Thu, Dec 07|
Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Christmas Brunch with George A. Smith, DJ / Newscaster / Author Extraordinaire
Topic: Soldier of the Airwaves, Defending Democracy One Song at a Time Featuring: Montecito Union School Chorus
Time & Location
Dec 07, 2023, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST
Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort, 633 E Cabrillo Blvd, Santa Barbara, CA 93103, USA
About the event
George A. Smith has been associated with the American Forces Network for more than 40 years, positioned in Thailand, South Korea, later Germany as the Berlin Wall came down, and finally the US during 9/11. He is recognized as an authority on the history and impact of military broadcasting throughout the world. Featured on global radio shows as well as in newspapers and magazines, Smith also became AFN's worldwide spokesman from 2013 to 2022. Most recently he wrote his memoir, entitled Soldier of the Airwaves, Defending Democracy One Song at a Time, in which he covers his career, starting as an Amish teen enlisting as a DJ with the US Army during the Vietnam War.
Music and jokes were the centerpiece of his air time, a counterpoint to the breaking news AFN reported as American planes crash-landed in rice paddies. Throughout the Cold War, Smith and other American DJs played wild, unpredictable, rock music as an echo to what troops experienced on foreign soil in Asia and Europe. Also during this time, he completed his college education, earning an AA at the Heidelberg campus of the University of Maryland and then a BA with honors from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. Later, during the war years of Iraq and Afghanistan, Smith helped AFN provide relief for weary soldiers returning to their bases and eager for US sports playing live at home.
Smith correlates rock music with political attitudes and the power of freedom of speech. He has interviewed rockers like Fleetwood Mac and Journey, entertainers turned politicians or diplomats like Shirley Temple Black, and military leaders like then-Supreme Allied Commander of NATO General Wesley Clark.
Along with his years of service abroad, Smith served in Washington, DC with Voice of America. His honors include being named the US Department of the Army's first Civilian Broadcast Journalist of the Year, and receiving other awards for his work in radio, TV, and print from the US Army and the US Department of Defense.
REGISTRATION for this event is REQUIRED by Saturday, December 2, 2023.