THE UNFORGETTABLE HARRY KALAS
Following the overwhelming outpouring of love by his fans and the classy tributes presented by the Phillies organization, there is little more we could add to enhance the memory of Harry Kalas. But Harry was very much a part of the Baker Sound family, and the void left here by his untimely passing on April 13th makes it impossible for us to allow the moment to pass unmentioned.
Harry Kalas’ association with Baker Sound predates any of our current staff. In recent years he recorded much of his well-known work for advertisers (including Campbell’s Soups, Coors Light and films such as Leatherheads) here at Baker, as well as narrations for Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl series and countless other projects. Harry was last with us in March, when he voiced Phillies Memories—The Greatest Moments in Philadelphia Phillies History for MLB Productions. We can only confirm what so many others have said about Harry’s professionalism, kindness and generosity.
Harry’s arrival at Baker was invariably announced by his friendly, “Good afternoon, Miss Ellen!”—that unmistakable voice reverberating down the hallways. Clients and voice talent working on other projects would slip out of their studios to greet him with a handshake, and Harry was never too busy to oblige. Music Director Chuck Butler was twenty-three years old when he began working at Baker: “I looked up and there’s Harry Kalas—the voice I had revered since I was a kid. I was overwhelmed, but Harry couldn't have been more gracious; he chatted with me as though we were old pals.” Baker owner Rick DiDonato recalls asking Harry to sign an autograph for a sick friend: “After I explained the situation, Harry asked for my friend’s address. A few days later my friend received a beautiful letter and photo signed by Harry wishing him well.” Engineer Jeff King recorded Harry in his final visit to Baker, calling it “an honor and a privilege” to have worked with The Man. Jeff speaks for all of us when he notes, “Harry’s voiceover work in the studio was as timeless as hearing him at the ballpark.”
We all miss Harry more than words can express, but the beat must go on—and that's exactly what Harry would want. So with that, here's the latest news from Baker Sound.
Despite the sagging economy, the advertising world remains busy. Sixers star Andre Iguodala slam-dunked a radio spot for Nike in Studio A. Mint Advertising produced new radio for New Jersey-based Ocean First Bank. Oxford Communications produced new radio for Hollywood Tans, including a MONSTER TRACKS reinvention of their existing jingle. Caspari McCormick returned to produce new spots for Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, again with our MONSTER TRACKS original music division scoring the familiar Jefferson theme. With summer just around the corner, Signature Communications dropped by to produce new TV and radio for the Wildwoods, and Allebach Communications created a new radio campaign for Hatfield Ham Steaks. Speaking of summer, the Phillies have once again asked us to handle recording and mixing for their 2009 advertising. Long-time friend Gene Shay produced ads for the 26th Annual National Night Out. Renowned chef Delilah Winder cooked something up for LACTAID milk. And finally, Baker recorded several spots for Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s reelection bid, also including original music by MONSTER TRACKS, for The Campaign Group.
In other news, comedienne Wanda Sykes was in the house, voicing some lines as her character Bessy the Cow for Nickelodeon’s animated series Back at the Barnyard. Boxer Marvis Frazier, son of the great Joe Frazier, knocked us out with his voice work for a new documentary titled Joe Frazier—When the Smoke Clears for Riverhorse Productions. Local voice artist Jennie Grace did some work for Sesame Workshop, and Mike Iaconelli was back to narrate new episodes of his show City Limits Fishing on Versus network. We're also continuing regular work on shows including PBS’ History Detectives, and Operation Salvage on DIY network.
Have a great summer! Go Phils!
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