies accepted the surrender of the armed forces of Germany. Obviously, Armed Forces Radio had to prepare for various stages of the War and the eventual victory, so this was a special celebratory program prepared in advance of the actual end of the War in Europe.
To commemorate the event, AFRS assembled a cast of stars for song and reflection about the War and the battles still to come to end the War in the Pacific. Heard in the show are Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, The Ken Darby Singers, Frances Langford, Dinah Shore, Ginny Simms, Johnny Mercer, Judy Garland, Loretta Young, Charles Boyer, Lin Yutang, Herbert Marshall, and Bishop Fulton Sheen. Highlights of the show include Francis Langford singing "This is the Army", Bing crooning "Praise the Lord (And Pass the Ammunition)" and Judy Garland with a bizarre medley of songs including "We're Off to See the Wizard" with the lyrics altered to disparage Hitler(!).
The show was transferred to mp3 format from one of the more unusual AFRS discs I've seen. The show is part of their "Basic Information Library, and is marked as Program No. 5 in the BIL and "Information Special #2". The disc is also marked to indicate that it is "to be retained by station after original broadcast as part of Basic Information Library". I'm not sure how they would have reused the show unless individual stations could use extracts from it in later programming about the War.
Stay tuned to the blog for a special AFRS program commemorating VJ Day in August.