Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

"The Voice of Doom"

Many actors branch out from TV and movie roles into the music world. Some audiences recognize unexpectedly the melodic potential of actors who take on unusual musical parts both singing and speaking. Today's spotlight shines on a well-known Canadian newscaster and actor you may not recognize also as one who recorded a No.1 hit. He was known as the "Voice of Canada". For those of us who grew up in the 60s, we remember him well as Ben Cartwright on the Western TV hit Bonanza. Knowing him as a lot of us do, a puzzled look might appear at the reference to him as "The Voice of Doom". This, of course, does refer to his singing voice!


Lorne Greene, born Lyon Himan "Chaim" Greene on February 12, 1915 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Greene began acting while attending Canada's Queen's University and after graduation got a job in radio broadcasting. His rich, deep, authoritarian voice quickly propelled him to prominence as Canada's top newscaster. He left Canada in the early 50s for a film career in Hollywood, California. It was not long before he began appearing regularly in television, films and on radio. His greatest successes came in two television series, the long-running Western Bonanza (1959), in which he played the patriarch of a wealthy frontier family, and the science fiction series Battlestar Galactica (1978). In 1969, he was awarded Officer of the Order of Canada for his services to the performing arts and community. Lorne Greene died at age 72 of pneumonia following heart surgery on September 11, 1987 in Santa Monica, California.

In May 2006, Greene became one of the first four entertainers to ever be honoured by Canada Post by being featured on a 51c postage stamp.
Why the nickname "The Voice of Doom"...
Greene was assigned as the principal newsreader on the CBC National News. The CBC gave him the nickname "The Voice of Canada"; however, his role in delivering distressing war news in sonorous tones with his deep, resonant voice following Canada's entry into World War II in 1939 caused many listeners to call him "The Voice of Doom", particularly since he was delegated the assignment of reading the dreaded list of soldiers killed in the war. During his radio days, Greene invented a stopwatch that ran backwards. It helped radio announcers gauge how much time was left, while speaking. He also narrated documentary films, such as the National Film Board of Canada's Fighting Norway (1943). In 1957 Greene played the prosecutor in Peyton Place. Source: wikipedia.org
December 5, 1964, Lorne Greene star of the NBC TV show 'Bonanza' was at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Ringo', making him the second Canadian (after Paul Anka) to have a US No.1 single. The song was a No.22 hit in the UK.
  And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...
30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s on into the 21st century!