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.

Post by:
Filed under: Ohio • Showbiz • Ted Williams
soundoff (421 Responses)
  1. rose helen militello

    what an uplifting story.i wish the very best for him.hope he stays clean and sober.i have tears in my eyes.we need stories like this,gives us faith in humanity

    January 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Enis

    Good for him, America is that kind of a nation with chance of anything is possible.

    January 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alex Webb

    This story is boring...Bob? YOU SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Moo

    I swear I've seen this guy in Columbus on that exit at Hudson St before, although it might have been the one at 11th Ave...

    January 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |


    January 5, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John D Lamb

    Comments please.

    January 5, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ron

    that radio station offered him minimum wage??? you can't rent an apartment for that!!!

    January 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. dan gregory

    Don't judge a book by it's cover!!!!!!!!

    January 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. TM8

    That is WONDERFUL. Very awesome story to hear amidst all the horrible ones. God Bless him!! And yes, it has everything to do with God. And people who respond negatively to comments about God have too much to do with the Devil. Well, God Bless you all too.

    January 5, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Death Panel Sarah

      Fooseball is da debil!!!!!!

      January 5, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric


      January 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kristy

    Ever heard some times you have to hit rock bottom before you can reach the top of the mountain...Maybe he didnt want to be a burden on his 9 kids but if they allowed him to be homeless due to selfishness they will need him again one day..Wish you the best mr williams...

    January 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Charlene Morse

    It amazes me how many people say it has nothing to do with God!!! We all have our own beliefs and to me it is sickening that most of these people have to comment on God having nothing to do with it THEN JUST BEING HAPPY FOR A HUMAN BEING LIKE THEMSELVES THAT IS GETTING A SECOND CHANCE. God Bless all of you who have NO FAITH and are selfish and don't know how to LOVE AND BE GREATFUL. I would not be were I am at today without GOD. I am blessed and I am OPEN TO BEING HAPPY FOR OTHERS TO HAVE BETTER THINGS THAN ME. I rather hand them beauty than try to keep all the good to myself. To all those who LOVE GOD, BLESS YOU AND KEEP ON SHARING YOUR FAITH WITH OTHERS!!!!

    January 5, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Maria

    Who cares if he wants to thank God - let him! It's his story and right to do so!

    January 5, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Li Tai Fang

    Sounds like an NBA commentator, reminds me a little bit of Marv Albert.

    January 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Marc

    Wow, some of you guys really need to learn to write and spell. There's no such phrase as "he would of" - there's no team named the "Cavilliers" - there's a difference between "there" and "their" - and on and on and on.

    God or no god - Great story, great voice. But not THAT great a story, really. I mean, he's just a guy who screwed up his life so badly that he had to be saved by a passing stranger. I'm sure lots of disheveled homeless guys have useful and amazing talents that never get recognized at all.

    January 5, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TruthNY

    Anyone else thinks his clean shaven look resembles Obama?

    January 5, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17