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Guantanamo Bay's Vinyl Vault Contains 22,000 Records and Reel-to-Reel Vinyl Recordings

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Jul 29, 2015 09:11 PM EDT

It is perhaps the lesser known "vinyl communities" of the world — but sitting in on Guantanamo Bay are over 22,000 reel-to-reels. For 6,000 some odd troops, that's quite a lot of listening to get through.

America's oldest overseas outpost, sure, now it can probably be equated to its largest vinyl reserve. Kelly Wirfel, who is spokesman for the base, states, "I believe this is one of the largest, if not the largest, collection in the Armed Services Network."

According to the Vinyl Factory, the stockpile has been cataloged:

"The archive, which includes a reel-to-reel of the Beatles anthology album and a reel-to-reel of the movie Good Morning, Vietnam, stretches back from the '30s right up to the '90s. Several of the records housed in the collection are rarities that were never formally released and don't exist anywhere else."

If that wasn't enough, in 2007 the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service price tagged the collection to be worth at least $2 million.

For now, the collection is currently a part of Radio GTMO's broadcast, which has been a regular service on the island since the '40s and is the source of American radio on the base.

While the digital age may be upon them, the physical records get a spin on occasion.

However, as the article concludes, the collection won't stay in the vault forever. As the world moves further into the digital age the military services on the island fully intend to hand off the entire collection to the Armed Forces Radio and Television service in due time.

As of late, G-Bay has become a hotbed for cancer and has affected some of the personnel who work there. While the prison has come under intense scrutiny in recent years for its treatment of detainees, lawyers working on the trials regarding inmate torture have been evacuated until further tests can be done.

In the meantime, here are some famous segments from Good Morning, Vietnam by the late Robin Williams.

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TagsGuantanamo Bay, Armed Forces Radio and Television Service, Radio GTMO, Armed Services Network