10 September 2013

Best voices from television

Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale.

You might know them better as Perry and Della. That is, Perry Mason and Della Street.

And if you don't know them, come on! OK, fine, I'm old.

I used to watch reruns of the original Perry Mason after school. I was somewhere between 4th and 6th grade.

After my parents told me that artists are poor when I was in elementary school, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to be like Perry. His clients are always innocent and Perry always wins his case (except maybe for 1 episode).

In 6th or 7th grade, we did a mock trial relating to the Boston Tea Party in my Social Studies class. I got to be one of the lawyers and thought I had it nailed because historically, my side won. But my opponent was the most popular boy in my class and there were 3 boys on the jury and 2 girls.

The vote followed gender lines. I lost.

After we finished the mock trial, our teacher did a show-of-hands poll for which side each of us thought should have won. All but one not-so-bright guy raised their hands to indicate my side should have won. Even the boys on the jury who'd minutes before voted against my side now voted for it.

After that sexist display, I was done with wanting to a be a lawyer. Naturally, my opponent became one.

Anyway, after all these years, I stumbled across late night reruns of the original Perry Mason as well as some Perry Mason TV movies that were made in the 80s and early 90s. I think the latter may have been on the Hallmark Channel. Some are better than others but I could listen to Della and Perry's voices all day long. Barbara Hale's voice has only gotten better with age and Raymond Burr's sounds as strong as ever.

A year ago on TTaT: Speaking of Beauty...

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