Wednesday, January 5, 2011

If I Only Had a Voice (like that)

True story: When I first moved to my present location, I took a job as the "news director" for the area's largest radio station. You know the old saw about having a face for radio? Well, I had the face for radio and the voice for print. I hated it.

I hated it because I worked for a guy who, while he wasn't the absolute biggest asshole I'd ever met to that point, he was certainly vying for the crown.

I also hated it because well, I wasn't very good at it. I've never liked reading aloud, and I discovered that I had a tendency when reading on-air, to mix up names and stories. Inadvertently transposing the name of a local high school baseball coach with the name of a local man just charged with rape? Yeah, I did that...

I also hated it because it was, naturally, a top 40 country station and I had to listen to an endless loop of unspeakably horrible, brainless, vapid, willfully and proudly ignorant chicken-fried country pop-schlock. And no, I don't dislike country music. I love country music. Really. You're looking at a guy (figuratively speaking, of course) who owns and cherishes his Merle Haggard box set. I don't know what modern country has devolved into, but it's not music, it's auditory stupidity.

But mostly, mostly, I hated it because I had to hear my voice on-air; the tinny, weak, slightly nasally quality of it. I sounded, quite honestly, like a whiner, not unlike Martin Short's Ed Grimley character from SNL. I simply did not have a good radio voice.

But if I only had this voice, man if I'd only had this voice, then things may have been different...(via James Lileks' Pop Crush blog in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune

And speaking of Pop Crush, Lileks also has a good blog about the death of seventies pop star Gerry Rafferty

Now I will make no claim to be an authority on late seventies pop music. When "Baker Street" came out I was all of eight years old. But it was one of those ubiquitous songs that always seems to take me back to a certain place and time, and sometimes it's nice to be reminded that yes, you were once a child and didn't have a care in the world.


  1. I heard on ESPN radio today that this guy was hired by the Cleveland Cavs and given a house to live in. Great story!

  2. While I can't relate the the voice/face scenario, I can relate to a job hated because the guy who was my boss had no clue what was going on in our department, but claimed to be a designer. Greaaaat. Anyway, truly great post. That guys voice is incredible, and he's also very articulate. God bless that man.

  3. He was on the Today show today! He has more job offers than he can fill. I hope someone helps him and steers him in the right direction!

  4. Came late to the dance. "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by the dispatch." Sounds like money and attorneys busy at work. Shakespeare was right, "first kill all the lawyers."