Mormon Tabernacle Choir Blog

Celebrating Episode 4,600 of Music and the Spoken Word!

On Sunday, November 12, 2017, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir celebrates broadcast number 4,600. The Choir’s weekly program, Music and the Spoken Word, is the world’s longest continuing network broadcast.

It started with a humble beginning in July 1929 with a single microphone and an announcer on a ladder. Read “History of Music and the Spoken Word for the full story. Since that summer in 1929, the Choir has gained listeners from around the globe and has toured far and wide. The program airs each week in English, Spanish and Portugues and is translated into more than 50 languages twice a year.

It seems like only yesterday when a special cake was made to celebrate broadcast number 4,444, which included a picture of Count von Count and Elmo, from Sesame Street®, who were Christmas guests around the time of the episode. 

If you’re a fan of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, you’ll love this behind-the-scenes video (above) titled “Music and the Spoken Word: A Week in the Life.” It details what goes into producing each episode of the program, including planning the music, recording, Choir seating, broadcast timing, and more.

In the video, director Mack Wilberg said, “There are things that Music and the Spoken Word is, and there are things that it is not. For instance, it is not a worship service. I think the program has always been designed to be a nondenominational program to be enjoyed by people of many walks of faith. Also, it is not a concert. It is, in fact, as the title implies, a program of inspirational music and spoken word.”

Associate director Ryan Murphy adds, “I think without diluting ourselves, we try to have a little something for everybody and to lift everybody up. And that is the purpose of the show.”

In addition to being available on radio and television, Music and the Spoken Word streams live each week on the Choir’s website and its YouTube channel. If you love the Choir’s broadcasts, make sure to share them with friends via any of our social media links below.