During coverage of JFK’s death, a musical respite

Sounds from the NBC-Chicago Orchestra 2:01

By Robin Skolnick, Producer, NBC News

From the moment NBC News broke in to regular television programming with the news President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas, it stayed on the air constantly for four days.

During the long hours of coverage, there were no commercials, but as anchors needed a break the network switched to Chicago where the NBC-Chicago Orchestra, under the direction of Joseph Gallichio, would play somber selections.

The orchestra happened to be rehearsing for a taping of the “Artists’ Showcase” program in Studio A of the Merchandise Mart when word came that the President had been shot. The musicians remained in place.