“Tabernacle Choir Broadcasts 3,500th Program,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, 109–10
On Sunday, 15 September, the Tabernacle Choir presented its 3,500th consecutive weekly program of Music and the Spoken Word, which has been on the air longer than any other continuous network radio program in history.
To mark the event, Lloyd Newell, who presents the spoken message during the program, talked of the program’s 68-year run.
“First airing on radio July 15, 1929, Music and the Spoken Word has seen its audience through war and depression, peace and prosperity,” he noted. “The inspirational programming it promises has steadied troubled hearts, assuaged disappointments, added upon joys, lightened loads, and led one generation after another to God.
“Times have changed since 1929, to be sure,” he continued. “Consider how different the world was then. The single microphone that carried muffled sounds to 30 radio stations on the premier broadcast has now been replaced by stereophonic microphones and satellites, transmitting music and message over hundreds of television and radio stations and cable systems. While technology has advanced and the world has changed, the essence of this broadcast, its uplifting music and message, has remained much the same.”
The program Music and the Spoken Word was created by Elder Richard L. Evans, the announcer, writer, and producer of the program for 40 years. Elder Evans served as a General Authority from 1938 to 1971, including the years 1953 to 1971 as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. During its years on the air, the program has been broadcast from such places as Israel, Russia, Australia, and Brazil.
The choir’s weekly broadcast is listed in The Guinness Book of Records as the longest continuous network broadcast in the world. CBS Radio is the program’s primary carrier. The program is also carried by 575 other radio stations, as well as 57 broadcast television stations, 35 cable television stations, and 1,561 television affiliates of the Odyssey Channel (formerly the Faith & Values Channel).