Have you ever heard your voice recorded? It’s nauseating, isn’t it? “That’s me?” you question, and wonder how people even look at you while their ears bleed as you talk.
This feeling is surely never felt when listening to Delilah, as in, Del-li-lah, who airs on nationally syndicated radio. She customarily hosts a radio talk show in the evenings and sings her name in the intro. Delilah’s voice is something like magic stardust. It’s akin to the sensation of cutting butter. The smoothness and easiness of it is relaxing. Delilah’s voice is mature and also comforting, the perfect combination for a radio show centered on love. I imagine her as a classy mother who wears nice sweaters and drinks red wine.
It’s very calming to listen to when staring at taillights on a crowded highway. Listeners call in and request love songs dedicated to their significant other to be played on air. These acts are public declarations of love, heartbreak or something in between. I listened to her in my younger years, and it wasn’t until high school on a family trip to Florida that I heard her voice cooing from my cousin’s truck’s speakers. When he saw the flash of amazement on my face, I was informed her show aired nationally.
Delilah asks for listeners to call in so she can attentively diagnose their woes and encourage them to share their innermost secrets. On a crowded highway in Houston, I listened to a man tell a tale of love, loss and the sense of uncertainty that accompany a breakup. Delilah neatly tied up the loose ends, speaking lightly of serious matters that would remain unanswered once the program ended. I guess that’s the deal with advice; it’s given but never known to be considered.
In “Sleepless in Seattle,” Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks play characters who meet through the chance correspondence of a radio station. Meg Ryan listens to the same nationally syndicated radio station, modeled off of Delilah’s show, the night Tom Hank’s young son calls in asking for a new mom after his mother passes away. The son calls into the station a few more times and slowly Meg Ryan and Tom Hank’s lives intersect.
These are nice examples of Delilah’s impact on listeners, ranging from advice to inspiration for a Nora Ephron movie. I’d like to believe her callers are honest and not a scripted portion of the show. Delilah was on in my car the other day and there was a man who was searching for a childhood friend. Lo and behold, he was able to reconnect with her through a website. Delilah set up the story in a favorable way, and he seemed earnest from the other side of the phone, but it all turned out to be an advertisement for classmates.com, which is a social networking site geared towards reconnecting people. I felt a bit betrayed by this interaction because it seemed to be genuine until I heard the plug, and then its inauthenticity left a sour taste.
Some things are better left untouched, so I won’t google Delilah’s radio show, because I don’t want to know how much of her content is sponsored by advertisements. I like to think her voice emanates from my speakers as a natural occurrence, as if she’s a fairy godmother, and ultimately not a working woman paid to soothe my little ears. The spell might be broken if research is dug too deep. I don’t want reality to break the spell, and it does so often, so some mysteries should remain just as they are.