"Music and the Spoken Word," the longest-running radio broadcast in history, will be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame on Nov. 6.
Following an online balloting process, the selection was announced in August. Induction ceremonies will take place at WTTW studios in Chicago.
"It's a great honor," says choir director Mack Wilberg, who will attend the ceremonies. "But it was only made possible by the thousands of shoulders we stand on; the thousands of singers, conductors, organists, musicians, announcers and technical staff who have worked week after week for 82 years. We are just lucky enough to be the beneficiaries of all their efforts."
The program will be inducted into the hall in the National Pioneer category. "It is very significant for us," Wilberg says, "not only because of the very talented individuals who were also nominated with us in the category, but also because the selection was determined by the vote of the American listening public."
Choir president Mac Christensen adds his appreciation for the honor. "We're extremely pleased," he says. "When you look at all the people who have been involved for so many years, the thousands who have built and built and built, so that we can be the recipients, it is a great honor."
The choir is unlike any other in the world, he says. "You have to be careful what you ask them to do, because they will do it." But they do it, he says, not for themselves, but to bring more goodness into the world. They sing with their hearts; they sing their faith.
The National Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2010 also includes: Ralph Emery, a country music icon and Nashville TV talk-show host; Terri Hemmert, a disc jockey "known for her encyclopedic knowledge of music and especially the Beatles;" Carl Kasell, NPR broadcaster and official judge and scorekeeper for "Wait, Wait … Don't Tell Me," among other things; and Cathy Hughes, founder and chairman of Radio One, the largest African-American owned radio-television corporation in the U.S.