America's love affair with the microphone has been an ongoing thing. We all remember standing in front of the mirror with a brush and belting out our favorite tunes.
The annals of 1950's America tells of how Orson Welles caused a panic in America with his radio broadcast of War of The Worlds. I had a friend when I was younger who wanted to be a radio DJ she would tape her voice on her tape recorder imitating Boston DJ's.
Now I find instead of listening to the top 25 countdown on the radio, or listen to my favorite 'soca' tunes on CD I listen to WEEI sorts radio in Boston.
Yeah I know I am not your typical gal!
Now we have shock jocks like Howard Stearn, GOP right wingers like Rush Limbaugh, all names the casual person may know. America listens and is captivated by these voices.
Here is a list of my top ten nominees for the Golden Microphone Award. This award is in tribute to broadcasters who are top notch personalities in their field..
Tommy Heinsohn is a 10 time NBA Champion, a 6 time NBA all-star, an NBA HOFer who spent all of his NBA career with one team the Boston Celtics. After his playing days Tommy dabbled in coaching then transitioned to the broadcast booth.
He started out with CBS which was short lived. He then began commentating in 1981 for his beloved Celtics.
An unabashed 'homer' Tommy will tell it like is and has seen it all in his NBA career. Though he tends to babble his knowledge of the game comes out first and foremost.
He is known for such catch phrases as:
I love Wal-Tah!
Give him a Tommy Point!
The redhead from Needham (a tribute to Tommy's wife Helen who passed away in Nov 2008. R.I.P) he said this during every game before she passed away.
Tommy is also the only person who has personally been involved with everyone of the Celtics 17 championship banners. Hows that for longevity.
Chick Hearn (R.I.P)
I would be remiss if I did not mention the indefatigueable Chick Hearn, the long time Laker broadcaster. For forty two years Chick's rapid fire commentary could be heard in Laker land.
Chick won the California Broadcaster of the year award in 1995. Some of his phrases have become common language among basketball enthusiasts.
These phrases were known as chickisms:
no harm, no foul
Coop-a-loop for Michael Cooper the Laker defensive specialist in the Magic era.
Reggies' older sister Cheryl has had a distinguished career, she starred with the Magee twins at USC where she won an NCAA championship and Olympic gold in 1984. She played in the WNBA in its infancy and also coached the Phoenix franchise.
Cheryl is currently a sideline reporter for TNT, ESPN, NBATV and ABC. she also has the distinguished honor of being the first female broadcaster whose voice was used on a video game. You can hear Cheryls' voice on NBA2K9 Gatorade sideline report. Maybe they will actually use her image next year.
Bob Costas has been an anlyst for NBC since the early 1980's, his encylopedic knowledge of sports enables him to analyze and commentate on many sports. Barry Bonds once referred to him as the little midget man who knows nothing about baseball.
Chris Berman has the distinguished position of being one of the most tenured sports analysts on ESPN. You can see him on Monday Night Countdown, Sunday NFL Countdown, Baseball Tonight, The Stanley Cup Finals, U.S. Open Golf and other programming on ESPN and NBC sports.
His catch phrases include:
Harry Carey was a broadcaster for four MLB teams. He is memorialized with a statue outside of Wrigley Field.
Harry is known for his seventh inning stretch singing of "Take Me Out To The ball Game'. The story goes that the club had asked him to lead the chant during the seventh inning stretch, but declined.
One day WLAQ's Jay Scortt opened up the mike on him and he could be heard all over the ball park. The rest is major league history.
He is known for phrases such as:
All right lemme here ya! Ah one! Ah two! Ah three!
Let's get some runs!
His grandson Chip Carey took over his role when he passed away in 1998, the Carey legacy lives on.
Best known for his play-by-play call on Monday night football John Madden is a name known in football circles. He is also known for his commercial on foot fungus remover Tinactin.
Madden applied his football knowledge with EA sports producing Madden Football. This video game has been a favorite of gamers for years.
ESPN even has a reality series called Madden Nation where gamers travel on a bus in tribute to Madden's fear of flying competing against each other.
Madden is a football HOfer, a former head coach and player in the NFL.
His catch phrases known as Maddenisms while using the telestrator were:
His tradition of giving players a 'urkey leg for outstanding play during the annual Thanksgiving Day quickly faded after he retired. It just wasn't the same.
Gumbel was hired by NBC in 1975 his serious manner and voice captivated his employers and he soon landed a gig on the Today show where he co-hosted with Katie Couric.
He left the show in 1982 and moved to CBS hosting The Early Show. He left that in 2002 in a move to HBO to host Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel a show he had been hosting since 1995.
He has earned 15 sports Emmys, and a 2006 Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia University award for broadcast journalism. This was the first time in its history the award was given to a sports program.
Katie Couric is one of the most well known female broadcasters in the world of television news. Like Barbara Walters she is known for her hard hitting questions that often catch guests off guard.
Katie started her career at ABC as a desk assistant; she has won an Associated Press Award as well as an Emmy for her work.
She has filled in for Tom Brokaw, and Maria Shriver on various occasions. She joined the Today show in 1990 as national political correspondence.
Couric now has her own show on CBS as the broadcast anchor and managing editor of CBS Evening News.
Unfortunately I could not find a picture of Mr. Johnny Most without violating copyright laws.
Johnny Most was the raspy voiced chain smoking commentator in the old Boston Gah-den. He and Red Auerbach were the only ones that could walk in todays' TD Northbank Gah-den and be allowed to smoke.
He is the only color analyst that I know off that has had a cd made of his phrases. It's called Voice of The Celtics: Johnny Mosts Most famous Calls.
Just like Tommy Heinhson any foul on his beloved Celtics was taken as a personal assault. He called Rick Mahorn and Jeff Ruland Mcfilthy and McNasty.
Wikipedia states: his broadcasts began with "Hi there once again, this is Johnny Most (high above/at) courtside from (venue)where the Boston Celtics and (foe) get set to do basketball battle." When sponsor tag lines didn't get in the way, he ended broadcasts with "Johnny Most, bye for now."
He retired in 1990 due to health concerns and died in 1993. His microphone was reitred and permanently encased in a Celtic Green case at the old Boston Garden.
The most famous catch phrase which can be heard on NBA classics often:
Havlicek stole the Ball! Its all over! its all over!!
Johnny, this award is for you.!!!!