Billy Graham Center

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August 2011: Talking Pictures

The first talking picture produced by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1952. It shows a scene from the Billy Graham Washington D. C. Crusade (January 13-February 18, 1952), when Graham preached from the east steps of the Capitol building on Sunday, February 3 about his five point program for the preservation of the United States. A crowd of 20,000-40,000 people gathered in rain and 48 degree temperature. Click on the picture on the left to hear excerpts from the meeting. The second side of the record is blank.

Click here to see an assortment of the Talking Pictures produced by the BGEA.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was always eager to use new technology to reach its audience with the Christian Gospel. Graham made early use of network television to broadcast a weekly program, used cable television (called land lines) in England to expand the number of people who could attend his meetings and in later years made world wide broadcasts via satellite. Other examples of this are the Talking Pictures that the BGEA began producing in 1952. The recording industry was then experimenting with paper phonograph records. The BGEA used the technology to produce inexpensive 78 rpm (later 33/13) records that could be sent out as giveaways to supporters and inquirers. They were called Talking Pictures because they carried pictures of Graham and the BGEA's ministry as well as audio recordings. Each Talking picture was 8.25 inches square, with pictures and usually a recording on each side. The BGEA continue to produce these for the next decade.

Click here to see an assortment of the Talking Pictures produced by the BGEA. These recordings all come from Collection 102 in the Billy Graham Center Archives.


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Last Revised: 08/01/11
Expiration: indefinite

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