Saturday, May 23, 2009

Voice of the people

The Chicago Tribune calls the “letters to the editor” section of the paper “Voice of the People”.

A musical version of “the voice of the people” has been making the rounds recently on the internet. If you haven’t seen the YouTube clip of a group called Vocapeople yet, I have attached the link below for your viewing pleasure:

Although I DO enjoy listening to them, what REALLY fascinates me is the full range of sounds that they produce during their performance.

Not only do these folks perform a cappella (no instruments) they somehow manage to mimic the sound of instruments with their voices.

I first joined Toastmasters International in 1982 (during Ronald Reagan’s first term), which heightened my interest in what the human voice is capable of.

The Toastmaster organization was founded in 1924, and has since trained MILLIONS of people (including me) on how to get more comfortable with public speaking.

If you are interested in improving your public speaking ability, but don’t want to make a long term time commitment, another option is a company called The Sound Center, which was founded by my friend Michelle Eppley, who I met through the Naperville Chamber of Commerce. According to Michelle, April 16, 2009 was National Voice Day.

In addition to Vocapeople, another example of a cappella singing is barbershop quartet music.

When I lived in Wisconsin, I briefly provided insurance for The Society for the Preservation of Barbershop Quartets when it was based in Kenosha, Wisconsin (the group moved to Nashville a few years ago). Although it’s an interesting musical genre, the truth is that barbershop quartet music can best be described as … old .. and .. slow.

The first barbershop quartet dates back to around 1900, and the “revival” period runs from 1940 to the present day.

One example of the genre is the clip shown below, which was actually performed by ONE indivudual named Dan:

Although Geico has been connected lately with the “caveman” commercials, my all time favorite Geico commercial is the one shown below:

Michael Winslow is the guy who does the crazy sound effects in the commercial. Although he is far from a household name, he is probably best known for the work he did for the movie “Police Academy”.

Female sirens have been around since the time of Greek mythology.

What I discovered about a week ago is that my DAUGHTER is a female siren. Unlike the sirens of Green mythology, she doesn’t cause sailors to come to harm.

Her special talent is that she has mastered the technique of imitating the sound of the siren used on Chicago police cars.

As we bicycled through the Uptown area of Chicago recently, her
“areeeee whoop whoop” siren call cleared the intersections all along the route

Rich Little is famous for his impersonations of various political figures:

A fairly LONG version of some of his impersonations is attached below:

In recent years, Rich has been dubbed “the man of a thousand voices”, a title once held by the late Mel Blanc.

At this point, though, all that I can add is this:

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