When did Australian male voice artists start gargling with sulfuric acid? Or is it just my impression that to be a voice over guy promoting anything from a footy match to a cooking show challenge, these days you have to invoke the spirit of the late great Don La Fontaine – he of the epic movie trailer voice.
When was the last time you heard the phrase “Channel Nine dot com dot au” without the voice sounding like it had been scraped out of a primordial tar pit and lubricated with fresh gravel?
This “rasp-disease” is even affecting the aspiring youth of the voiceover world. Listen to 14 year old American Jake Foushee on Youtube! Scary Dude!
I have no doubt who is responsible for the origin of this lacerated larynx style of voiceover. Not League Legend Billy Moore. True, he originated the inspirational call of “Queenslander” and his gruff voiceovers feature on Bartercard ads written and produced at Media Group studios
The blame must be laid fairly and squarely on the tonsils of Australia’s own Big Darrell Eastlake. It was the “Big D” who introduced this element of OTT drama when he worked as the original voice for State of Origin Football.
Darrell went on to perfect those sand-papered-strains in his promo voices for the Sydney Speedway. Today he is in retirement and according to fellow sports caller Ian Maurice, the “Big D” is doing fine. However, as listeners we still have to ask do we thank him or curse him for this vocal legacy? Either way Darrell remains one of Australia’s great media personalities A fair dinkum original.
Author: Maurice Ryall, Senior Writer at Media Group
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