Holiday Wishes: Farr reads classic poemWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“I love the holidays,” Jamie Farr said in an interview with Toledo Free Press. “Starting with Halloween. I do not dress up in costumes anymore. Of course, as I grow older each year I probably look differently anyway. Thanksgiving and Christmas are two favorites. Christmas, I believe, being the most popular for me. New Year’s Eve is not a favorite of mine. Everyone tries too hard to make it super-special and it usually falls short of even being average.”
No one celebrity embodies “Toledo” as much as Farr. The actor has long since carved out an indelible legacy as one of the stars of the legendary sitcom “M*A*S*H,” bringing the Glass City along for the ride by incorporating many local institutions into his character. Thanks to Farr, when you say “Mud Hens” or “Tony Packo’s,” a good chunk of the American populace knows what you’re talking about.
And Farr has always been ready to give back to the city.
“I am so honored and proud to be able to do positive things for my hometown,” Farr said. “Having the local businesses support our LPGA tournament is a testimony to how much they want to do for the city and the charities involved. They are more than generous.”
So when the Make-A-Wish Foundation benefit CD “Holiday Wishes” was first conceived, it seemed natural that Farr be asked to participate.
“I believe it was Rita Mansour [senior managing director at Thomas McDonald partners] who got me involved with the CD. She put me in touch with Michael [Miller] and asked me to do the reading. I have done other things for Make-A-Wish in the past,” Farr said.
Farr was asked to read a classic piece of holiday literature — Clement Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” better known by its classic opening line, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” He said he wanted his performance to sound natural in the recording.
“I did not want to read it in a meter. I wanted to appear as if I were telling the story to my children for the first time. I did the piece in one take,” Farr said. “I recorded this in a studio and there was no one present except the engineer. I imagined I was talking to an audience of my children.”
The track was produced at Marc Graue Voice Over Studios in Burbank, Calif.
The piece listeners will hear on the CD is rife with atmosphere; back in Toledo, producer Mighty Wyte placed a fireplace crackling sound behind Farr’s voice.
Miller said the original plan was to have a number of celebrities share the reading, but, “when we received Jamie’s recording and heard how much heart he put into it, there was no way we were going to edit out a single line. It’s a piece of Toledo history to hear Jamie read this poem; I believe families will share this track for many generations.”
“I have not heard the piece,” Farr said. “I did not listen to it when I completed the reading. It just felt good and I was afraid if I listened to it I may criticize it and try to make it better. I decided it was OK by my gut feeling.
“I hope listeners feel they are sitting down in front of a fire and enjoying a classic story with their family.”