Early History of AA - DOS 1940 by Duke Paddock Click Here
Dr. Bob’s - Last Major Talk at Detroit, MI, Dec. 1948
from 7 inch reel - to Listen Dr Bob's Talk Click Here Bill meets Dr. Bob - Writing the Big Book Click Here Dr. Bob - 2 Separate Talks Detroit 1948 Cleveland 1950 Click Here
Ruth Hock - 1st Secretary of Our Membship
This is her first recollections of meeting Bill W. and Hank Click Here
Bill Wilson - 1969 - VARIETIES OF RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE
The occasion was the 34th Anniversary of Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill gets a huge round of applause after being introduced. Bill speaks for just a short time before introducing Lois. She tells of a talk she gave 17 years ago and that that time Bill had been sober for 17 years and because he had drank for 17 years she considered them "even." Now he's got 17 more years. She is obviously very grateful. Bill then begins his own talk by saying that he wants to talk about the "Spiritual Experience" and will share a succession of short stories.
Bill tells of many people he knew that said the program is working well but as far as the spiritual connection goes, we just "Ain't got the spiritual angle." He tells of a young fellow who had been in the program for a few years. He had been having trouble with spirituality. He stood up one day and proclaimed that the radiator in the corner "Is My Higher Power."
Bill goes on to tell several stories of spiritual experiences and then he comes to Dr Bob. He gives a lot of credit to the woman that set up the meeting between them and then he introduces Henrietta Sieberling sitting in the audience. She stands up to a big round of applause. Bill says that when he met Dr Bob, he had found in him, a man that was very spiritual despite his drinking. In Dr Bob's case his craving for alcohol was not lifted for about 2 1/2 years later. Near the end of his talk, Bill says he feels at peace because he is very confident that "The candle of spirituality will be passed on and on, from hand to hand, from one generation to the next." Inspiring. Click Here
Ebby Thacher - 1889-1966 Bill W. consider Ebby as his Sponsor
This is truly the best recording by Ebby that we’ve heard.
San Jose, California on March 4th, 1961. Click Here
Searcy Whelley - (Ebby Thacher`s Later in Texas Sponsor) from Texas
This is a great speech by the man who became Ebby Thacher’s sponsor, Searcy Whaley. Searcy was the grand-sponsor of Bill Wilson. He gave this talk at the International Alcoholics Anonymous Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota in June of 2000. Searcy tells us that his sobriety date is May 10th, 1946. He’s was sober 54 years at the time of this talk. His age was 90. He’d done quite a bit of traveling to conventions with Doctor Bob’s son, Smitty – they’re both from Texas. Bill and Lois Wilson came down to Texas in 1946. Bill took Searcy under his wing at that time. Searcy kept in close contact with Bill until 1971 when Bill passed away. In 1950, Searcy was recruited by Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob to work the crowd at the First International AA Conference in Cleveland. Bill and Bob were trying to get members to vote for the 12 Traditions and asked Searcy to assist by talking to the people in the audience before the conference began. Searcy reads a very funny list of the 12 steps of how NOT to stay sober – the crowd loves it. Searcy is no longer around. He passed away at age 93 on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2003 in Dallas, Texas.
Bill Dotson - AA Member #3
Author of 2nd, 3rd & 4th Edition Stories in the Big Book
Background info about Bill Dotson , not in his story - Click Here
Sister Ignatia - 1889 - 1966
This is one of the few talks available “The Angel of AA.” This AA talk is also known as: Her Years with Doctor Bob Recorded at the Third International Alcoholics Anonymous Convention in Long Beach, California July 3rd, 1960. - Click Here The Nun that worked with alcoholics in the early days of AA Click Here
Author Big Book Story - "WOMEN SUFFER TOO"
She was the first woman with any long-term sobriety in the Bill Wilson New York City Group. - Click Here Marty Mann Speaking at Greenfield Hill Group , 1980 Click Here
Sybil Corwin - Sober Date 1941 from Los Angeles Ca
She was sober for 50 years at the time of this talk; her date of sobriety is March 23rd, 1941. She was an AA pioneer on the west coast and has a great story as well as knowledge of the early days of AA. Sybil introduces her self by saying, “My name is Sybil Doris Adams Stratton Hart Maxwell Willis Corwin and I’m an alcoholic.” She was married five times. She was born in a small Texas town and began drinking at age 15. Nine days was the longest that Sybil had gone without alcohol in her 17 years of drinking. She attempted suicide many times. After living in Los Angeles for a few years, she just happened to come across the 1941 Saturday Evening Post magazine with the Jack Alexander article on AA in it. She goes on to tell about writing to Ruth Hock for information, her first experiences at AA meetings, and linking up with AA pioneer, Cliff Walker. She covers the steps in the last ten minutes in a unique way; she tells how she overheard her brother explain them to another fellow. Many years later she realized that he was really speaking with her about her own program. Really a great speaker.
Pete Waters, - Oakville - Toronto - London - Click Here
Father Pete starts the talk off with a few jokes in his Irish accent.
He tells how he attempted to control his drinking. He even took "The Pledge" in the Catholic Church. He went to a priest for counselling but the priest got him drunk. Pete met his future sponsor while hitching a ride to and from work.
On January 31st, 1961, he got down on his knees in a jail cell and asked God for help. He hasn’t had a drink since. Father Pete talks about meeting Bill Wilson and traveling with him for seven years. At the end of this recording he reads, "A Touch of the Master’s Hand."
Chuck Chamberian 1902 - 1984 - A New Pair of Glasses (Author)
I can tell you from reading his book and reading it every year since 1980 that Chuck was a great contributor to our fellowship with no moss growing under him even when sitting in his favourite chair where many AA's came to talk to him.
A True Legend in AA - Author of the book - A New Pair of Glasses - the doctor he is referring to a couple of times is Dr Paul O.
(these 7 talks are all from separate meetings - he really got around) Coming Soon
Speaking in St. Simons Island, GA - February 1981 Click Here
Chuck Chamberlain - Memorial
This recording is a memorial service for the much-loved, early Alcoholics Anonymous member, Chuck Chamberlain. Chuck died on December 14th, 1984 in Laguna Beach, California at the age of 82.
This recording was made within the two weeks after his death. The chairman of this meeting is well-known AA speaker, Johnny Harris. Johnny introduces about seven or eight different speakers who take their turns at the podium eulogizing Chuck. The speakers include Chuck’s wife Elsa, his son Bill Chamberlain, Sybil Corwin, Cecil Corrigal, and Clancy Imislund.
There are a lot of heart-felt memories of Chuck C shared by these speakers on this recording. Several times, various speakers hint at the fact that the final speaker is definitely the best. The final speaker ends up being Chuck C himself; a short recording is played and provides a very emotional ending to this memorial. - Click Here
Chief Hendricks – an Oklahoma Cherokee Indian
Speaks in San Diego Sept 1986
Chief Hendricks is a Cherokee Indian from the “Holy land of Oklahoma.” He tells the crowd that he used to drink tons of wine before eventually getting sober in 1960. It wasn’t until after he sobered up that he realized that he had been angry and hateful for most of his life. At one point, the Chief made his way to California.
He tells a very funny story about trying to shock himself into sobriety by sticking his finger inside an empty light bulb socket. Near the end of his talk, he very sincerely says, “No one would have believed it 25 years ago that I would someday travel this great distance and be speaking to a
bunch of alcoholics, but now this has become part of my life.” - Click Here
Chris came to London in the winter of 2009. Chris is asked quite often to speak at AA Events not because he is a great speaker (as he says) but because he is very controversial. He says that the 12 steps were intended to be worked rapidly after coming into our fellowship.- Click Here Primary Purpose Group in Atlanta, GA - March 2nd 2009 - Click Here Father Ed Dowling Bill W. turned to Father Ed as a spiritual sponsor1955 -This recording is one of the few talks recorded by Father Ed Dowling, Bill Wilson’s spiritual mentor. Bill Wilson introduces Father Dowling and also tells a brief story of how they first met in New York City in 1940. Father Dowling’s talk is basically about God as we understand him. He believes that one’s choice of a higher power is none of AA’s business. That is up to the individually himself. Father Dowling also recites one of Bill Wilson’s favorite lines, “If I ever get to Heaven it will be in backing away from Hell.” - This is a very good and rare - Click Here
Neil Wing - Bill W.'s Secretary at the 32nd Michigan Convention
Gives a very upbeat talk about Bill Wilson and the early development of Alcoholics Anonymous. She explains how AA hired her. She talks about first meeting Bill Wilson. Nell soon found out that her pay-check was not very big. She goes on to tell how exciting it was to hear about all of new groups starting up in foreign countries. Nell talks quite a bit about Dr Bob’s wife, Anne Smith. She talks very fondly about Bill Wilson and his occasional absentmindedness.
Nell tells how well Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob got along and how their personalities complimented each other. She tells about the influence Reverend Sam Shoemaker had on Bill. She talks about how humble Bill Wilson was when an AA member tried to put him on a pedestal – Bill would always say, “I’m just another Drunk.” After Bill Wilson’s death in 1971, Nell devoted all of her time to setting up the AA Archives.
This recording provides an excellent look into AA history from someone who witnessed it first hand. - Click Here Nell Wing - Speaking at Phoenix Az in 1994 - Click Here
Dr. Earl - the author of the 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Edition BB Story,
“PHYSICIAN, and HEAL THYSELF!”
Dr. Earl tells this AA story in 1991 at the age of 80. He had been sober for 38 years at that time. Doctor Earl tells us that both of his parents were alcoholics, although his father was a much heavier drinker than his mother. He also had a lot of alcoholism in his extended family, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. From a genetic standpoint, he truly believes that this is an inherited disease.
Doctor Earl did not suffer the losses that many alcoholics did. He was never in jail, never got arrested for drunk driving. He actually made more money in his last year of drinking than he had ever made before or since. At the age of 15 he and a friend wanted to find out what drinking was all about. They went to see the local bootlegger, Ma Matinelli, a “Great Big Fat Mama Mia with 8 or 9 children”. They bought 4 bottles of wine and Earl ended up drinking just about all of it himself.
The spiritual experience that Doctor Earl eventually had was very similar to Bill Wilson’s. His experience was sudden and unexpected. He was at home pouring himself a drink and he felt a surge of pain “In every cell of his body,” and inside his head he heard the words, “This is your last drink.” Although he was wildly drunk, his thinking became very clear, and the compulsion to drink alcohol left him at that instant never to return again.
Doctor Earl came into AA in 1953. He spent a lot of time staying with Bill and Lois Wilson at Stepping Stones, their home in Bedford Hills, New York. Bill Wilson once confided in Doctor Earl that even though he has been sober longer than anyone else in AA, he has never achieved much serenity. Doctor Earl then spent over three years in the Far East countries attempting to find his own serenity. He never really did find true serenity until the day he decided to stop looking for it. Doctor Earl Marsh died on January 13th, 2003. This is an amazing talk by a man who had been
from Fort Worth, Texas At 2005 Founder's Day Celebration, Akron, Ohio Click Here
Sister Maurice of the Bronx, New York
Speaks at 19th. Spring Conference Cocoa Beach , FL. 2009 Click Here
from Washington DC at Flagstaff Roundup AZ, Surrender to Win Click Here
Jack Brennan an AA Pioneer - Wheelman for the Mob
Father Joseph Martin. from Havre De Grace, MD
shares about “Alcoholics and their Feelings" Click Here
Bill Findlay .
from Lorraine, Ohio at Windsor, Ontario Click Here
Beth Hartley – Author of the Empty on the Inside in the 4th. Edition of the BB
at the 45th Niagara Blossomtime Convention in Niagara Falls 2010 Click Here
Lew Finamore - from Chilliwack BC
He got sober way back on November 16th, 1963 at the age of 28. Lew is an excellent storyteller, and he shares several of those stories on this recording. He was sponsored by Wino Joe Leath of Tyler, Texas. Lew has done a lot of worldwide traveling speaking at AA functions. He tells a couple of stories about going to South Africa and New Zealand. Lew also goes over the Twelve Steps. A really good talk. Click Here
Frather Yew Gardner - Pioneer Member - Sober before 1945
at Primary Purpose Group in Laguna Niguel, CA on October 18, 2012 Click Here
Tommi Dayton - 86 Year Old Female from Oakland Park, FL.
Spoke in Nashville Tenn in 2008
Tommi is one of the best known old-timers around. Tommi says she’s 86 years old but she actually sounds more like 40. She has been sober since 1960. She had seen seven different psychiatrists while trying to get sober and also spent some time at High Watch Farms in Kent, Connecticut. Tommi talks about her acquaintance with Bill Wilson and Ebby Thatcher. She speaks very fondly about making the trip down to Texas to attend Ebby’s funeral. At the end of her talk Tommi says, “Dear Lord, please help me to accept the kind of life you have chosen for me to live. Make me ever mindful of the needs of others and what you would have me do with my life, that Thy will be done. Amen. Thank you very much and I love you.” Click Here
Johanna Zacharia - from Costa Mesa Ca
Soke at Bakersfied Ca in San Fernando Feb 1991
Johanna, an excellent speaker with 16 years of sobriety at the time of this recording. Johanna grew up with a lot of fear, unhappiness and anger in an alcoholic home. She had her first drink at a college fraternity party and drank to the point of passing out. Before she turned 21, Johanna was already a chronic alcoholic, drug addict and had been arrested several times. She eventually woke up in the mental ward of a state hospital after a suicide attempt. Her moment of clarity came when she stood frozen on a street corner unable to cross and get to the liquor store. After becoming a member of AA, Johanna became very involved with passing the message in hospitals and institutions. “In our need for one another, we ourselves are fulfilled.” Click Here
Bill Findley speaks in Windsor ON – 1999
A Chief Probation Officer with 35years of Sobriety at time of his talk.
Bill is an AA veteran from Lorain, Ohio which is just outside the Cleveland area. Bill opens up this Alcoholics Anonymous talk with a few funny jokes and then gives a much abbreviated story on the history of AA. He then tells his story. Bill’s sobriety date is May 11th, 1964 and he was 35 years sober at the time of this talk. He tells a horrendous story that happened at Christmastime in 1956. He was driving drunk and two people ended up getting killed. Bill was sent to the Ohio Reformatory. He would have gotten parole after spending twelve months in prison but he ended up getting some booze in his system and was sentenced to another 16 months. After Bill sobered up in the rooms of AA, he became the chief probation officer for the county of Lorain, Ohio. Bill believes in keeping AA simple; he’s seen too many people enter the rooms of AA with the paralysis of analysis. Click Here
Jack Dempsey - from Pittsburg PA.
Speaks at the 44th. Delaware Convention - May 2004 Click Here
Lyle Prouse Speaks - at Damerham UK on June 2009
from Conyers, Georgia speaks about the 4th Edition of the Big Book Click Here
Cliff Bishop – Sponsee of Joe McQuany
- of the Joe & Charlie Big Book Study Workshops
Milt Loring - from Cleveland Ohio
Dumb Guy's Approach to the 12 Steps - San Diego CA in 1997 Click Here
Milt tells a detailed story of how he started a barroom fight and ended up getting shot several times. He climbed right back into the bottle after recovering from his wounds. Milt says he’s learned from experience that, “A drunk isn’t over until it’s over – it’s got to go the distance.” He finally surrendered in the Cuyahoga County Jail while waiting to be transported to the Ohio State Penitentiary. Milt just happened to overhear a man in the cell next to him talking about Alcoholics Anonymous. His gratitude for AA really shows when he speaks about becoming friends again with his father before he passed on.
Katie Parker (On Step 3) - from Austin Texas
at the Stateline Retreat - Primm Nevada 2010 - Click Here
David Aronofsky from Dallas, TX - Pathway Through the Steps - Click Here
Jeff W. from Kitchener , Ontario at Bernardsville New Jersey 2008 - Click Here
Jack Baily at Founder's Day in Akron, Ohio on June 25th, 1978.
Jack was a sober member for 30 years at the time of this recording. Jack Bailey was an actor who appeared on such TV programs as Gunsmoke and Ironside. He toured the country with such stage productions as Hello Dolly, The Sound of Music and The Music Man. But perhaps Jack's biggest claim to fame was as host of the popular game show "Queen for a Day", a long running TV show in the 1960s. He is a very dynamic speaker. He has a very upbeat way of telling some sad stories. He also tells a hilarious story about his old friend "Pee Pee" Seiver - A really great AA message. - Click Here
Fr. Yew Gardner talk in 1973 AA Pioneer with a Sober Date before 1945 - Click Here
Johnny Harris – from Los Angeles talks about 'The Promises and Service'
at the Stockholm, Sweden 2004 Convention 2004 - Click Here