Founded in early 1942 as a quasi-governmental organization within the Army’s Special Service Division, the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) was responsible for boosting the morale of servicemen through a variety of radio programs offering the types of news and entertainment they were used to back home. These programs were produced in Los Angeles because of its proximity to the entertainment industry and were distributed weekly in the form of transcription discs to cooperating overseas radio stations (most notably the BBC) and the Army’s own network of 800-odd shortwave radio stations associated with the Armed Forces’ theatres of operation throughout the world. Although not heard in the States, AFRS programs were very similar to home front commercial programs with the added special focus on servicemen themselves. Many of the programs, like G. I. Jive, Command Performance, and Mail Call encouraged servicemen to write in with requests and were called out and even bantered with “on the air”.
Jim Ralph relates how he and longtime Shedd music director and colleague Jesse Cloninger created a special OFAM concert which samples two of the AFRS' most popular radio shows: G. I. Jive and Command Performance, complete with a full re-creation of the special radio theatre play "Dick Tracy In B flat" which was broadcast on Command Performance on February 15, 1945.