saying Go Bucks, Raptors, 49ers, Reds and Blue
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Columbus, Ohio
From homeless to famous?
Happen in my hometown Columbus, Ohio. Heard the story on the radio today going to school. Now notice ESPN, CBS, and others have picked up on it. Pretty cool story.
YouTube - Homeless man w/golden radio voice in Columbus, OH (Update-FINAL)
He's got a famous baseball name, but Brooklyn-born homeless man Ted Williams has something the Splendid Splinter wasn't famous for: a great voice.
Williams, a Brooklyn native who panhandles near the corner of I-71 and Hudson Street in Cleveland, has become an Internet sensation after Columbus Dispatch reporter Kevin Joy posted a clip of Williams demonstrating his dulcet tones by the side of the road.
In a YouTube clip, Williams, wearing an Army fatigue jacket and sporting a shaggy mane of hair, is seen carrrying a cardboard sign that reads:
"I HAVE A GOD GIVEN GIFT OF VOICE. I'M AN EX-RADIO ANNOUNCER WHO HAS FALLEN ON HARD TIMES. PLEASE! ANY HELP WILL BE GREATEFULLY APPRECIATED. THANK YOU!"
Joy and a Dispatch videographer then pulled the car alongside Williams and said, "We're going to make you work for your dollar."
Williams, without pause, smiled and said in a voice as smooth as Casey Kasem's, "When you're listening to nothing but the best of oldies, you're listening to Magic 98.9. And we'll be back for more right after these words."
The clip has generated interest from Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, whose team has extended an offer to Williams to do voiceover work.
"He hasn't accepted the offer," Cavs spokesman Garin Narain said, "but there is a lot of voiceover work needed at Quicken Loans Arena."
And now he's making the rounds of the morning TV shows.
He did the CBS "Early Show” Wednesday and is set to appear on NBC's "Today” show Thursday. NBC is flying him in to New York Wednesday and he'll repoprtedly stay up at the posh Essex House.
Asked on the Early Show how he felt about becoming a virtual overnight success, he said: "It's sensational for one thing; overwhelming for another ... It's just amazing."
Williams told the "Early Show" he was going to be reunited with his mother in New York.
"I'm getting a little emotional. I haven't seen my mom in a great deal of time," he said. "She doesn't believe (what's been happening to me). She's 92. She lives in Brooklyn. I was born and raised in Brooklyn.
"One of my biggest prayers that I sent out was that she would live long enough for me to see me rebound or whatever, and I guess God kept her around and kept my pipes around to maybe just have one more shot that I would be able to say, 'Mom, I did do it before, ... I might pass away before her or whatever. My dad didn't get a chance to see this. But God is good."
The NFL is also hot on the tails of Williams' voice to see if he is interested in doing voiceover work for the NFL Films division.
"I really, really want to get this guy in a seat for an audition," Kevin McLoughlin, NFL Films' director of post production, told the Daily News. "When I first heard about it, I was like, 'Good voices are a dime a dozen.' When the voice hit me (on video clip), I said, 'I've got to get this guy an audition. This guy deserves a second chance.'"
McLoughlin has been with NFL films for 24 years, and has worked with the likes of late baseball Hall of Fame announcer Harry Kalas, also the long-time voice of NFL Films.
McLoughlin said that while Williams won't "replace Harry," he said there is a chance Williams could knock an audition out of the park and do voice work for NFL Films.
In the YouTube clip, Williams told Joy that he got the radio announcing bug as a Brooklyn teenager after visiting and meeting a local radio personality.
"The voice just became something of a development over years and I went to school for it," Williams said. "And then alcohol and drugs and a few other things became a part of my life. I got two years clean.
"I'm trying hard to get it back and hopefully somebody from one of these television or radio stations, 'Hey, I need a voiceover,' or 'I need something.' I love radio."