Seeking recordings of VOA broadcaster Billy Brown

I received the following inquiry from Neal Lavon via the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive contact form. Check out Neal’s request below and if you have any information or leads that might help him, please comment.

Neal writes:

I am working on a project about a Voice of America broadcaster from 1952-54 named Billy Brown. He was a 16 year-old kid who launched a Pen Pals club by speaking on a Voice of America broadcast to the Near East, particularly Pakistan.

The announcements were so successful they generated hundreds of responses and led to him getting a 15-minute weekly radio program on VOA in English that was later translated into Urdu. The programs were broadcast on Friday nights at 1530 GMT on 17750, 16.90; 15130, 19.30. The relay were TAN 17780 16.87 15230 19.70, and Colombo 15120 19.84. At least, I think those are the frequencies; it comes as close as I can get it.

So far, I have not been able to find any surviving tapes of this broadcast at the National Archives or the Library of Congress. The family does not have any tapes. So I am wondering, hope against hope, if somehow, somewhere, someone in the region or someone else might have a copy of this. I would greatly appreciate it.

Neal Lavon, Takoma Park, Maryland, former VOA Staffer.

This would have been in the very early days of home recording so I imagine it might be difficult to find audio from Billy Brown’s broadcasts. If you have any leads, please comment. 

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2 thoughts on “Seeking recordings of VOA broadcaster Billy Brown

  1. Joe

    Hi, I manage the Yorktown High School NY Facebook page. Bill Brown was in the class of 1953. His daughter sent me a homemade movie when Bill’s family Hosted the Pakistan’s ambassador’s son and sent me articles about his Pen pal’s and pics the magazine took. Have you tried his daughter Jennifer Anderson?
    Bill passed away in 1989

    1. Neal J Lavon

      Are you a shortwave listener? You must be to come here!

      Yes, I have been in contact with Jennifer. We have been exchanging information for awhile now. She did send me a digital file of the movie from the Pakistani ambassador’s visit to Yorktown Heights.

      I would love to join the Facebook group, even though I am not an alum. Can you help me do that? I would really appreciate it.

      I am still searching (in vain, sadly, I think) for a copy of the program. But I don’t think one exists. The Brown family has one tape and that is of an interview Billy, as we was called then, did on WOR in New York in the 1950s.

      You wouldn’t know if anyone in YH would have a copy from way back then, would you? Thanks for the reply.


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