SALT LAKE CITY — A new exhibit commemorating the 75th anniversary of Music and the Spoken Word, the world’s longest-running continuous radio network program, will be open to the public from Saturday, 22 November 2003, through Sunday 17, October 2004, in the west gallery on the second floor of the Museum of Church History and Art.

“This exhibit contains hundreds of items that collectively tell the story of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Music and the Spoken Word. Anyone who loves the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will enjoy this visit,” says Glen M. Leonard, director of the Museum of Church History and Art. The display will include a broad range of historical artifacts ranging from documents, photos, awards and countless recordings to such cherished memorabilia as original batons, items from the choir wardrobe and the original microphone used in the first broadcast. 

“One of the most unique displays is the Austin organ console used from 1937 until 1947, which is placed in a dramatic location allowing visitors to see it up close,” says exhibit curator Mark Staker. Artifacts near the console include organist Alexander Schreiner’s black wool cape with red lining as well as organist Frank Asper’s black leather shoes, which reveal how long and narrow Asper’s feet were, making it easier for him to play the foot pedals.

A few original Spoken Word recordings can be heard in the exhibit. From nearly 4,000 inspirational messages given throughout the years, seven were chosen, one from each decade since 1930, to replay at listening stations in the exhibit. Staker said; “We chose messages that observed significant historical events throughout the 20th century. For the 1940s we chose a powerful World War II message given by Richard L. Evans the Sunday after V-E Day, when the Allies declared victory in Europe. For the 1970s we chose the message given by J. Spencer Kinard on the celebration of the United States Bicentennial.”

The history of Music and the Spoken Word parallels the history of the development of the radio. Nearly two-dozen historical radios are also on display in the exhibit starting with an original crystal set dating back to the era of the first broadcast.

“Music and the Spoken Word: Celebrating 75 Years of Mormon Tabernacle Choir Radio Broadcasts” can be seen at the Museum of Church History and Art Monday through Friday from 9:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. and Saturday, Sunday and most holidays from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The museum will close at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 26 November, and Wednesday, 24 December. The museum will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

The museum is located at 45 North West Temple Street in downtown Salt Lake City and just one-half block north of the Temple Square TRAX station. Admission is free.