Sounds of FEN - Sendai

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FEN Sendai

1370 kHz 10,000 Watts

The FEN station at Sendai, started operations under the callsign WLKE with 3,000 watts of power.

The March 15, 1953 edition of the Pacific Stars and Stripes provides a good deal of information on FEN Sendai.  Please excuse the quality of the pictures -- I am working from a photocopy of the article graciously provided by the Stars and Stripes Museum in Bloomfield Missouri.  You may click on any of the images for the full-size picture.

It reads:

"Most American Radio Stations notoriously use any means to keep their audience awake, but the early morning 'Yawn Patrol' of a U.S. Armed Forces Far East Network outlet in northern Japan takes pride in how many times it managed to put one listener to sleep."

"The 'listener' was a crying baby, whose mother, an Army wife, insisted by phone at 6:30 a.m. on several consecutive days that only the playing of 'Wonderful One' by 10,000-watt FEN Sendai (at Sendai, Japan) would restore peace and quiet to her household."

"The spirit of personal service to its listeners in the vast XVI Corps area is reflected throughout the station's broadcast day."

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PFC WILLIAM ADLER, otherwise known in northern Honshu as "Madman Adler," gets a smile from one of his own jokes during his "Lighter Side" programs over FEN Sendai

"Headed by Army 2d Lt. Thomas Coulter (St. Paul, Minn.) as station manager, seven enlisted men with varied civilian experience in commercial radio have made FEN, Sendai not only the second largest and on of the oldest but also one of the most popular network stations in Japan."

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CHECKING NEW RECORDINGS before "airing" them is Air Force S/Sgt. John J. Herbert, music librarian for the Sendai station.

"While all FEN stations draw freely on rebroadcasts of America's most popular radio programs, FEN Sendai draws equally freely on its own initiative as well."

"From 6 a.m. when the 'Yawn Patrol' signs on, until sign-off at midnight, the station sends out a blanket of local 'live' shows.   This includes area news, music of all tempos, feature interviews, weather forecasts, announcements of local events, request programs, and a weekly 'Community News Roundup."  Judging from the fan mail evoked by the latter program, its Hooper rating is even higher among Japanese listeners."

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RADIO SENDAI chief announcer, Air Force S/Sgt. Sumner Towne, takes a fling at being a one-man newspaper of the air on the station's "Community News Roundup" program.

"Some 50 letters a week show up at the Sendai station from listeners in northern Japan and more distant points such as Hongkong, Alaska, California, and Alabama."

"While Hongkong and Alaska actually receive the station's signal, Lt. Coulter explained that Stateside letters are from relatives and friends of military personnel in the Sendai area.  Having heard about the station's active request service, they name a piece of music and ask to have it played 'for PFC John Jones, with love on his birthday from Mom and Dad.'"

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MANNING THE DISCS and his coffee cup from 7:15 to 7:55 a.m. daily over FEN Sendai is PFC Jack Jarrett, owner and operator of the station's "Koffee Klub" show.

"Any Request for help in the communicty it serves is honored by FEN Sendai.  Traditional welfare drives such as the March of Dimes, Red Cross, and Community Chest campaigns are supported by FEN Sendai with far more than general enthusiasm."

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CPL. ROY RANDALL delivers a station break over FEN Sendai.  Staff announcers double as traffic directors in this small but active station. (U.S. Army Photos by PFC Laurence Lubran)

"And on the classic journalistic principle that local news is the most interesting news, Radio Sendai keeps its XVI Corps listener community well informed on the latest local events -- even to announcing which movies are playing at Honshu theaters."


Not pictured here, but featured in a portion of the article which we are unable to transcribe due to technical problems is Sgt. Jerry Clark, staff announcer and chief clerk for FEN Sendai.  Clark did the 15 minute "Hayloft Serenade program.


This page last modified on Saturday, 25-Oct-2003 11:00:35 EDT

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