Highly oriented samples of lipid and gramicidin A' (8:1 molar ratio) have been prepared with the samples extensively hydrated (approximately 70% water v/w). These preparations have been shown to be completely in a bilayer phase with a transition temperature of 28 degrees C, and evidence is presented indicating that the gramicidin is in the channel conformation. An estimate of the disorder in the alignment of the bilayers parallel with the glass plates used to align the bilayers can be made from the asymmetry of the nuclear magnetic resonances (NMR). Such an analysis indicates a maximal range of disorder of +/- 3 degrees. Uniformly 15N-labeled gramicidin has been biosynthesized by Bacillus brevis grown in a media containing 15N-labeled Escherichia coli cells as the only nitrogen source. When prepared with labeled gramicidin, the oriented samples result in high-resolution 15N NMR spectra showing 12 resonances for the 20 nitrogen sites of the polypeptide. The frequency of the three major multiple resonance peaks has been interpreted to yield the approximate orientation of the N-H bonds in the peptide linkages with respect to the magnetic field. These bond orientations are only partially consistent with the extant structural models of gramicidin.