The Texas A&M Forest Service Radio Broadcasts Collection features over 27 hours of digitized wildfire prevention radio public service announcements from the late 1940s through 1950s. The collection, spanning over sixty 16” audio transcription discs, was digitized to commemorate the forthcoming 100th anniversary of the Texas A&M Forest Service in 2015.
The Texas Forest Service was established as a result of state forestry legislation passed in 1915, which provided for the appointment of a state forester by the board of directors of Texas A&M College. Directors were given the power to purchase state forest lands suitable for the production of timber. The objectives of the Texas Forest Service were to persuade and aid private owners of forest land in practicing forestry and converting submarginal agricultural lands to productive forests; to protect private forest lands against forest wildfires, insects, and disease; to inform the public of the contribution that forests make to the economy of the state; and to educate Texans on the uses and abuses of forest products.1
The radio programs in this collection were produced between approximately 1946 and 1959 as part of the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention (CFFP) Campaign, a collaboration between the United States Department of Agriculture, the Advertising Council, and state forestry services. Vinyl and electric transcription disc were distributed to radio station across Texas and the nation. The longest running PSA campaign in U.S. history, the CFFP program introduced the Smokey Bear character in the early 1940s.
By providing online access to these historical PSAs, the Texas A&M Forest Service hopes to facilitate their use in education and scholarship, promote the message of wildfire prevention, and celebrate the cultural heritage of the CFFP campaign.
The “Bill Scott, Forest Ranger” series was produced by WYNE and the Board of Education of the City of New York in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, and state conservation and forestry departments.
The Jelly Elliot & the Three Knotheads, Billy Johnson the Singing Woodsman, Sons of the Pioneers, and “Smokey Visits the Stars” programs were produced by the Advertising Council in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, State Foresters, and the Forest Service for the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention Campaign.
The “Tales of Texas” series and Charlie Adams and His Western All-stars performances were produced by the Texas A&M Forest Service and WTAW in College Station, Texas.
- I. Bill Scott, Forest Ranger, circa 1947:
- a. Series I, circa 1947
- b. Series II, circa 1947
- II. Jelly Elliott & the Three Knotheads, 1950-1953:
- a. Series I, 1950
- b. Series II, 1951
- c. Series III, 1952
- d. Series IV, 1953
III. The Singing Woodsman and the Sons of the Pioneers, 1956:
- a. Series I, 1956
- b. Series II, circa 1956
IV. Smokey Visits the Stars & the Sons of the Pioneers Sing, 1958-1959:
- a. Series I, 1958
- b. Series II, 1959 (incomplete)
- V. Texas A&M Forest Service, circa 1946, 1954:
- a. Tales of Texas, circa 1946
- b. Texas Forest Service presents Charlie Adams & His Western All-stars, 1954
1. Abridged from: Everett F. Evans and D. A. Anderson, "TEXAS FOREST SERVICE," Handbook of Texas Online
(http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/met03), accessed April 28, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.