In this photo taken in late December, 2010, Ted Williams holds a sign advertising his smooth radio voice near a highway ramp in Columbus, Ohio. (AP / Columbus Dispatch, Doral Chenoweth III)
(Photo credit to http://ottawa.ctv.ca)
Video with Ted Williams Amazing Golden-Voice
Video Showcasing Ted Williams
Ted Williams' personal life and career in radio was destroyed by addictions to alcohol and drugs. But his fortunes appear to be quickly turning around.
He was contacted Wednesday by the Cavaliers who offered him a post that could include announcing at their arena in downtown Cleveland. The offer included mortgage payments to cover his housing, Williams said.
That job offer and a number of others came about after a videographer at The Columbus Dispatch newspaper posted a 97-second clip of Ted Williams on Tuesday, which showed him begging for money with a sign that read: "I'm an ex-radio announcer who has fallen on hard times."
"When you're listening to nothing but the best of oldies you're listening to Magic 98.9," a long-haired, disheveled-looking Williams booms during the video. "And we'll be back with more right after these words."
He was born in New York and fell in love with radio at age 14, Williams goes on to explain. He went to school for voice training but struggled with alcohol, drugs "and a few other things" after years in the business.
But he's been sober for two years now, he said, and is looking for work.
Williams' deep baritone and his personal troubles literally made him a sensation overnight. One posting of the video on YouTube has already generated six million hits.
Then Wednesday morning Williams found himself on a local Columbus radio show, looking clean-cut and wearing a button-down shirt.
"I'll do anything for a meal and if it happens to be voice work, God bless my soul," he told listeners on WNCI 97.9. "This is just outrageous."
He then fielded calls from interested employers. They included MTV, and two broadcasting veterans who invited him to appear on a reality show they're filming in Los Angeles called "America's Next Voice."
Williams is also being sought after by NFL Films.
"It's that voice," said Kevin McLoughlin, director of post-production films for the NFL.
"When I heard him tell his story, I said, 'That's what we do. This guy can tell a story,'" McLoughlin told The Associated Press. "Somehow, some way, I need to get a demo with him."
The on-air interview in Columbus also yielded a few more details about Williams' life.
He said he has nine children, seven daughters and two sons, as well as "many" grandchildren.
He began to struggle with alcoholism in 1996 while working at a jazz radio station, he said, and would often show up late for work. Then he started using drugs like marijuana and cocaine.
"One led to another," he said.
Williams first entered Alcoholics Anonymous in 1997 but relapsed several times.
Despite those hard times, "the Lord didn't take my voice away," he said, adding that he's still taking sobriety "one day at a time."