Sunday, September 12, 2010

Voices in Your Head

You've been hearing Paul Frees' voice all your life. He's Boris Badenov. He's the narrator of Dudley Do-Right and Fractured Flickers. He's the voice in the old ride at Disneyland--the one that shrank you to the size of the nucleus of an atom (Monsanto's greatest technological triumph, if you ask me).

Maybe you're more familiar with Mel Blanc, who was nearly every voice of every character in every Loony Tunes cartoon: Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Wile E. Coyote... check his Wikipedia page, he was all of them.

Being a voice actor has always sounded to me like a great job. If you're interested, we have some books at the library you'll want to read:

Here's Mel Blanc's autobiography:

That's Not All Folks

The photo above is the vinyl album (does anybody remember albums?), Paul Frees and the Poster People. It's one of the great recordings of all time, imho, (Paul singing "Hey Jude" in the voice of Peter Lorre should not be missed) and it's not out on CD. If you still have a turntable you can ask for it through interlibrary loan, but there are only three in libraries worldwide. Paul's biography is easier to get, though, Welcome, Foolish Mortals (that's the first thing you hear when you enter the Haunted Mansion ride at Disney, and yep, that's Paul Frees' voice) by Ben Ohmart. It's an interesting look at a kind of crazy guy working in Hollywood in the 40s 50s and 60s.

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