Vocal memories

Do you wish you had a memorable voice?  Me too.  Come to think it, maybe we both already do

Did you know that our amazing brain starts learning even before we’re born?  Researchers have determined that infants are able to hear their mother’s voice while they are in the womb, and will react to that voice more than anyone else immediately after birth.

I can’t remember that far back, but I’m sure when I was a toddler I was able to pick my mother and father out in a crowd just by hearing them.  And being fortunate enough to have enjoyed knowing all four of my grandparents, I can still hear how they sounded whenever I think about them.

What other voices can I remember?  That of my first grade teacher, Miss Blume, and most of my other elementary school teachers.  Strangely, I don’t remember what my kindergarten and third grade teachers sounded like, although I can see their faces even now.  But I can remember the voices of the rest of them, from middle school through high school, and maybe even more so those of my instructors at Ohio State University.

I can still hear many voices from our first church, including those of our pastor from when I was in 4th grade through 7th grade, and another gentleman with a deep gravely voice who used to read a story each year at our Easter sunrise service.  And there one guy in the choir who I never heard actually sing:  whenever he was given a solo, he would speak it, with an understated voice and very effective timing.

The great sportscasters of my youth – Ray Scott, Vin Scully, Curt Gowdy, Lindsey Nelson.  I remember exactly how they sounded, but what I wouldn’t give to hear them live once more.

When my sons were infants, those tiny voices imprinted themselves in my cerebral cortex forever.  It’s amazing how much power those voices had over me and my wife!

At the 2016 Midwest Voiceover Conference in Columbus OH, I was honored to speak one-on-one with Rodney Saulsberry, Joe Cipriano, and J. Michael Collins.  It was one thing to hear how they sounded over Skype or on Youtube, but to hear them in person?  Talking to me personally?  Save that to the hard drive, and make a back-up copy, brain.

Is my voice memorable?  I’m not sure.  Maybe it’s unforgettable, although that could be a good thing or a bad thing!  I do know that people I have come up to me at games where I’m the public-address announcer, and tell me they didn’t know I was there, but when they heard the loudspeaker, they knew it had to be me.  And I’ve had the reverse happen, with folks coming up to me at the shopping mall after hearing me in conversation with a store clerk, and say they recognized my voice from a football or basketball game.

That’s a sobering thought, when you think about it.  The question we all have to ask ourselves is, when folks remember how we sound, is it because we were giving it our best effort and content?

What about you, the reader?  How many voices can you personally remember from your past?  What are some of the more memorable voices you can recall?  If you’d like to share, please click on Leave A Reply in the upper right to post a comment.  (NOTE:  please, no spam or advertising messages, those will be deleted with extreme prejudice)

That’s all for now.  Until next time, remember that we all have memorable voices in some way, so we should always keep our best voice forward – someone may be listening!  Take care.

   -Z-

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