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Wes Harrison, (born January 1925, Spartanburg, South Carolina) also known as "Mr. Sound Effects", is an American comedian and voice actor, notable for his ability to create realistic sound effects using only his voice and a Shure 530 Slendyne microphone. Wes Harrison makes all his sound effects without the help of tape recorders or other electronic devices. Harrison has a comic style reminiscent of Red Skelton, but uses noises instead of physical shtick.
It all began in 1941 while Wes was working as a counselor at a YMCA Boy's Camp on the Chesapeake Bay. While there, he installed a public address system to summon stray campers. This sound system was equipped with a powerful amplifier and three horn loudspeakers. Here Wes began his first experiments with vocal sound effects.
A short time later, Wes was drafted into the Navy. During this time, he worked in special services entertaining the troops, and here developed an act which led to his winning five consecutive Horace Heidt Programs. After World War II, he went to University of Texas at Arlington (known as Arlington State College then) and studied electrical engineering. The Korean War broke out and he was called back into the Navy. Altogether, he spent eight years in the Navy. Returning to civilian life, he appeared on the Arthur Godfrey talent scout show and won. He worked one week on the Arthur Godfrey Radio Show (but never met Godfrey). He was on the original Major Bowes Amateur Hour back in the 1940s. Ted Mack (radio-TV host) gave him a real start and sent him on his way into show business. From that time on, things really started snow-balling for Wes. He appeared on the Ed Sullivan, Jack Paar, Garry Moore, Mike Douglas, Dean Martin, Roger Miller, and the Merv Griffin shows, and filled a complete schedule of night club work.
Wes Harrison resides in Des Plaines, Illinois and flies his own plane. He still makes public appearances, now doing his live sound effects with two microphones to create stereo effects on his own portable sound system. He often appears at hunting and fishing expos around the country. He usually has copies of his second album, a stereo CD, for sale at his appearances, and it and his appearance schedule can be found available on his web site also.
- "You Won't Believe Your Ears" LP Liner Notes
- "The One and Only" LP Liner Notes
- "Producing Great Sound For Video" (book) - by Jay Rose (2003)
- Wes Harrison - Fun With Sounds
- You Won't Believe Your Ears (1963)
- The One and the Only (1969)
- Track "TNT" by Ronnie Rice - Refried Rice (1997)
- Canadian Titanic Society for "Whistles" on "CTS's" 20.75ft "Titanic" model/float for "in-door" exhibit!
- The Billboard Albums, 6th ed. Joel Whitburn. 2006. Record Research Inc. p. 449. ISBN 0-89820-166-7
- "Mr. Sound Effects” Wes Harrison Still Having Fun With Shure", Shure.com
- Drahos, Marta Hepler - "Harrison makes noise in Northport", Record-Eagle.com
- Gray, Kathy Lynn - "85-year-old 'Mr. Sound Effects' sounds like man happy with career", Dispatch.com
- Allen, Chris - "Mr. Sound Effects Entertains at Duluth Home Show - April 2012", Kool1017.com
- Kampert, Patrick - "The man with the golden throat", ChicagoTribune.com
- Lamb, Bob - "Wes Harrison's a one-man sound maching", LacrosseTribune.com
- Gallaway, Steph - "Vocal sound effects guru brings laughter to UNK Family Day 2009", KearneyHub.com
- on YouTube, Herald-Review.com