Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Allen Swift, 1924-2010.

Allen Swift, a voice actor who worked in over 30,000 commercials (not a typo) died on April 18th, The New York Times reported today.

If you grew up in New York back in the 1960s and 70s, you heard Swift as the voice of Vita Herring's "Beloved Herring Maven." I am in touch with Michael Solow, son of Marty Solow who wrote those spots, but to date haven't gotten my hands on either scripts or recordings of those great old spots.

I never worked with Swift, but I did work with one of his peers, Jackson Beck. Beck was the voice of the opening sequence of the old "Superman" TV show. The guy who said "Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, etc." And also the narrator in Woody Allen's "Take the Money and Run."

When I worked with Beck, he made me print my scripts in large type because his eyes were just about gone. He stepped into a booth too small for his large frame, chain smoking cigarettes. He came out a few minutes later having nailed my spots. Smoke preceded him out of the booth.

He waited till the air had cleared and then he said in his great stentorian voice, "Everything I know and love I owe to cigarettes."

If anyone has memories of Swift, I'm sure Ad Aged readers would love it if you shared.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was once told that if I drank more whiskey and smoked more cigars, I'd make a great voice-over artist.