A Look into the History of the Voice-Over Industry

Did you know that the history of the voice-over business started with weather reporting? Yes, that’s right. More than 100 years ago, a Canadian inventor and mathematician Reginald Fessenden delivered the first voice-over weather report test for the United States Weather Bureau. A couple of decades later, Walt Disney and Warner Bros. popularized cartoons and the voice actors behind the characters. The industry also saw several prominent voice acting greats in the persons of Mel Blanc and Don LaFontaine.

From the 1900s to the present times, the history of the audio-recording industry has definitely come a long way. Here’s a quick look of the timeline of the voice-over industry: 

The Man Who Started It All — 1900’s

As stated above, it was Canadian Reginald Fessenden who recorded the first audio weather report as a test when he went to work for the weather agency in the U.S. An avid fan of inventor Alexander Graham Bell, Fessenden looked for a way to communicate remotely through a wireless set-up. His efforts paid off when he became the first radio announcer around Christmastime of the year 1906, hosting a Christmas program of music and messages that was broadcasted to ships that had already set sail during that time.

The Legend of Mel Blanc — 1936 – 1960’s 

Anyone who’s been seriously working as a voice talent will get to know the legacy of Mel Blanc at one point or another. He was known as a comedian and a talented, highly-versatile voice personality who worked for Warner Bros. as a cartoon voice. While Walt Disney holds the prestige as having introduced the first cartoon voice in 1928, Mel Blanc is considered to be the first outstanding voice actor in the history of the industry. Best known for his moniker, “The Man of a Thousand Voices”, the versatile Blanc played voices for the characters of Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Porky Pig, the Tasmanian Devil, and many other Warner Bros. cartoon characters.

The Modern Scene — 1960’s – 2000’s 

As the need for outstanding voice actors steadily progressed, especially for projects like movie trailers, commercials, and promos, the industry also saw a growing number of professional voice artists. One of the most famous voice personalities for the modern generation is Don LaFontaine, who recorded hundreds of thousands of commercials and promos by the end of his career and death in 2008.

These days, voice actors are not only needed for English-language recordings. With Spanish considered as a world language as much as English and Chinese, the need for Spanish voice actors is also growing.

Are you in need of professional Spanish voice-over services? Get in touch with me today so we can talk more about your upcoming audio recording project!