A native of Toledo, Ohio, Spectrio voiceover talent Steve Lovvorn grew up listening to and loving Top 40 Radio. “I was a Top 40 groupie -- a Top 40 product all the way. I grew up listening to my hometown station, WOHO, and to the big jocks on legendary Canadian radio station CKLW in Windsor, Ontario.”
It was the Vietnam era and shortly after high school graduation, Steve entered the Air Force in 1970, where he says radio found him. “It just kind of fell into my lap,” he remembers, “There was a DJ contest for Armed Forces Radio and I won it! I was hooked.” While in the service, Lovvorn DJ’d for Armed Forces Radio, but after the military headed home to study pre-med at the University of Toledo. However, Lovvorn couldn’t get radio out of his system. He worked at the university’s radio station, WERC. Two years later, in 1975, he landed his first DJ job in Toledo at WOHO, the station he grew up listening to.
A year and a half later, Steve jumped to popular album rocker WWCK in Flint, Michigan, but by 1978, he headed west to Los Angeles, quickly landing two part-time gigs with top-rated KIIS-FM and with easy listening KSRF in Santa Monica, before going full time in 1980 as the afternoon drive DJ on LA’s easy listening radio giant, KJOI Radio. “It was a big time in radio for easy listening music – we called it ‘Mantovani Madness’!”
That’s when Steve first heard the word “voiceover.” “I had a nice, easy deliver style on air. One day a guy called me up, said he liked my voice, and I could I do a ‘voice over’ for him? I didn’t even know what ‘voiceover’ meant outside of reading commercials in radio.” Steve ended up recording it at the huge sound stage and legendary LA production house, Glenn Glenn Sound in Hollywood. “The guy turned out to be a producer for Eric Sevareid’s new CBS program, Chronicle, and I ended up as the voice for the show’s open. My ‘voiceover’ career had officially begun.”
Eventually, Steve was voicing commercials for: KLM Dutch Airlines, Coca-Cola, Godiva Chocolates, Microsoft, General Electric, the L.A. Dodgers, 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, KCBS-TV, the Tonight Show (NBC), Disneyland, and many other major companies while working for KJOI. “I remember the great view from the KJOI air studio. We were on top of a mountain range overlooking the San Fernando Valley on one side and the LA basin on the other.”
Around 1985, Steve traded that view for the greener pastures of Frankfort, Kentucky, where his deep voice and polished delivery landed him the commercial production director’s position, first at WKQQ in Lexington and later at WHAS Radio in Louisville. While there, Lovvorn became the voice of: Churchill Downs, WHAS-TV, Louisville Slugger, the Kentucky Derby Museum, UK Wildcats Basketball, University of Louisville Football/Basketball, NCAA Tournament, and many other companies. Steve left full-time radio for a stint in Cincinnati with Donnelley Directory, managing the corporation’s audio department from 1988 to 1990.
In 1990, Lovvorn launched his own business as a full-time voice talent, and has been enjoying the freedom of it ever since. He’s been the voice of countless Fortune 100 companies and media outlets around the world: Procter & Gamble, Kroger, General Electric, Cincinnati Reds Baseball, University Of Cincinnati Bearcats Basketball, Cincinnati Bengals (NFL), Ford Motor Company, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Intel, Delta Airlines, PGA Golf. Thousands of voiceovers later, Steve is still doing it from his home base of Dallas.
Listen, and hear the difference and then you’ll know why Steve Lovvorn is this month’s Voice of Choice for Spectrio!