I was thinking back as to what drew me to voice over. From some of my earliest memories, I was inspired by the sounds on the television and on the radio.
It seems back then; everything sounded SO good. At any rate, the one voice that stands above all the rest--the one that seemed so alluring and yet difficult to find the source.
I remember hearing his voice for about 2 years before I finally figured out his name. As a kid, I wrote to many an ad agency and production company every time I heard him. They all said they were not allowed to discuss it and politely dismissed my juvenile letter.
Finally, one answered back. I remember opening the letter as I rushed home from school. I was pleased to find out the voice belonged to none other than a man by the name of Ralph Bell.
Little did I know at that time, he was already very familiar to old time radio enthusiasts as a multi-character actor. He had a LONG list of credits. The commercial voice overs were more or less a footnote in a mighty career in both radio and television.
His voice endures. Nothing at all like it today. Not at all. It still provides me with inspiration almost daily. I was so fortunate to stumble across his commercials--a crossroads that would lead me to a glorious path of doing something I truly enjoy.
Happy birthday to Ralph this Nov. 27th 2018 on what would have been his 103rd birthday! I hope that he inspires you as well.
Below is an old demo that was used by his then agent, Tranum, Robertson & Hughes. Below that, a YouTube link to one of many of his iconic commercials. If you have any media on Ralph that you would like to share, please pass them along to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pamela Norman, a truly gifted graphic designer, has created a wonderful set of collector cards for those of us interested in CBS' Radio Mystery Theatre. The series highlights the true artists behind this wonderful OTR show. Ralph Bell of course did a marvelous job during his tenure. She created the beautiful card below in his honor.
Please check out her full collection at: