The most famous unknown man in New Zealand radio, Ross Goodwin, has died.
Goodwin wasn't a household name, but if you listened to any music on commercial radio in the last 40 years, you heard his voice, or music that he programmed.
The voice? So deep and rich, envious announcers joked he must have been born with extra sets of gonads to get that low so easily.
He joked the secret was "20 smokes a day and plenty of wine".
They call it the "God voice" in broadcasting, the anonymous, commanding voice that announces programmes and promotes the station.
Goodwin played the role for decades, for Radio Hauraki until 2006, for TV2, and for the Living Channel on Sky.
He began his announcing career here when he sent an audition tape in 1967 to David Gapes, who was running the pirate station Radio Hauraki.
Goodwin was immediately hired, quit his job at Mt Isa in Queensland, went to Auckland, and never left.
In the 1980s he programmed Radio Hauraki, and in 1987 took the station to No 1 in Auckland, the first time ZB was beaten in the ratings.
Working on the Hauraki breakfast show with Kevin Black and John Hawkesby at the time, I saw - through the blue clouds of Ross's tobacco smoke, behind the aviator glasses, past the gravel chuckle and his habit of calling people, regardless of gender, "Petal" - the clarity and good-humoured confidence Ross brought to his music selections.
He was New Zealand radio's ultimate backroom guru, a man who happily provided the launch pad for countless on-air careers.
He is survived by his wife, Denise, two children, and two grandchildren.
- Sunday Star Times
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