On this day in 1987, the Choir Marked its 3,000th Broadcast
3,000 can be a high or low number depending on what it pertains to. If it’s in reference to the attendance of a major sporting event, this is a disappointingly low number. If it’s in reference to a continuous radio broadcast, this is anything but low. In fact, it was on this date in 1987, that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir reached the milestone of its 3,000th continuous broadcast. In an article from the Schenectady Gazette in February 1987, the former president of the Choir, Wendell Smoot spoke of the broadcast saying, “(It) will be much the same as the other 2,999.” Over the years, people have continued to tune in to hear the familiar and comforting sound of the Choir in a way they have come to know and trust. Each broadcast opens with “Gently Raise the Sacred Strain,” as it has from the beginning.
85 Years after the first broadcast in 1929, the Choir is still going strong, as Music & the Spoken Word is the longest running continuous broadcast in history.
Since 1987, the Choir has continued their busy schedule by touring Europe for a fourth and fifth time in 1991 and 1998. They marked their 4,000th broadcast in April of 2006, and were inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2010.
The above video is a recent full episode of Music & the Spoken Word, with a special spoken word tribute to Nelson Mandela.