rand’s esoteric otr

rand’s esoteric otr header image 1

GI Jive and KGEI Shortwave sign-off - excerpts - circa 1946

May 3rd, 2012

Continuing from our previous post, we hear a brief one minute mp3 from a home recorded 10" lacquer.  The other side of the disc contained a ten minute excerpt from a national Basketball League game.  This side contained very short test recordings.

This particular cut is curious because it's a shortwave aircheck of the opening of Armed Forces Radio's "GI Jive" and the closing of the show with KGEI, San Francisco giving their sign-off.  OTR era airchecks are rare and rarer still are sign-offs from shortwave stations of this period.

KGEI was owned and operated by General Electric, broadcasting to Latin America and Asia as a commercial venture.  By World War II, as one of the few privately owned shortwave stations on the air, KGEI was enrolled to help the US government get balanced views about the War to overseas audiences.  It's interesting that the announcer in this clip refers to KGEI as "The Voice of America" - this may have been from the period when VOA was using commercial facilities for its broadcasts.

Our mp3 was dubbed directly from a home recorded unlabeled 10" lacquer running at 33.3 rpm.


  • Thom

    You’ve done it again, that’s a good thing. Thanks!

    May 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm
  • Jim Widner

    KGEI was not part of or owned by the Voice of America. It was from 1939-1945 a separate shortwave station owned, as it said, by General Electric. It was somewhat controversial in that for a while it was the only station in the U.S. providing a U.S. perspective to the Pacific. It was originally started to promote GE products overseas, but had no news editorial policy, so before the war broadcast isolationist such as Charles Lindbergh and others. But with the intervention of the Roosevelt administration, it convinced this private station to hire or carry broadcasts of commentator William Winters and took on a stance that Germany & Japan should not be allowed to expand their power of influence.

    After the war, the station was purchased by the Far East Broadcasting Organization based in the Phillipines.

    Jul 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm