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Aimee Semple McPherson — An Oral Mystery

Before Billy Graham, Jim Bakker, or even Bob Jones took to the airwaves, the first media evangelist in this country was a woman -- Sister Aimee Semple McPherson.

1999 / Art Silverman / Deborah George / All Things Considered, USA

Before Billy Graham, Jim Bakker, or even Bob Jones took to the airwaves, the first media evangelist in this country was a woman -- Sister Aimee Semple McPherson.

Her soap box back in the 1920s was the brand new medium of radio, and part of her mass appeal was her simple home spun warmth and humor. But like many a charismatic preacher, McPherson's life was also filled with mystery, intrigue, and not just a little bit of scandal. Producers Deborah George and Art Silverman bring her rich story to life through archival recordings and a rare radio interview with McPherson's daughter.

Aimee Semple McPherson – An Oral Mystery was presented as part of the Lost and Found Sound series, produced by the Kitchen Sisters with Jay Allison.


produced by

Art Silverman

Art Silverman has been playing with tape recorders and sound since childhood. He grew up with a transistor radio listening to Arthur Godfrey, New York radio storyteller Jean Shepherd, and trying to build a low-wattage transmitter housed in his bedroom. In 1985 he joined the staff of All Things Considered and is now a senior producer on the show. In the course of his time at NPR, he created several long-form documentaries, including Goodbye, Saigon – an hour-by-hour recounting of events in Vietnam at the end of the war.

Deborah George

Deborah George is the Senior Editor for Radio Diaries, and has recently served as Senior Supervising Editor for NPR and Senior Radio Editor for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.


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