Posted by mopatt
This is the story of Ted Williams, who is a voiceover artist based in Columbus, Ohio who became famous when a brief interview with him while he was homeless was posted to YouTube, quickly becoming a viral video sensation in early January 2011. He has been called the “Homeless Man with the Golden Voice”.
Ted was raised in Brooklyn, New York, Williams has nine children, seven girls and two boys. Williams served three years for the United States Army and attended school for voice acting. His inspiration to become a radio announcer came from a field trip at age 14, when he found that a radio announcer whom he had heard looked nothing like he had imagined. Williams had experience as a radio disc jockey before. He worked some overnight shifts for WVKO (AM) in Columbus when the station played soul music. However, Williams stated that around 1996, drug and alcohol abuse complicated his career leading to his then-current state of homelessness. He has currently been clean and sober for two and a half years.
A video was recorded in Columbus, Ohio at the Hudson Street off-ramp of Interstate 71, and posted at the Columbus Dispatch’s website on January 3, 2011. It was recorded by Doral Chenoweth, a videographer for the paper. It was reposted to YouTube by an anonymous user, and within one day it had been viewed millions of times. Williams’ story also garnered a large following on the social news website Reddit, with many users pledging donations of money, clothes, and job offers. On January 5, 2011, Williams appeared on “Dave and Jimmy” on WNCI and was interviewed (since clean shaven and hair cut) by The Early Show on CBS. He was interviewed on The Today Show, January 6, doing the lead-in voice over.
On January 5, 2011, the day after Williams became an internet sensation, the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA basketball team offered him a job and a house. The offer calls for Williams to do full-time voiceover work with the Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena. Williams responded, “That’s the best deal ever!”
Williams attempted to fly to New York to reunite with his 92-year old mother. However, TSA (Transportation Security Administration) did not allow him to do so since Mr Williams lacked the proper identification material required necessary to enter an aircraft, according to Countdown with Keith Olbermann at MSNBC.
I still can’t get this story out of my head. Everytime I think of it, I just think of how remarkable it is. 2 years clean and being on the streets. That’s an incredible accomplishment. Beating addiction without much of a support network and so many excuses to fall off the bus as well. I wish him nothing but success
Here is his interview on the Today Show.
Today Kraft Macaroni & Cheese debuted their new commercial with Ted’s voice that he recorded yesterday. Lynne Galia, a Kraft spokeswoman, told the Chicago Tribune the company saw the YouTube clip like the rest of the world and moved to work with Williams for four commercials. “We were moved by his story and his amazing voice,” Galia said, adding that Williams’ voice is “perfectly suited” for the ad campaign. “We were in the middle of making our TV spots and in a unique position to help Ted use his great voice and also provide him employment.”
Here is the clip:
Posted on January 7, 2011, in News/Politics and tagged Columbus, Columbus Dispatch, Dave and Jimmy, Doral Chenoweth, Homeless Man with the Golden Voice, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Ohio, Ted Williams, The Today Show, Viral Video Sensation, Voiceover, WNCI, WVKO, YouTube. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.