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Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Jim Dale: Guinness World Record for 146 Voices in an Audiobook

Video: Jim Dale reads at a Barnes & Noble party in New York for the release of Deathly Hallows.

The Seattle Times recently wrote about The Shoe Bird, a children’s story by Eudora Welty, which has been made into an audiobook with a score by Seattle Symphony composer-in-residence Samuel Jones and narration by Jim Dale, the voice of all the Harry Potter audiobooks in the U.S.

Narrator Jim Dale got his inspiration from the early days of radio, the 1940s and ‘50s. “Arturo the parrot has a voice very similar to an English comedian, Terry Scott. It’s an attractive, expressive voice, and I can do lots of things with it, hit high notes and low notes.” Dale’s vocal characterizations blend with the score seamlessly — all the more astonishing considering that he often lays down his tracks in only one take.

Dale, who holds a Guinness world record for the 146 voices he brought to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, had never heard his own work until The Shoe Bird. “It’s the only one I’ve ever listened to,” he admits. “I was so thrilled with the music, I played it back. And I sent my five grandchildren copies. They adore it.”

Read the full article.

Dale brings his astonishing vocalizations to the Children’s Reading Series at the Y on November 22 to read from The Shoe Bird.

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