The Peanut Whistle of the Central Highlands
and other Viet Nam experiences of
Choo-Choo-Cherry Kid and Friends

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Radio Broadcasts from Pleiku, Viet Nam, 1970 - 1971
Available, courtesy of SP5 Gray of the 146th Signal Company
The following mp3 audio files were originally recorded on cassette tapes in Viet Nam by SP5 Gray. He kept them for nearly forty years and in 2008 converted them to digital format. Original recording dates are not available, but his tour of duty in Viet Nam lasted from Oct. 1970 to Oct. 1971.

Operating from the 146th Signal Company barracks 'studio', the Peanut Whistle of the Central Highlands provided some of the finest quality English language broadcast music in the Pleiku area. Here are several broadcast recordings of the Peanut Whistle. They were recorded live directly off the radio by SP5 Gray. The music has mostly been edited out leaving the DJ's announcements.

Peanut Whistle station ID by the Choo-Choo-Cherry Kid - Recorded Live, 1971 (00:25 mp3)

Voice of the Peanut Whistle's host Choo-Choo-Cherry Kid, 1971 (06:28 mp3)
Voice of the Peanut Whistle's guest DJ Goofy Grape, 1971 (02:47 mp3)
Voice of the Peanut Whistle's guest DJ Rah Rah Root Beer, 1971 (00:45 mp3)

Competing with the Peanut Whistle was AFVN FM, part of the Armed Forces Viet Nam Network. AFVN provided TV, FM and AM programming for troops throughout Viet Nam. SP5 Gray recorded these short audio clips which give a glimpse of what else we had for entertainment. Most programming originated in Saigon and was relayed to other locations for rebroadcasting but there were local DJs too. In the Pleiku area AFVN FM operated from Camp Schmidt at 99.9 MHz.

  1. AFVN FM - Good Morning (00:58 mp3)

  2. AFVN FM - Anopheles Mosquito PSA (00:46 mp3)

  3. AFVN FM - Dog Rules (00:46 mp3)

  4. AFVN FM - Pleiku Station ID (00:52 mp3)

  5. AFVN FM - Pleiku Announcement (00:35 mp3)

  6. AFVN FM - GI Bill Promo # 1 (01:01 mp3)

  7. AFVN FM - GI Bill Promo # 2 (01:02 mp3)

  8. AFVN FM - News Introduction (00:28 mp3)

  9. AFVN FM - News (04:11 mp3)

  10. AFVN FM - Hong Kong R&R Promo (00:44 mp3)

  11. AFVN FM - Australia R&R Promo (00:45 mp3)

  12. AFVN FM - Pleiku Dedication to Sgt Binford (00:19 mp3)

  13. AFVN FM - Pleiku Dedication to 'Miss Ann', et al. (00:40 mp3)

  14. AFVN FM - Pleiku Dedication of Rubber Ducky Song (01:07 mp3)

  15. AFVN FM - Preventive Maintenance (PM) PSA (01:01 mp3)

  16. AFVN FM - Postal Money Order PSA (00:52 mp3)


Letters Audio Tapes to Home
Many GI's sent cassette voice tapes home along with letters.

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Recording: SP5 Gray sent this tape home after he had been 'in country' for a while. Pleiku, October 1970 (02:36mp3)

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Recording: Tei, a young lady sings "Chuyện tình Lan và Điệp", a popular love song. Nha Trang, Oct 1970 (01:26 mp3)

SP5 Gray was playing his harmonica that day in Nha Trang in October, 1970 while waiting for a flight to his permanent duty station in Pleiku to start his tour. A few Vietnamese women came up to listen. One of them was Tei. She saw his tape recorder and asked him if she could record herself singing.

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Recording: SP5 Gray recorded the pilot and crew of this flight in a rapid landing descent marking the start of his year long tour of duty. Above Bien Hoa Air Base, Oct 17, 1970 (02:54 mp3)

Was it just me or weren't some of you vets also amazed to be flying in (and leaving) Viet Nam on a commercial jet? Maybe I had seen too many WW2 movies with troop carriers doing the heavy troop movements, but really? This was a war zone! And we're flying in on a commercial aircraft with real civilian stewardesses (PC alert: flight attendants).

I don't remember if I expected to see fighter escorts for protection since it was a nighttime flight, but I would have believed we would have come under some AAA fire. But no, just a smooth routine landing. I don't recall a steep landing like SP5 Gray experienced. Maybe that was reserved for daylight conditions or during periods of elevated enemy activity. But I do recall looking out the window on our final approach and seeing the city lights and wondering why it wasn't under a blackout. (Of course there were no blackouts. We owned the sky.) - SP5 Schmidt / CCCK

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