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An Evening With The Golden Voice Of The Valley

By Staff | Mar 25, 2009

The radio has been a part of my life almost since I can remember hearing.

In my very young days, my dad listened to the news every night. When in the car, we all listened to the weekly or nightly radio shows.

In our fishing cabin on Middle Island we had a big, battery powered radio.

No one had even heard of television. To many I suppose that would seem like the dark ages.

Many years later I became even more aware of radio. My son, Mark, started his career at the age of 12. He signed on at a small radio station in Kansas. That was in the early 70’s. Since that time, he has always been heard on the airwaves somewhere.

He now is an Associated Press national newsman in Washington. Yes, broadcasting with a Golden Voice that has just improved over the years.

When I moved back home to West Virginia, I found a local station that played my kind of music, “the oldies”.

I remember the first Sunday evening I listened to Magic 99.5 FM. I was shocked to hear a “golden voice” on that station. Carman Harman is the man with that voice.

Not only did I love the music, but also his voice was so smooth, one would have thought he had just had honey.

Having observed my own son, Mark, I know how much practice it takes to keep those throat muscles relaxed. Using that radio voice is often so different from the voiced used in conversation.

Strangely enough, Carman was signing on about the same age as Mark did.

Radio broadcasting has changed so much over the years. Since the time that Carman and Mark signed on in different parts of the country, radio programming has changed as much as their voices have. Then one person literally did everything on small stations: from putting on the old records, given to the stations by music companies, to doing their own commercials live, to making sure there was no dead air time.

I spent an evening with “the golden voice”, Carman Harman, at the radio station here.

How things have changed! To say I was shocked would be putting it mildly.

I saw technology I didn’t know existed. Carman’s equipment at that station was so precise that he could see exactly how much time was left on the song he had selected from a computer program.

From another computer program he could find almost any song that had been recorded. With the click of the mouse he could select songs in advance that could be played without any more help from him. The commercials had been programmed in; and only needed the click of the mouse to start the first of several to go out over the airwaves.

Carman’s Sunday evening radio program is broadcast live to the degree that he takes requests over the phone from his listeners. Again, the computer responds to his search for that particular song, with one click of that mouse again.

His voice has been trained to respond with great gusto when he speaks on the air. It catches you up in that gusto.

Another thing that has amazed me in broadcasting on radio is trying to match a face with the voice.

I well remember Mark was so young that his female listeners would be amazed when they learned how young he was.

I had met Carman at one of the Ebert Brothers Shows. He is usually the master of ceremony there. He does such a great job at that “gig” too. He projects that same enthusiasm with his golden voice at the microphone in a different surrounding.

The owner of this radio station, Randy J, contributes to the relaxed atmosphere. Randy does a lot for our community in contributions, as well as keeping that station a pleasant one. He is quite a nice man also.

Carman had only great praise for Randy, saying he was the best person he had ever worked for.

I thank Carman for allowing me to sit in on his Sunday night program of oldies music, but his enthusiastic personality too.

For me it brought back so many memories of the nights I had listened to my own son, Mark. Not only did I like his voice also, but also it was quite comforting to a mother, to know where her son was every evening. I still get that rush when I get a video emailed to me of a news clip he had done for Associated Press video news.

The Ohio Valley is quite lucky that Carman Harman has chosen to stay in the valley with his golden voice.