There is no doubt that Ted Williams has an amazing voice. It's a voice that only belongs behind a microphone announcing a basketball game, voicing an infomercial, reading the news or reminiscing with us on our favorite oldies station.
And who doesn't love a story about someone getting a second chance at life? It's inspiring to know that when we might need that second chance or if we are looking for one right now, there's hope. To see the outpouring of jobs, opportunities and support Williams got after his video went viral, reminds us that there are good people in our world ready and willing to help.
But let's put the fairy tale aside for a second. This man was struggling and looking for work - a story that many people nation wide can very much relate to, especially in the radio industry - filling out resumes, applying for jobs, practicing voice exercises, re-editing the voice reel. Take a look at Voice123.com. It's a warehouse full of voice talent. A basic search for an adult male voice will give you thousands of quality voice samples to listen to. And then you see "Homeless Man Gets Radio Job" top the headlines across the country.
Industry expert Tom Taylor who blogs on Radio-Info.com has heard the backlash this story has created in the radio world. Taylor summarizes the frustration, not in a way to completely deflate this "feel-good" story, but to remind everyone there is a harsh reality to the business.
"What you're hearing from some radio folks isn't jealousy or resentment, exactly - but a reminder that life's not fair," Taylor blogged. "Especially in an industry that has tossed talented people out the door for much of the last decade."
Did Ted Williams' voice change everything we thought we knew about radio? No. So this post is for the people in radio working hard to get their break. It's to acknowledge that no matter what the industry, people are struggling to find work. As inspiring as this story is, it's got to give some people a headache.
Imagine you get that automated e-mail sent from an HR department after they closed your profile saying, "Thank you for your interest in job #0002792614, but we have filled the position. In fact, we actually hired a homeless guy who we saw on YouTube. Good luck in your job search!"
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.
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.