The Legendary voice of TV, Radio, Commercials & Film (& Ghoulardi)
|NEW YORK TIMES - February 2, 2004|
|Legendary Voice for
Hire. No Live Gigs.
By DAVID F. GALLAGHER
Before he was an announcer for ABC in the 1970's and 80's, known for the way he stretched out the "love" in "The Love Boat," Ernie Anderson was best known as Ghoulardi, the host of a horror movie show that was a big television hit in Cleveland. Mr. Anderson died in 1997 at the age of 73, but since then his career has taken another spooky turn.
At www.ernieanderson.com, radio stations can hire Mr. Anderson's voice in the form of tag lines he recorded for use with station identifications and promotions. The 135 available clips include "This is real radio," "If it's too loud, you're too old" and "Broadcasting live." By paying a licensing fee of $2,000, stations can use 20 clips for a year.
The site is the creation of Adam L. Goodman of Weston, Conn., who also runs VoiceHunter.com, which promotes the services of living announcers.
Mr. Goodman said he set up ernieanderson.com five years ago with the cooperation of Mr. Anderson's agent, Rita Vennari, and his family, who saw it as a way to honor his memory and to discourage unauthorized uses of his voice.
"This was one of those rare voice talents that had a sound that was so popular that it becomes a compliment" to keep it going, Mr. Goodman said. "He was the king of that industry."
Ms. Vennari said she thought Mr. Anderson would have approved of the site. "Ernie would be laughing,'' she said. "He had a big sense of humor."
Several stations have used the clips, Mr. Goodman said, although the only current licensee is WHTZ, a Top 40 station in New York known as Z100.
A spokeswoman for Z100, Josefa Paganuzzi, said that during the station's 20th anniversary celebrations last August, it used some classic bits that Mr. Anderson recorded for the station while he was alive, but that none were being broadcast now. "He's definitely part of the station's heritage," the spokeswoman said.
Until last week, the Web site included a form that stations could use to request customized lines, to be digitally assembled from bits of 20 years of recordings of Mr. Anderson. That service is no longer offered.
"We tried to jury-rig lines, but it never sounded right," Mr. Goodman said. "Most of the business was people asking for him to say stuff that he's never said before, which was impossible."
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