On July 15, 1929, the first radio broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word was presented. The announcer began with the now famous words, “from the crossroads of the West, we welcome you to a program of inspirational music and spoken word.” That first broadcast began a tradition that has lasted over 75 years.Music and the Spoken Word is the longest running continuous network radio broadcast and is broadcast on more than 2,000 radio and television stations nationwide. From it’s beginning, the program was a success.
The voice of the program was Richard L. Evans, and many were drawn to his soothing voice. For 41 years Richard L. Evans announced the songs and spoke the inspiring words of the broadcast. Many people claimed him as their spiritual leader. Following Richard Evans’ sudden death, Spencer Kinard became the voice of program. Following him in 1990, Lloyd D. Newell became the broadcaster and continues in that role today.
The program received national recognition for its 25th year of broadcasting. Life magazine commemorated the heritage of the program saying that it was ” a national institution to be proud of.” And millions have heard this program and enjoyed the familiarity and peace that it brings each Sunday. Music and the Spoken Word has received other awards and recognition. It has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and other media; it was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame; and recently in 2003 received an award from the International Radio and Television Society.
The program is produced by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with more than 50 crew members helping to ensure the quality of each production. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has 360 members between the ages of 25 and 60, all of whom offer their time and talents without compensation. Most are still working in their various occupations and join the choir out of a love of music and the Choir’s message.