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KARM, Fresno home recorded War broadcasts

October 13th, 2018

A few weeks ago, I picked up a small collection of ten inch home recorded lacquers on eBay.  They contained excerpts of CBS News broadcasts dating from early 1941 about the War in Europe.

The seller, who picked them up several years ago at a local estate sale, had dozens of these discs and said he had trouble finding anyone interested in them.  (He actually threw some away and donated others to someone making an art project of some type.). There’s an archival collection of CBS News programming from this period, primarily “The World Today”, and they said they already had the material.

However, if you look at the labels of the discs, most seem to have originated with five minute news updates broadcast on CBS at 8:00 pm Eastern time and aren’t preserved in any other format.

We have no idea why a home enthusiast recorded these.  A writer for a local paper or college researcher assembling background material?  A news fan hoping to document the US entry into the War?  A Nazi spy monitoring what the networks were saying about Germany?  We have no way of knowing.

Since there are so many of the shows, and each is only a three minute excerpt, I decided not to post them individually on the blog.  Instead, click here to see a folder where you can download an mp3 of each excerpt and a couple of sample labels.

I’m hoping someone more familiar with these Wartime broadcasts can verify if they’re, indeed, the only copies left and figure out where some with voices I did recognize, might have originated.  I think at least one or two might be local broadcasts.  (All of the info available on the labels is what you see in the filenames.)

If you’re reading this post months from now, please note that the link to the shared folder may not work - it will only be available for a limited time.

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