Some of the most memorable voices are those of people we’ve never met. I’ve never met Susan Bennett, but I talk to her everyday with Siri. Charlie Pellett’s voice will always rattle around the cobwebs of my brain as the voice behind New York’s subway system. Then there’s Elwood Edwards, the voice behind the most iconic phrase of the early internet — AOL’s “You’ve Got Mail.”
Great Big Story sits down with Edwards as he relays the tale of how his voice ended up wired into the brains of anyone on the internet in the US during the 1990s:
In 1989, my wife was a customer service rep for the company that was about to come America Online. She heard Steve Case talking to some of the programmers how fun it would be to add a voice to the software. I’ve been an announcer throughout my entire broadcasting career, and she volunteered me.
Edwards says his vocal contributions were originally designed as a test to see if the idea would catch on. It definitely did.