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November 14, 1921: The First Opera Broadcast on Radio

November 14, 1921: Samson and Delilah was performed at the Chicago Auditorium by a professional company for the first time on this date. It was aired for listeners by KYW radio, Chicago, IL.

Originally titled Samson et Dalila, the opera was composed by  Camille Saint-Saëns, who was known as the greatest French Romantic composer. Samson and Delilah, was originally planned as an oratorio based on the biblical story of Samson and Delila. Later on the story was adapted for a full opera.

For additional classical and opera radio shows, see also:


  1. radio had been invented and successfully broadcast, but nobody knew what kind of programming to put on the air. in the beginning they tried opera, broadway plays, tons of different musical bands. there were no writers or program directors for this new media, so trial and error was the order of the day.

  2. the shadow started as a magazine CALLED the shadow, went to radio and the narrator was called the shadow. fans want the shadow to be a character in the mysteries, the rest is history. one interesting note, orson welles played the shadow, once.

    The first radio show of The Shadow was broadcast on WGN Chicago and was sponsored by Butter Nut Bread. wgn and wxyz, home of the lone ranger and many kids programs were great and memorable stations.


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