Basic Musical Library (AFRS)

Picture of Basic Musical Library

The AFRS Basic Musical Library (aka Basic Music Library) was a series of recordings of popular, jazz, and classical music that was distributed to every military radio station during World War II.  It became an audio/music library that allowed personnel at these military broadcast facilities to act as disc jockeys and to play the most popular songs and artists for their audiences - the American troops.

Swing City Radio plays MANY of the songs and artists that can be found in the "P" Series of this collection.  The "P" stands for popular.  Some of the many bands and singers represented in this fantastic collection include Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, Frank Sinatra, Harry James, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Louis Prima, and Peggy Lee to just name a handful.

The sources of these historic recordings mostly came from alternate takes of commercial recordings from the major record labels; radio broadcasts and remotes (often the dress rehearsals); concerts; and the AFRS’s own recording sessions. They were distributed to the broadcast facilities on 16-inch Transcription Discs.

Picture of 16 inch disc
Picture of "Basic Musical Library" - 16 inch Transcription Disc

Listen to Swing City Radio to hear some of these great recordings.  Enjoy! 

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