Tuesday, May 24, 2005
A Filigreed Samovar Owned by the Tsars
Thurl Ravenscroft died Sunday at age 91. He had one of the most unforgettable voices of all time, a deep bass voice that was simultaneously beautiful and funny; it was a great deep, sonorous voice, but he could also use it as a sly parody of the stereotypical deep, sonorous voices of movie narrators and the like. As a terrific singer, he was much in demand on movie soundtracks; the title of this post comes from the one line he sings in the "Portobello Road" number from Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Or in Stan Freberg's parody of "Sh-Boom," Ravenscroft is the one R&B singer who insists on singing the lyrics comprehensibly ("Whatsamatter, man, don't you dig gibberish?"). Of course his most famous singing credit is "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," and his most famous speaking credit is Tony the Tiger, but his voice was everywhere, and will continue to be for as long as these films, shows and records are available.