He's now known on the Web as the man with the golden voice. But before that, he was known as a guy standing on the side of the road with a sign - just like many other homeless people.
The man with the golden voice, Ted Williams, is an internet sensation. And apparently, his fame may have landed him a pretty good gig: CNN affiliate WEWS reported that the Cleveland Cavaliers have offered Williams a job and a house.
Williams' story is the epitome of how dreams can come true in the internet age. And practically overnight.
His story was first reported in the Columbus Dispatch; a photographer drove up to Williams on the side of the road and videotaped him as he held a sign that said in part, "I have a God given gift of voice." The photographer wanted him to prove it to earn some cash, and boy, did Williams deliver. He rattled off, in a James Earl Jones-esque voice, what seemed like a perfect radio station tease.
YouTube: Watch full video
The story exploded from there. From all over the internet, including on the message board Reddit, people began tracking his whereabouts and trying to offer him jobs. That led to radio interviews and even an interview with CBS's "Early Show" today.
Oh, and did we mention that the video of him speaking for the Dispatch reporter has gotten (as we write this) more than 4.5 million hits in just two days? It's also the top viral video, according to ViralVideoChart.com, which tracks the rate of shares and clicks on videos.
Click to watch video
Call him the radio-voice version of Susan Boyle.
Frumpy British singer Boyle "dreamed a dream" on a TV talent show and sold millions of records, proving that sometimes the most sensational voices come from the places you least expect. And then again, perhaps we jump to conclusions when we form impressions about people.
"Hand on heart, we didn't know what was coming at all," CNN's Piers Morgan, who was a judge on "Britain's Got Talent," recently said of Boyle."We were like 'Oh, my God, this is going to be a total train wreck.' We were all laughing and mocking.
"The moment she sang, you see our faces frozen into two kinds of horror," he added. "One, that we didn't recognize her talent, and two, that we now know there's going to be a YouTube clip for the rest of our lives of us mocking this amazing woman. ... So whenever I have someone coming on who is not your standard-looking pop star, I sit there resolutely, just in case."
Indeed, Morgan is applying that lesson with Williams, tweeting earlier, "Greatest unheard radio voice ever: http://bit.ly/hkeanN If you know this guy pls tell him to enter 'America's Got Talent'."
Now, Williams is experiencing a similar whirlwind tour.
Although he didn't have Boyle's TV platform, or a similar show that shot a Taiwanese boy to fame for singing like Whitney Houston, he did have the same power of the Web. Who knows how many people drove past Williams as he stood on the street, waiting for someone to recognize his talents, before he was taped and put on YouTube.
"Hopefully somebody from one of these television or radio stations will say, 'hey, I need a voice-over' or ' I need something,' " Williams said on "The Early Show."
And because of his internet rise to fame, now the dream that Williams has dreamed for so long for himself may also be coming true.
WEWS said that although they are still tightening up a deal, the Cavaliers offered him full-time voiceover work with the team and with Quicken Loans, the mortgage giant founded by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, along with the mortgage for a house.
They may have lost the power of LeBron James in their building, but perhaps the Cavs have gained the power of a voice that may become a legend.
However famous he may become he has GOT to keep that hair!
Wow! That was Fantastic! He has a job now! Hope he runs with it. Great feel good story.
Good for him. Genuinely happy for him. Looks like hard work early in his life paid off – even in spite of his challenges.
He was hired today as an announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
http://www.youtube.com/user/Bunomous#p/u/1/S0mzDowFIt0 This is a link to the WNCI 97.9 broadcast that Ted was invited to speak. Plenty of offers for jobs are coming in from around the World from a full time job for the, Cleveland Cavaliers, to announce for, Inside Edition, in New York. No Pictures just sound
WHAT A WONDERFUL STORY BUT I JUST HOPE THAT ALL THIS ATTENTION AND INSTANT NOTERIETY DOESN'T PUSH HIM OVER THE EDGE, FALLING BACK INTO THE DRUG AND ALCOHOL WORLD TO ESCAPE. LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO SUAN BOYLE,ALL THE CHANGES AND HOW IT AFFECTED HER QUITE LIFE. I HOPE THAT THERE WILL BE SOMEONE TO TAKE CARE OF HIM AND HIS AFFAIRS UNTIL HE IS ABLE TO ADJUST TO A TOTALLY DIFFERENT WAY OF LIFE. GOOD LUCK TO HIM AND I WILL KEEP HIM IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS THAT HE IS NOT TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF BY GREED AND SELFISHNESS.
G-d has nothing to do with this. His talents are genetic traits. Stop using Christianity to explain everything! You zealots are all sheep.
i think he can do a very good.. RRRRRR LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLLEEEEEE!!!!!
People. Ask why the homeless man was even homeless.. I think its because god has a plan for every one andthe guy was on drugs and it might have been his plan to show him what he is missing he was clean andnow he has. A job and can work into replenishing his life
i think he can do a very good ..... RRRRRRRR LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEE!!!!!!!
i love this story i hope we continue to hear about how he is doing at the new job
the the video cracks me up too lol i know he's homeless so he's a bit rough lookin but he's got
When I first heard his radio voice I was completely stunned! Shows you not to judge a book by its cover. I hope Ted gets the second chance that he so richly deserves. Reach for the stars, Ted!
Best wishes from Canada!
Imagine him speaking into a a studio Mic in a room with good acoustics! Add a speech processor to give his audio the full bandwidth(without changing it) and to prevent over/undermodulation and he would sound excellent on broadcast radio! He should get his ham radio ticket too he would be great as a wide-band AM operator, 73!
Way to go Mr. Williams. This should be inspirational to all homeless Americans. It is so awesome to hear about someone who has been living on the streets that their ship has come in.
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