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Staff Picks: Mouth Sounds With Fred Newman

Photo of Fred Newman.
Nate Ryan, Minnesota Public Radio

Voice artist Fred Newman is most famous for the voices and effects he improvised for the shows A Prairie Home Companion and Live From Here. He joined us to share secrets on making melodious, whimsical, and sometimes rude sounds with your mouth. This episode was picked by Elaine Clark.

RadioWest divider.

Voice artist Fred Newman has worked on movies including Gremlins and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. But he’s most famous for the voices and sound effects he improvised while touring with Garrison Keillor for A Prairie Home Companion and, later, Live From Here with Chris Thile. Newman left that show in 2018. He joined us in the studio to share secrets on making melodious, whimsical and sometimes rude sounds with your mouth.

Here's what KUER News Managing Editor and longtime RadioWest producer Elaine Clark had to say about this episode:

When we spoke with sound effects artist Fred Newman in 2005, he was part of the cast of A Prairie Home Companion. He created all those incredible sounds for the program with his voice and his body. When Newman joined us for RadioWest, he had us set up two microphones so he could perform in stereo. Now, I’m an audio nerd and I was mesmerized by the sounds coming out of the studio. But the best part of the conversation was the advice he said his grandfather once whispered to him. "Ssh. Just listen. Just listen." This show changed the way I listen to the world, and I hope it does the same for you.

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.