TC & Co. Throw-back Thursday — Wednesday — Fri…

Tom Clifford
4 min readMay 4, 2024


Sometimes it becomes reasonable to post a Throwback Thursday or as Apollonia made famous; Thursday — Wednesday — Friday — Sunday — Saturday and then…Ka-Boom! That’s because, by accident we found a gem from the past and we’re a little short on ‘New & Improves’.

But that shouldn’t stand in the way of presenting cool and creative nostalgia like portraying Frank Lloyd Wright on NPR’s Kids America series.

We did a guest spot call-in from the home studio in Queens at the time. It was at night, it was Christmas and the last show of Mystery History Guest.

Kids would call in from around the nation and try and guess who the person was they were listening to. With some sound effects and development from the NPR studios we’d transition into the past and begin to introduce our Mystery guest.

As the guest, I would come up with a character’s voice and Foley effects to compliment the guest’s environment and time frame. Remember kids…this was from a time when people listened to the radio. I was diggin’ the edgy energy from being ‘Live’, fleshing out the character, laying out characteristic details and stats about the Mystery guest.

Now here’s the rub with ‘ole Whisker-puss…even though he hasn’t any. In real life recordings of Mr. Wright, he comes off a bit of a kvetch and not very approachable, least not for lame and sophomoric banter. This was one of those times, you really wanted to be good. I mean, you wanted to give the kids a good show. Of course, there’s always that nagging possibility that you’ll come off lookin’ like Joey Nickels (what an ass — ) from the movie Annie Hall.

So we came up with a voice that was more happy and peppy and bursting with love. We had a lot of fun playing the guessing game and playing the part. It was also a trip to do all of it ‘Live’ before your very ears. And it was all analog. That means cassette players queued up with music and SFX, making sure things are moving along at a good pace, dropping some reference and levity here & there…and being careful not to channel — Joey Nickels. Click > button below to play FLW

Hey, might be also cool to check out what Chris has been up to these last 30 or so years. No, that’s not Chris on the right, who was on the show with us, but an early photo of Frank Wright. Actually, it was sans the Lloyd epaulet. Although, you might say he’s working on it.

Some of the clues dropped were; cantilever, prairie, Taliesin, Fallingwater, Usonian, “Space is the Breath of Art” etc.

On a more personal note, every so often we go on the prowl to find our own Frank Lloyd Wright golden nugget right here on Long Island. Great Neck, to be well, more precise.

Though, citing rubs, we’ve not yet been able to locate the Wright phantom house…or set eyes on it. We have the address, but can never seem to find it on our own.

So, with respect to the current occupants privacy, we’ll show just a glimpse of the house…as it can be seen by anyone on the web, or willing to stick it out with a — Google Earth Map.

With respect to that peculiar mental process known as thinking, maybe time to re-think that nostalgia reference up top. Just finished reading an article by Maxine Hong Kingston that hits close to home. Especially, since it relates to the ‘this is the business we chose’ mantra…which, as a voice-over artist has been on shaky ground lately with the advent of Artificial Intelligence. She says and I quote: “I’m not nostalgic myself. I don’t like the feeling of nostalgia. Nostalgia has something to do with regret, the sadness of, oh, this time is over. I don’t like it when I have that feeling, but I don’t seem to get it very often. I like to go into the new”.

Could this be a sign. You mean, an early clue to a new direction…Sunny Jim!

by:+Tom Clifford, VoiceOver & Creative Services

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