Homeless man with 'golden voice' lights up Web, gets job offers
Ted Williams is seen in this still from a Columbus Dispatch video posted on YouTube.
January 5th, 2011
12:08 PM ET

Homeless man with 'golden voice' lights up Web, gets job offers

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.

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.

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Filed under: Ohio • Showbiz • Ted Williams
soundoff (421 Responses)
  1. cpc65

    However famous he may become he has GOT to keep that hair!

    January 5, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Semper Fi

    Wow! That was Fantastic! He has a job now! Hope he runs with it. Great feel good story.

    January 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Scyrcrow

    Good for him. Genuinely happy for him. Looks like hard work early in his life paid off – even in spite of his challenges.

    January 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joe

    He was hired today as an announcer for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    January 5, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Phil

    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

    January 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jan farmer

    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.

    January 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. sheryl

    G-d has nothing to do with this. His talents are genetic traits. Stop using Christianity to explain everything! You zealots are all sheep.

    January 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Death Panel Sarah

      True!!

      January 5, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Exactly.

      January 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sawir

    i think he can do a very good.. RRRRRR LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLLEEEEEE!!!!!

    January 5, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. cameron

    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

    January 5, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sawir

    i think he can do a very good ..... RRRRRRRR LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEE!!!!!!!

    January 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. its me

    i love this story i hope we continue to hear about how he is doing at the new job

    January 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. its me

    the the video cracks me up too lol i know he's homeless so he's a bit rough lookin but he's got

    January 5, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nvsue

    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!

    January 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Radio Guy

    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!

    January 5, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. John

    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.

    January 5, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
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