Well, I have dodged this for several months and I keep getting asked the SAME QUESTION..... "Did the producers of the movie "Good Morning
Vietnam", in addition to Adrian Cronauer's book, use Dave Rabbit's show "Radio First Termer" and the surviving recorded show as an ENHANCEMENT to
what Adrian Cronauer did while at AFVN in Saigon." As I have said numerous times, what I BELIEVE and what I can PROVE are two different things. As
this article is about HISTORY and contains FACTS as given by Adrian Cronauer himself..... YOU be the JUDGE!
Good Morning Vietnam ~ “The Movie”
The Life And Times of Who?
Adrian Cronauer: Air Force Radio Announcer in Vietnam
Played by Robin Williams in the film Good Morning, Vietnam, the real Adrian Cronauer is a complex man.
By Gordon Zernich – Historynet.Com
Adrian Cronauer is the name many people associate with the movie Good Morning, Vietnam -- the story of an Air Force radio announcer who used
imagination and innovation to make more of a difference with his craft than his superiors felt they could tolerate. The real Adrian Cronauer, although
he may not be as outrageous as the myth makes him, is a man whose talents and experience give him a unique perspective on the Vietnam War.
Cronauer's involvement with communications and media began at a very early age. The only child of a machinist and a teacher, he got his first taste
of television by playing piano on a locally produced children's program in Pittsburgh. During his high school years, he volunteered at the local
Public Broadcasting System station. He started out opening letters but ended up doing radio announcing by the time he was attending the University of
Pittsburgh. He also played a major part in starting the school's campus radio station. By 1962, he was a full-time student majoring in broadcasting
at the American University in Washington, D.C. Cronauer needed only 11 credit hours to graduate when the draft board pressed him to exercise his
option to volunteer. Like many young men eligible for the draft in the 1960s, he decided to volunteer for the Air Force, hoping this would provide him
with a wider choice of assignments than he otherwise would have had. His first choice was for flight training, and he passed the battery of tests
necessary to qualify. The time commitment for that option, however, was more than he wanted to make, so he withdrew the application in order to make
another choice. The Air Force found his next selection more suitable to their needs: Cronauer entered training for broadcasting and media
In the mid-1960s, broadcasting was practiced in a fairly unimaginative and routine manner in the armed forces. It often included making training films
and recording mind-numbing lectures. Things finally picked up a bit for Cronauer when he transferred from Stateside duty to an Armed Forces Radio
station in Greece. There he found ways to add a little style and moxie to an otherwise pea-green military broadcasting universe.
With one year left of his enlistment and a change of assignment due, Cronauer had another choice to make. He could either go back to the States to
make more training films, or he could sit behind the microphone and broadcast live to the American community in South Korea or South Vietnam. He chose
Vietnam. But shortly before he arrived in-country, the Gulf of Tonkin incident changed the whole scope of the American effort there.
Cronauer's broadcasting style was more like something a person could hear on Stateside radio than on the military radio and television service. In
that day, military radio and television tended to follow its own rigid rules, procedures, regulations, codes and interests rather than focusing on its
audience -- frequently resulting in broadcasts that were tough to listen to or watch without falling asleep. It seemed as though its mission had very
little to do with improving the morale of the American community in Vietnam.
Cronauer balanced innovation, imagination and enthusiasm with practicality and realism. He pushed as much as he could for reforms within the military
broadcasting hierarchy, but there were times when he knew it would be senseless to push any harder. He met resistance from those who were deeply
invested in military broadcast operations, from those who worked without incentive or motivation and from those who simply feared making waves. "Why
go to all that effort?" they would ask. "It's going fine. Why change it?"
Cronauer did, however, swim against the current of the staid conventions of that time, risking the ire of his bosses on more than one occasion. With
his friend Ben Moses, who had also served in Vietnam, he wrote a screenplay in 1979 based on his experiences more than 10 years earlier. They managed
to sell the rights to the story to a Hollywood producer in 1982.
“After the release of Good Morning, Vietnam, Cronauer was the first to say that the film was largely a fictional account and was not
intended to be a biography. It was rewritten, produced, directed and acted primarily for entertainment purposes. He has also said many times that if
he had acted in real life as he was portrayed in the film, he still would be serving time in the military penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth,
Now..... so WHO did they base the movie on?
Just something to digest.