January 5, 2011

Ted Williams, the homeless man with a radio voice.

He stood by the side of Interstate 71 in Columbus, Ohio with a homemade sign about his "God-given gift of a great radio voice." A reporter made a video...

He's been through "alcohol and drugs and a few other things" and now he's facing viral video fame.


MadisonMan said...

I wish him the best. My voice sounds like that if I have a cold, like I do now.

k*thy said...

I hope he stays clean and crosses paths with the right person. He's got a lot to offer.

shoutingthomas said...

He's got built in reverb.

Maybe he'll get a job.

People often seem to think that radio DJs make decent money. Except for the stars of a few major markets, radio DJ-ing is a starvation occupation. You're better off with a low level clerical job.

So, let's hope he stays sober and makes a few bucks.

Eric said...

Hire him, someone!

Sheepman said...

He'd make a great spokesman for the homeless.

Fred4Pres said...

That alcohol and drug thing can get in the way of things...I hope he gets a gig and can keep sober. He does have a good radio voice.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
knox said...

Forget the voice.

The hair!!

LarsPorsena said...

I hope he catches a break. great voice.

sonicfrog said...

Blogged on this yesterday. What a freaking spectacular instrument for a voice. As much as I'd like to be doing voice-over work (meeting with my business partner tomorrow) this guy MUST work in radio. You often hear so many stereotypes about the homeless… They’re lazy bums… They don’t want to work. Just goes to show that some very talented and capable people are not immune to bad breaks and fall between the cracks.

edutcher said...

Hope things work out for him. If he's gotten himself clean, and can stay that way, he deserves a hand.

c3 said...

A great voice.

Been sober two years and his only option is a sign on the side of the freeway!?

This resonates with today's obituary of Gerry Rafferty; also done in at 63 by alcohol.

Both had/have talent but....

reminds me of:

For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves and entrusted his possessions to them.
"To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.
"Immediately the one who had received the five (E)talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents.
"In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more.
"But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
"Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.
"The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, 'Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.'
"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'
"Also the one who had received the two talents came up and said, 'Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more talents.'
"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.'
"And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.
'And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.'
"But his master answered and said to him, 'You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.
'Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.
'Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.'
"For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.

AllenS said...

Last week I came out of the store with two porterhouse steaks, a jumbo sausage, a bag of chips, and a 24-pack of beer. A homeless man sat there and said, "I haven't eaten for two days." I told him, "I wish I had your fucking will power."

bagoh20 said...

I just heard on the radio that he struck gold. He's been offered numerous jobs including becoming the voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers.


The Crack Emcee said...

I'm the greatest recording artist of our time - the living embodiment of everything I've ever heard. Do you care? Nope.

I need to go stand by the freeway with a fucking sign.

EDH said...

A very likable personality too.

But I don't think systemmatically soliciting cars on poublic roads for the purpose of raising money should receive the same constitutional protection as it might, say, on a sidewalk.

Almost Ali said...

He's doing fine right where he is. He'd go nuts locked in a studio. Or to a steady job.

Trooper York said...

Boston Sucks.

I thought they cut off his head.

Instead they made him a homeless tramp.

shoutingthomas said...

I'm the greatest recording artist of our time - the living embodiment of everything I've ever heard. Do you care? Nope.

Crack, you could be right.

Let an old beat-up man tell you the truth.

The music biz is a crapshoot. It's a myth that the winners are so outrageously talented and that the losers are, just... well... losers. Luck is an overwhelming factor. Working your way through a maze of assholes, con artists and thieves is another factor.

But, the worst part is that the audience has a very limited interest in music. That interest lasts from the time they are 15 until maybe when they are 25. That's a ten year span in which the audience is really interested in listening and experimenting.

After that, it's 50 to 75 years of nostalgia for that brief period when the audience was young.

So, it's a crapshoot, Crack. You can't beat it. If you're over 25, you've got to accept that you didn't win the crapshoot, and that you've got to find something else to do. And, if you want to continue to be a performing musicians, you've got to find another way to do it rather than shooting for that hit record and stardom.

DKWalser said...

He does have a great voice. I hope things work out for him -- not because of the voice, just because he's another human being.

shoutingthomas said...

Crack, have you read the comments about what an asshole Chuck Berry was?

Here's the explanation, as I imagine it.

He learned to despise his audience. He despised his audience for being so damned fucking gullible and for wanting to hear nothing but the same old fucking tune he wrote 50 years ago, played note for note just like the first time.

Berry was like a whore who was sick of playing to some stupid John's icky, predictable perversion.

Whores get tired of Johns, don't they? The fucking John doesn't even have any imagination about how he wants to get off. It's always the same dull routine.

I'm not attempted to sully Berry's achievements, which were astronomical. But think about why he was such an asshole.

I've seen many musicians afflicted with Berry's hatred of the audience.

The Crack Emcee said...


Nope - what I've got don't go away. I was in the shower this morning with this thing in my head that just wouldn't stop. I smiled to myself because it's what I've got - this orchestra in my head - but my will is weak now. It's me who doesn't care as much. I just feel sorry for you guys for depriving yourselves.

But I'll record again - I'm almost out of debt and then I'll be free to do whatever I want.

You're - not you but, say, Ann - are going to be all "Damn, he was right" (about everything) but music is going to be the avenue that breaks it open. It always is.

It's what I do, above all else.

You stay up. We'll probably work together one day. I'm sure of it.

David said...

Ted Williams? Off with his head.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Cool. I hope he gets a good job from this exposure and keeps himself on a healthy and happy path in life. Also takes a bath and gets a haircut.

I remember many years ago I met with a locally famous radio personality in the Bay Area.

You do get a mental image from the voice and it was shocking to me how the person (short, balding, blondish, wimpy looking, glasses) did NOT match up with my vision that I had conjured from his voice (tall, buff, dark hair, handsome bodice ripper cover material).

All this from a voice on the radio. It was never the same listening to his program again. Jarring mental images.

The Crack Emcee said...


Yea, I used to work for Jesus Sweet - he was once a big deal on Oakland radio - and people were always shocked when they saw him:

Thick glasses, obese, and always with food on his shirt.

Luckily enough, he had a personality that made most women/girls adopt him as a kindly uncle/father figure, so he got away with it, but that first impression always got 'em.

dont tread 2012 said...

Saw him on the Yahoo homepage this morning - unbelievable. He's got a great face for radio, too. I wish him luck and commend him for kicking his alcohol and drug habit.

dont tread 2012 said...

There is already a follow up to this story. Goto this link to see the report - he's already got a haircut and numerous job offers! God bless America.


Lyle said...

Holy cow. He was not lying.

LarryTheOlder said...

And here:


Rialby said...

Today in Austin, TX, I saw a white man - presumably native born - who looked able-bodied standing by the side of the road with a sign that said, "There are no jobs".

What a douche.

El Presidente said...

Hired by the Cleveland Cavaliers:


Yeah, he is taking his talents to Cleveland.

4rc said...

he does have a pretty good radio voice. Maybe he could do something on sports

shoutingthomas said...

Hope he can handle the stress of all the demands and attention.

I hope to be proven wrong, but the inability to handle those things is often what sends people off to drinking and drugging.

God Bless him, I hope he's got it together.

Indigo Red said...

Forty years ago when I was a teen, my godfather, a radio station owner, told me I had a golden radio voice. Nothing ever came of it. Maybe it was because I never was a homeless alcoholic drug addict. Apparently I lived my life all wrong.

gottaworkfromhome said...

Go Ted, Great life changing story. He should end up being successful.
Those of you who are trying to find a job, especially work from home jobs. You can be a overnight success by helping us fight two cancers the unemployment cancer and deadly disease cancer.
We need celebrity power to help raise one million dollars for cancer and register one million virtual agents.

Chip Ahoy said...


Video taken down, here's another.

Speaking of bums, this morning I was walking behind a strange fellow for a block, keeping myself a distance for observation and amusement. He appeared decently dressed, nice shoes anyway, that's what I go by. His coat was half on half off with that jaunty off the shoulder careless carefree look so difficult for the self-aware to achieve. But the thing that got me was the lit cigarette in one hand that was never lifted for a puff -- a cigarette held to complete burning but never once smoked.

murdoc said...

I personally think there's a negative side to the attention that he's getting!