What a voice. It was that booming baritone voice that compelled millions of viewers to watch the video of Ted Williams, a homeless panhandler who is sometimes stationed at the highway ramp in Columbus, Ohio, offering up his radio-friendly pipes to idling commuters in exchange for spare change. Holding just a handwritten cardboard sign with the opening sentence, “I have a God given gift of voice,” Williams was filmed on a whim by a Columbus Dispatch videographer. When prompted to say something, the awe-inspring Williams belts out:
“When you’re listening to nothing but the best of oldies, you’re listening to Magic 98.9!”
Smiling and beaming with pride, Williams says thank you several times then says a few more lines in that great radio voice. The 97-second clip – appeared Monday on Dispatch.com and was later posted to YouTube by an anonymous user who hoped of finding the talent a place to call home. The action of uploading the video to YouTube action gave Williams a worldwide platform, as heartstrings were pulled and radio and television companies across the country clamored to reach out to him. Suggestions poured in as did and job opportunities with MTV, ESPN, The National Football League, West coast talent agents, syndicated talk shows and even the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly want to offer him a full-time announcing gig – and a home.
As amazing as this story is, the Internet fame is already taking its toll on Williams as he says in an interview: ”I feel like Susan Boyle, or Justin Bieber. It’s almost choking me.” What a difference a day makes, 24 hour little hours, thank you Internet!