People are surrounded by media, much of which includes voice over, and first encounter voice overs at a very young age.
What’s the first voice over that you recall hearing?
Find out what some voice actors have to say about their earliest voice over memories and add your story as a comment in today’s VOX Daily.
Voice Overs That Become Part of Us
If you can go back in time to the first voice over you ever heard, or at least the one that sticks with you to this day as the most memorable, what would it be?
I asked a number of voice actors via our Voices.com Facebook fan page about their first recollection of voice over’s influence in their lives and discovered the following:
“Mel Blanc, to be sure!”
— Abel Kellam
“Well, aside from television commercials which weren’t really on my radar at that age I guess it had to be James Earl Jones as Darth Vader, although I would not have known what to call it then…”
— Tyler Bamhill
“All those great voices on Rocky and Bullwinkle. They turned me on to character voices, as a kid. I grew up listening to those great voices of Boris and Natasha, the squirrel, and the professor. We had great fun playing the same games and adventures and using those voices — even as kids! … Those voices brought those places and people alive. Life would be so much poorer without those talents.”
— Carolyn Collins Petersen
“The first voice over I heard that really stood out was Mitch Craig on a radio station sweeper in Charlotte, NC, on a hot summer day in the 1980’s. It was crisp, clear, heavy, and booming like thunder with a slight hint of reverb, and it sent chills down my spine as I thought: ‘This must be the voice of GOD!'”
— Kahuna Ric
“Mel Blanc doing Bugs Bunny. Then, all the other Warner Bros. characters. As a kid, I used to try to imitate the characters. I was fascinated, even then, with the concept of creating a personality with just a voice. His talent was/is awesome!”
— Fred Symington
“Thurl Ravencroft – It was astounding to me that a voice a distinct as his singing ‘You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch’ which became a beloved classic was not credited for his amazing work – it showed me that it wasn’t about getting credit for your work, but instead was all about the creation of a quality product for the benefit of the audience.”
— Sean Sullivan
“The first voice over actor that really broke through the cartoons for me was June Foray as Natasha and Rocky J. Squirrel. Maybe it’s because she was a woman, or because I just loved the voices, or because I learned to replicate them, I don’t know, but she was the first voice over I really noticed and fell in love with. It was such a thrill to meet her in person at VOICE… something I never thought would actually happen. (as it’s been said before, commercial VOs didn’t make the radar till I was much older).”
— Moe Egan
“I have to speak to the cartoons from Saturday morning television, Mel Blanc primarily. There is also the voices of Batman, Robin, Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman from the ‘Super Friends’ cartoons. Sadly, I have inflicted them on my kids while I cringed at how cheesy shows were.”
— George Washington III
“I loved the voices from the original He-man cartoon: John Erwin, Alan Oppenheimer, Lou Scheimer, Linda Gary and Erika Scheimer. I also remember a recording way back of James Earl Jones reading ‘The Raven’ by E.A. Poe. I thought at the time ‘No one will EVER read this story this well ever ever ever.'”
— Elie Hirshman
“I would have to go with Bugs Bunny cartoons (Mel Blanc all encompassing) and my first cartoon Movie in the theatres that I saw was the first re-release of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs… loved Snow White’s singing… but the witch scared me and I made my mother take me out of the theatre… I was only 5. Finally got to see the whole movie when I was 28.”
“Like everyone it was the cartoon voices of Mel Blanc, June Foray, Daws Butler, Don Messick, etc. But also (and I’m not embarrassed to say it) hearing Rod Roddy on The Price Is Right. When he rambled off those product descriptions so smoothly and flawlessly… I thought that was the coolest and wondered how I could get a job like that. Now I know.”
What About You?
What was your first voice over memory?
Looking forward to hearing from you!