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. abraham

    I can't help but to wonder how his voice sounds after a big ol' hit of his glass dick?

    January 10, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
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    January 10, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tim

    I'm happy for Ted, but he abandoned his family, hasn't paid child support, etc. There are people out there who are jobless and have lost their homes through no fault of their own and can't get any company interested in them. Maybe its just that Ted has a marketable skill. Anyway, best of luck to Ted.

    January 11, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  4. God bless u

    god bless u ted not many people would have recogonized it but u have what it takes keep going strong

    January 13, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Doris Amos

    Ted just shows that antone can make it even though he is on a street he makes something comeout of it .......

    January 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Whitney

    Wishing Ted the best of luck. It's nice to see that not only is he getting all this attention but that other people are giving their time to try and help others as well, talk about an inspirational story all the way around. http://blogs.voices.com/voxdaily/2011/01/los_angeles_homeless_midnightmission.html

    January 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rebecca Black

    Thank god he is still alive what a great voice

    April 26, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Viridianag Yetskom

    Sketches are in fact good source of instruction instead of content, its my familiarity, what would you say?

    July 8, 2012 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
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