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Check It Out: Jim Dale


This is Jessi Wakefield with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out.

When asked, most people can give you the name of their favorite actor, or singer, or author. But how many could tell you their favorite narrator? Today I would like to shine a spotlight on my absolute favorite audiobook narrator, Jim Dale. Jim Dale is an English actor, singer, director, and Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated composer who has spent the past 65 years entertaining adults and children around the world. Yet it’s his audiobook narrations that have placed him in a category to which even other voice actors aspire.  Touted as “Bewitching, astonishing, brilliant, peerless.” Dale is the top of the top in the world of audiobook readers by given the rarified status of “Golden Voice.” With almost 40 titles under his belt, Dale primarily voices young adult, teen, and children’s books. He does narrate adult selections such as A Christmas Carol, Around the World in 80 Days, and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. But where the magic is, no pun intended, is in his narration of the Harry Potter series, for which he won two Grammy Awards. Dale’s melodic, silky, voice is a pleasure to listen to with his warm lilt and friendly cadence that can draw you in and make you believe you are in the room where the scene is taking place.  The most impressive aspect of Jim Dale’s narration is that he creates distinct voices for a whole cast of characters, no two being alike. He gives voice to every wizard, muggle, house elf, goblin, giant, and hundreds of other characters. He even set the world record in Deathly Hallows for recording 134 different character voices. It is so nuanced that you forget that only one person is the voice of all these characters. He is a major part of why these fantastical volumes are among the top-selling audiobooks of all time. In my opinion, if magic is real, it can be found in Jim Dale’s voice.

Support for Check It Out comes from Avery Brothers.