Eddie Janusz quotes Steve Schwartz:
>>... during the Solidarity crisis in Poland, the US government made a huge
>>mistake by airing a broadcast intended for VOA audiences to the US one.
>I don't remember that particular incident, but Solidarity would have
>been in the Reagan administration, a low point in VoA's history...VOA
>_was_ popular in Eastern Europe, largely due to (zounds! a musical
>theme!) legendary jazz programme host Willis Conover....
VOA had a large and avid audience in Poland during the Solidarnoc crisis,
though the political influence of Radio Free Europe was even greater.
And, yes, Conover was VOA's biggest seller of jazz all over the world.
Radio Free Europe and the American Forces Network did, however, lend a
hand . AFN's medium-wave programs could be heard in large parts of East
Germany and so could the American-sponsored Radio in the American Sector
[of Berlin] (RIAS), the latter having the additional advantage of operating
not in English, but in German. (Conover and AFN ran their shows in
English.) RIAS, with its own, first-class, symphony orchestra also beamed
classical music into East Germany, including such as was proscribed over
there for ideological reasons. A reminder: the RIAS symphony's most
influential conductor was Ferenc Fricsay, but even bigger names often
led the band--and recorded with it. When RIAS folded in the Daemmerung
of the occupation, the orchestra went on playing under the aegis of a
newly-formed German station.