Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Still Crazy Bob After All These Years

My daily local talk radio listening originates almost exclusively from the 970 and 1450 points on the AM dial. Leach and Madonia in the morning, Molson and Lee during lunchbreak, and Wilson and the Pressbox* on the drive home. Absent from this slate is any programming by 1240, WTAX**. Today, it occurred to me why this is.

Everyone at that station seems to have affected that exaggerated, "golly-gee it's great talking to you" radio voice that drives me mad. They accent every third or fourth word by raising their voice a couple of octaves and sort of hiccuping the first syllabel out.

Bob Murray is definitely the worst offender. Listen closely to his delivery; there's more than a little Harry Caray in him. Sometimes it even sounds as if there is little of what Harry had in him (lots of Budweiser) in Bob as well.

I know he's this town's elder statesman in broadcast radio and I ought not disparage his good works, but he doesn't seem able to shake his Crazy Bob personae despite the change in format. His voice is much better suited for spinning records in the 50s than it does conducting interviews today. It's like listening to another Murray, Bill, do his Jerry Aldini character while interviewing the head of the local dog shelter. To be fair to Bob, however, Colin Cowherd of ESPN radio is much more annoying.

There was an interesting article on Slate.com a while back that discussed how advertisers are getting away from using traditional, "voice of god" baritones for voice-over work and are turning to celebrities instead. They aren't trying to capitalize on voice recognition, they are doing it because actors are professionals who know how to affect a relaxed, real person delivery and they've found that listeners respond to it better.

I think they are on to something. Bigger-than-life voices can play well in parody or satire, but on talk radio, I believe that it's better to tone it down a bit.

*Don Trello and Larry Tate who host the Pressbox on Mondays and Tuesdays are beginning to gain cult status with me. When I am to able to figure out the essence of why they are so damn entertaining, despite the fact that I'm not a big baseball fan, I'll blog about it so you too might know. Seriously, they are funny.

**Thanks for the correction Russ.

1 comment:

Dan M. said...

Thanks for the venue.

Try listening to "Vonda" from WQQL ("COOL 101") read the news. Even if you are not a violent person it makes you have visions of punching her as hard as you can. If a plane crashes and kills 112 people she can make it sound as if it is a wacky circus act.

Please God, please. Make the bad radio personality go away.