Tag Archives: Archie Manning

It’s An Audio Christmas Card From Airlift Mike

From Nat King Cole’s “Chestnuts roasting…” to Bing Crosby’s “I’m dreaming…” to Karen Carpenter’s “Greeting cards have all been sent…” the Christmas holidays every year have always been about all things audio to me.

And since I long ago left the snow-covered northeast for warmer climes in New Orleans, I’ve also replaced the crunch of snow and the sound of snow shovels scraping across concrete sidewalks with holiday sounds of my own making.

Conveniently enough, my Airlift Productions Studios have long provided me the platform and vehicle for making those holiday sounds.

Funny. Sarcastic. Profound. Inspirational.

So, on this Christmas 2018, let’s queue up a few for this audio Christmas greeting from NOLA…

Archie Manning records with Airlift Productions

While I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Peyton or Eli Manning, I sure have met and worked with their pop Archie.

In the early days of the Airlift Studios down on the Crescent City’s Iberville Street, acting as writer and producer for Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym, it was my job to work with Archie on his various different radio campaigns.

Among my fave creative efforts for Archie was this one, wherein I was Santa Claus and he was the kid on Santa’s knee at the mall telling me what he wanted for Christmas.

** Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym ** from 1992 **

And with our Saints making a Super Bowl run here in late 2018, how much fun was that?

Another 1990s Christmas effort of mine has resurfaced here this Christmas season, as old pal Sue Bonano resurrected a couple spots of mine to air on Entercom radio stations here in 2018!

Yeah, it all sounds a bit crazy but, with a little editing, a radio ad that is now 23 years old, was brushed-off and aired all over NOLA this holiday season to lovers who weren’t even born when it first aired.

** Sue’s Jewelry “Because…” Radio Campaign, again in 2018 **

As the Christmas audio memories continue…

Hired by a Chicago-based ad agency called Right Hat in late 2015, I was tasked with lining-up the talent and recording a web-based “politically correct” Holiday greeting card for a Washington, D.C. law firm.

Wait a tick, a what?

That’s right.  A politically correct greeting card! So I tracked down a trio of very talented professors at our Loyola University to come to Airlift Productions to record a classic that would have old Ebeneezer himself doing a double take.

** Right Hat’s take on Christmas 2015, with Airlift Mike **

Whew! Let’s decompress after that one, OK?

And at the same time shift gears totally.

Shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific school shooting at Newtown, CT just before Christmas in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary, I was inspired to hit the Airlift Studios.

Taking an anonymous internet writing and adding Danny Elfman’s mystical score to my voice, I came up with an answer from the “other side” as to what happened to those beautiful young souls that fatefully painful December morning…

** Christmas Eve in Newtown  by Micheal Ziants**

Without a doubt, Jesus of Nazareth is the Reason for the Season!

But given the fissures & cracks in our 21st century society, is it any wonder why the season can be so paradoxically wonderfully troubling and problematic for so many?

Meanwhile, the prayers and reflections continue to this day…

Like I said, for this Christmas audio greeting card – Funny, Sarcastic, Profound, Inspirational.

Which pretty much sums up my feelings, my take here on my 66th Christmas here on the 3rd rock.

From yours truly and the Airlift krewe here on Pomona, here’s to a Merry Christmas!

And for 2019 – a wish for everyone across the planet to Increase the Peace.

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Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy & Digital Magic from New Orleans…since 1984

Airlift Productions – From Dream to Reality Brick by Brick on Iberville

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Airlift Productions 3927 Iberville Street location, under construction in 1989

If you ever recorded at or visited or got silly during Friday ‘happy hours’ at the now-the-stuff-of-legend Airlift Productions Iberville Street location … have you ever paused to consider what it took to create that remarkable space?

It’s not too bold a statement to say that my blood is quite literally in the mortar that holds the very bricks in this wall together!  For though I am not a mason or a brick layer, I certainly played one in 1989 on Iberville Street.

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Airlift Productions Proprietor Micheal Ziants ~ like a proud papa ~ at the Airlift shingle, Iberville Street, NOLA 1992

With the help of just one other guy (Joe Delery now works in the crime division of the NOPD), I also pounded the nails, hung & floated sheet rock, packed insulation, laid carpet, and wired the entire facility. Whew! 

And oh, the people who were destined to walk through that front door to record within these walls … Peyton & Eli’s pop Archie Manning,   Mayor Marc Morial, his mother Sybil, the Rev. Avery C. Alexander, Dr. Morgus the Magnificent, Ronnie Lamarque, I CAN Learn founder John R. Lee, WDSU’s Norman Robinson …

Dr. John Autograph to Airlift Mike on old Airlift Iberville Street Notepad
Dr. John Autograph to Airlift Mike on old Airlift Iberville Street Notepad

Dr. John (Mac Rebennack), Oliver Thomas, Senator Jon Johnson, Congressman Bill Jefferson, Academy Award winning documentary film maker Charles Guggenheim, Anders Osborne, Theresa Andersson, Bishop Paul Morton…

And a whole host of radio rebels, stand-up comics, misfits, in-laws & outlaws!

The mantra through the entire construction stage was ‘Build it…and they will come!’  What a passion, what a studio… what a time!

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Airlift Productions – as it looked in 1992 on Iberville Street … Reel-to-reel analog decks, outboard gear & mixer, the way recording used to be done. Oh, if only you’d lived then, kids.

 

** A “Mike McCann” classic VoiceOver/Production Demo from the 90s, all produced on Iberville with R-R tape – for NOLA clients like WVUE-TV, Pat O’Brien’s, Times-Picayune, etc. ***

But as much as I loved this location, Iberville street, the elevator, my Endymion parties, and having Venezia’s Italian food, Angelo Brocato’s, Mandina’s & Liuzza’s but a block or two walk away … I flooded twice at this location – and this was well before Mother Katrina came to town!

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Airlift Proprietor Micheal Ziants outside the Iberville haunts, shortly before the 2001 move to Pomona

So, I ran with my prophetic visions and in early 2001 moved the entire Airlift Productions business well out of the flood plain and to the high ground just the other side of the now-infamous breached 17th Street Canal .  To start over.

Yet again.

But Airlift on Pomona – along with its construction & marketing challenges – is the story for another blog and another time.

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Amy Landon recording audio books at Airlift Productions New Orleans, March 2017

“Working with Airlift Mike in NOLA was an utter pleasure. I was in town for business for a month and needed to maintain my audiobook recording schedule. Mike was accommodating and a pure professional. He mastered the punch and roll technique in 24 hours to be ready for our first session, and over the course of the month we laid down 5 books and a number of auditions. His studio sounds great. The vibe & atmosphere can’t be beat. You’d be hard pressed to find a better recording studio in the southeast – no matter what your needs. I wish I could have stayed!” ~ AMY LANDON, Los Angeles-based Actress & Ultra-busy AudioBook Narrator

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New Orleans Premier VoiceOver & Recording Studio  ~ Audio Alchemy from the Big Easy … since 1984

Airlift Productions – we’ll leave the mics hot… and the light on for you.

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Christmas 2016 Reflections & What Most Don’t Get About Airlift Mike

frenchquarterfogWith Christmastime in New Orleans, together with all its trappings and sentiment in everyone’s windows and on their minds, allow me to tap the brakes for a second, reflect, and unpack a few things.

As a lifelong learner, and student of philosophy, world religions, and mystical thought, it would be safe to say that I’ve lived  what could best be termed an unconventional and totally unorthodox lifestyle.

While most of my peers have chased money and jobs, I learned years ago to instead pursue passion and purpose. And simply allow the dollars and opportunities to then fall in line. 

1407-nighttime-pomonacrateOne illustrative case in point is this one I share with you here: In my 32 years of owning and operating Airlift Productions here in New Orleans, I have NEVER commuted!

Ever.

As the great souls Emerson & Thoreau taught me, “Build a better mousetrap – and the world will beat a path to your door.”

They have.

Imagine, if you can, the colorful characters, historical heroes, fascinating personalities and captivating individuals who’ve knocked at the Airlift Studio doors to come “work” with me.

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The Airlift Productions Studios on Pomona in 2016

I’ve been fortunate enough to have recorded and worked closely together with (deep breath) and in no particular order….

Archie Manning, Dr. John, Chef John Besh, Quvenzhane Wallis, Deuce McAllister,  Charles Guggenheim, Mayor Marc Morial, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Stacy Head, David Menasche, Carrie Nye, Bo Walker, Buddy Stall, John Lee, Luno Bordelon, Jerry Christopher, Ronnie Lamarque, Anders Osborne, Theresa Andersson, Lee Zurik, Zak George, James Carville, Mary Matalin,  Alden Ehrenreich, Toby Kebbell, John “Spud” McConnell, Morris Bart, P.H. Fred, Mike Weldon, Reverend Avery C. Alexander, Brad Edelman, Rich Lenz, Norman Robinson, Heath Allen, Greg DiLeo, Donald Surtain, the Right Lane Bandits, Bishop Paul Morton, Senator Jon Johnson, Congressman Bill Jefferson, Edoardo Ballerini, Oliver Thomas, Morgus the Magnificent, and… well, a host of multi-talented voice-over artists.

Not up to speed on some of these folks? Let the Googling begin.

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Airlift Productions Studio’s custom-designed Mayan “Gift of Life” Stained Glass Window

Point being? Through all the crazy weather – storms, hurricanes, blisteringly brutal summers – each and everyone of these folks came to me, to Airlift Productions, to “the better mousetrap”.

Mind you, this is no brag, no empty boasting, but simply an observation as to a much richer and fulfilling way to live one’s life.

And what a life.

Marching to the beat of one’s own Walkman, instead of following the crowd, has always led to experiences few will ever get to taste.

Having discovered my first tape recorder at age 12, and after many years of stage-acting and then a rewarding radio career, how cool is this?

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Micheal Ziants and the new “Annie” Quvenzhane Wallis, recording for Chrysler and sharing a few laughs at Airlift Productions in 2014

I now get to live out the rest of my life here in NOLA from what was once only a dream in my head, from my Airlift Productions… and I now get to spend the rest of my days dancing with the muse that first brought me to the party!

My hopes and prayers during this Christmastime in 2016 is that you, the reader of these words, one day, find … yours.

Merry Christmas & Feliz Navidad from way down yonder in New Orleans – and Airlift Mike.

AirliftProductionsNewOrleansColorLogoAirlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy & Digital Magic from New Orleans… since 1984

Notes On Recording James Carville at Airlift Productions

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James Carville & Mary Matalin on Meet the Press, along with former BFF Tim Russert

In my thirty-plus years of recording voice overs & musicians at Airlift Productions in America’s most fascinating and interesting city, you could say that I’ve encountered quite a few characters.

 
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Dr. John ‘da Nite Tripper records at Airlift Productions NOLA

Doctor John (aka Mac Rebennack) has spent hours with me, recording voice-over tracks for awards shows, and even cartoon voice tracks for Quincy Jones’ Take it Back Foundation.

I still can’t get over that, not even asking if he could smoke, at the Airlift Productions Iberville location, he pulled out a cheroot at the mic and lit it up! (We rushed an ash tray in to his rescue.)
** Dr. John at the Airlift mics telling the story of N’awlins’ bawdy, infamous Red-Light District, known as  “Storyville” **
Archie Manning records with Airlift Productions
Archie Manning recorded  radio spots with Airlift Productions

For several years in the 90s, Peyton & Eli’s dad Archie Manning had the Gold’s Gym franchise here just outside NOLA in Metairie, and I served as a one-man ad agency, writing, voicing & producing all the radio ads for the gym, which brought Archie & his partners regularly into the Airlift Productions Studios.

** Archie Manning’s Golds Gym Christmas Radio :60 Classic  – with Airlift  Mike as Santa, along with Archie, at the Airlift mics **

 
The cast of characters – from the mayors (both Morial & Landrieu), to all the city council members, Morgus the Magnificent, stand-up/fall-down comics, radio rebels, misfits, in-laws and outlaws  – has become the stuff of legend.
 
JamesCarvilleAndMaryMatalinRecordLoveAndWarAtAirliftProductionsBut I would have to say the most memorable and colorful of them all is none other than James Carville!
 
We’ve spent dozens of hours together one-on-one – with only a producer, long distance on a phone-patch Skype connection – recording two separate audio books, ‘It’s the Middle Class, Stupid!’ and, along with wife Mary, ‘Love & War’.
 
Now, by his own admission, James has untreated ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).  He’s tried the drugs but didn’t like how they made him feel, so he and Mary just ‘deal with it’.  Add (ADHD) me to the list.
 
Imagine working through hour-after-hour with someone in this situation and condition.  Add to that, someone very highly opinionated (ya think?), outspoken, given to tantrums … and ‘caged’ for an extended length of time!  Yowza & Yikes!
**  Airlift Mike reflects on 1st sessions, along with classic James Carville musings and rants, captured at Airlift Productions NOLA **
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Micheal Ziants and Political Firebrand James Carville at the Airlift Productions Studios 

But we worked through it all and laughed, bonded, and created two very memorable and collectible audio books, now available from that amazon crowd.

James’ take on his experiences at Airlift?

“I’ve been in studios from the Bayou to the Beltway and I can say after recording my last two audio books with Mike that there is no better place than Airlift Productions.  The quality of the production, the studio, and quite frankly, the comfort, make it the only place I want to record now or in the future” ~ James Carville
And, needless to say, but I will anyway, the out-takes are simply priceless!  Perhaps a tale for a blog for yet another day.
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JamesCarvilleRecordsAtAirliftProductionsA candid shot – through the studio door into the Airlift ‘green room’ – of Carville on the cell, taking a needed break, talking to George Stephanopolous in DC, with his feet ON my ping-pong table! Really, James?

 

2016 ~ Janus/January and NOLA Airlift Reflections

janusJanuary is the month for reflection. And prognostication! (u like that word?)

In legend, named after the Roman god Janus, who had two heads & faces, January gives us all pause & cause to look back (reflect) and forward (predict/prognosticate) at the same time.

So, let’s do that.

As a VoiceOver & Radio dude operating a full-blown recording studio & production business in the great city of New Orleans, LA for now-THIRTY years, I guess it would be safe to say that I’ve got some pretty fascinating stories to tell.

From working with – and RECORDING – everyone from Archie Manning to Dr. Morgus the Magnificent, Quvenzhane Wallis to James Carville, Ronnie Lamarque to Dr. John, Mayor Marc Morial to Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Reverend Avery Alexander to Congressman Bill Jefferson (I could go on and on, name dropping, but you get the idea) – what a RIDE!

When it comes time to reflect, it’s like,  OK, so where do I start?!?

I sure do miss some old friends. How about we start there?

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Buddy Stall made radio magic for YEARS with Airlift Productions NOLA

I miss my old buddy Buddy Stall. As Louisiana historian, writer & public speaker, Old “Gaspar J” sure could spin a yarn. And always about the people and the town he loved.

Buddy passed (dropped his body) in 2011 at the age of 81, but not before leaving quite the mark on the Crescent City.

His books and speeches about “The City That Care Forgot” are legendary, and were they ever fun!

BuddyStallAutographToMicheaWe worked together for years. Ironically, one of his final gifts to me was the DVD of the special documentary he’d made of the great cemeteries of NOLA!

Give a LISTEN to just one of our radio gems that we cooked-up together through the years. This one is to sell our Louis Armstrong International Airport …

** The Late Buddy Stall making magic at Airlift Productions, NOLA **

Wow!

Reverend & State Rep Avery Alexander Recorded VoiceOver At Airlift Productions NOLA
Reverend & State Rep Avery Alexander Recorded VoiceOver At Airlift Productions NOLA

Or, how about having the opportunity to record the late Reverend Avery C. Alexander for an Academy Award-winning documentary film, as I worked side-by-side with the legendary Charles Guggenheim?!?

(I mean, really. Who wrote this screenplay? And how many ever get a chance to live this kind of life?)

The Rev’s candid, honest & heartfelt sentiments resonate and reverberate from last century to this one.

** Avery Alexander talks of David Duke, the KKK, and anti-Catholic & anti-Jew bias for Guggenheim Documentary at Airlift 1992 **

January 2016,  reflections on not only some of the great spirits who’ve spent time at the Airlift Productions microphones, but how about the BUSINESSES that have come and gone?

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The late legendary & seminal NOLA Recording Engineer Cosimo Matassa sharing a table with Airlift Productions’ Micheal Ziants at the Big Easy Entertainment Awards Show, Fairmont Hotel, New Orleans, 1991

I spent 17 years with Ronnie Lamarque “Bridging the Gap” (remember when he had 7 dealerships on both sides of the river and lake?), I wrote and recorded many commercials for Archie Manning when he & his partner Steve Smith had the long-gone Gold’s Gym franchise on Veterans … and one of my fave old accounts (which has sentimental bearing here) was David Ervin’s “The Daiquiri Factory”!

Imagine using kids from a daycare to “reminisce” (really, can kids do that?) to sell an alcohol-fueled Eggnog Daiquiri on the radio to adults.

Crank up the speakers on your digital device and listen to the gang at Judy’s PlayCare in mid city NOLA make you all misty, so you’ll open up your wallet to buy a daiquiri … back in 1992 —–

** Daiquiri Factory 1992 “Eggnog” Campaign – Airlift Productions **

Yes, from radio spots to television voice-overs, industrial training narrations to comedy albums, music projects to website audio, educational software to documentary films … life around the old Airlift Productions campus is never boring!

Ever.

And gee, I didn’t get a chance to tell the stories about recording Anders Osborne & Theresa Andersson right after they landed in America & NOLA, or capturing two entire audio books with James Carville (and the wife), or tracking VoiceOver with Chef John Besh for TLC!

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“Katrina-versary Get-Together” on Saturday August 29th, 2015 (L-R) Rich Lenz, Brian Landry, Norman Robinson, Dan Milham, Heath Allen, Airlift Proprietor Micheal Ziants

But, hey, that’s what January is all about, right? Looking back – and forward. 

Stories for another day, another blog, another time.

In the meantime, look us up at the Airlift Productions Studios. We’ll leave the mics hot and warmed-up for you.

As our old buddy James Taylor once reminded us – “The secret to Life is enjoying the passage of Time”.

So, let’s do that.

And allow me to be one of the last to say Happy New Year to you!

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Airlift Productions Proprietor Micheal Ziants shoulder-to-shoulder with JAMES CARVILLE at the Airlift Studios

“I have been in studios from the Bayou to the Beltway, and I can say after recording my last two audio books with Mike, that there is no better place than Airlift Productions.  The quality of the production, the studio, and frankly, the comfort, make it the only place I want to record now or in the future.”

JAMES CARVILLE, Political Commentator, Tulane Professor, and Campaign Strategist behind the most dramatic political victories of our generation

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AirliftProductionsNewOrleansColorLogoAirlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from New Orleans since 1984! And … what’s next?

 

 

 

 

Airlift Mike’s Anatomy Of A Radio Spot. That works.

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Micheal Ziants – New Orleans Voice Over Talent & Airlift Productions Studio Owner ~ 2012 promo pic

It’s kind of hard for me to get my mind around sometimes, but I recorded my very first radio commercial in late 1971 just outside Columbus, Ohio in a little town called Delaware. At WDLR radio. For, of all things – a funeral home.

Today, in 2015, just a few years later, and literally thousands of commercials later, I find myself still perfecting the craft. And at the same time marveling over the fact that while many things in the industry have changed, at the heart of the art will always be the need for attention, engagement, entertainment and imagination!

From reel-to-reel tape to mp3s, from broadcasts to podcasts, from mixing consoles to digital audio workstations – the tool kits have changed but the heart of the art remains the same.

And one of the things that I’ve relished about my now-thirty years of running Airlift Productions here in New Orleans is that many of my clients have entrusted me through the years to not only serve as the voice and producer of the commercials – but to WRITE them as well.

So, let’s play and have some fun, while at the same time, lace-up the Adidas for a jog down memory lane.

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Airlift Productions Client Legends Encore

This week I got my imagination racin’ and had quite the time writing copy, assembling bites, voicing and recording yet another radio thirty to help pack the night club known as Legends Encore here in the bosom of suburbia outside New Orleans.

Opening with all the intensity of a movie trailer, “Wine, Women & Song-2015 style” opens with battle axes on shields, horse whinnies, and sword play … and closes with Billy Crystal from “The Princess Bride” shouting “Have fun storming the castle!” The last thought? The night club’s name.

*** Airlift Mike’s Legends Encore Radio :30 ** July 2015 ***

Attention + Engagement +  Entertainment + Imagination = Memorable Radio.

See, while everyone else is trying to cram way too much information, and laundry lists of prices, items, phone numbers, addresses, yada, yada, yada …. Airlift Productions captures attention, has some fun, entertains, and delivers.

For client after client. Year after year.

Now, as to the ‘jog down memory lane’ part of the blog, just a couple quickie faves from the ’90s that I still get comments about….

ArchieManningCloseUpAirliftProductionsNOLAI loved working with Archie Manning. Yes, Peyton & Eli’s pop was a client of mine for a couple years as he and his partner Steve Smith,  a body builder from Mississippi, were co-owners of Archie Manning’s Gold’s Gym on Veterans Boulevard, and I wrote, voiced and produced all their radio ads for them.

I’ll never forget Archie rolling his eyes when I came up with this one: I’d be Santa Claus and he’d be the perennial kid  sitting on my knee during December in the mall telling me what he wanted for Christmas! Really.

We produced this radio spot together – old school, on reel-to-reel tape, no digital edits, in real time – at the Airlift Productions on Iberville Street location in 1992.

*** Airlift Mike with Archie Manning, “Gold’s Gym”, 1992 ***

ArchiePeytonEliManningAirliftProductionsNOLAGee, and the Saints wouldn’t even smell a Super Bowl until a couple decades + later.

Although his boys sure have seen their fair share, huh?

 

Yes, radio spots, in order to be effective, must prove WORTHY of the imagination of the listener. And show RESPECT for the time that they’re investing to listen.

OK, just one more.

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Cajun Comic & New Orleans Voice Talent LUNO BORDELON plies his trade at Airlift Productions ~ along with some help from his pal T-Claude

One of my favorite people on planet Earth is this wacky Cajun from Lafayette, LA named Luno Bordelon. In fact, just this past Tuesday night, while in NOLA on business, he spent the night with us here in Metairie.

Well,  Luno and I were tasked with building the crowds at a local Mexican restaurant named “Jalapenos”, and I came up with the idea that this was “the Mexican restaurant that even a Cajun could love”. 

So, I played intrepid man-on-the-scene reporter and Luno was, well, Luno!  Check out the Lu-nacy here….

*** Airlift Mike & Luno Bordelon for “Jalapenos”  ***

Wow! And after all these years, 1971-2015, this is still FUN!

As a guy who fell in love with theater and the human voice as a kid, then a mad love affair with the radio and tape recorders – it’s still today almost as if people are paying me to play with my train set.

Yes, when it comes to advertising,  audio – and well-constructed radio ads – will always drive the emotional train. Allow me to be your engineer. All aboard! 🙂

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Airlift Productions, New Orleans

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Millie with husband Rene’

“I have worked with Michael on a free lance basis for years. I continue to be amazed at his technical genius and amazing voice. His ability to make the average sound spectacular never ceases to amaze me! I have worked with Mike on a variety of      projects, and he gets it done right the first time, every time! It is ‘one stop shopping’ for first rate results!”

*** Millie Stouse Fuselier, New Orleans Queen of VoiceOver ***

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Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from NOLA since 1984!

Morgus & Me + Marriage Insurance? WTH?

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Morgus the Magnificent – aka Sidney Noel Rideau – Records VoiceOvers at Airlift Productions … for over a Quarter of a Century! Really.

I guess it would be safe to say that in operating a recording studio in America’s most colorful city –  New Orleans – for what is now THIRTY years, that I’ve worked with some pretty colorful characters.

From setting microphone levels for Dr. John and Archie Manning to recording projects with all of the city’s mayors ( Morial-2X to Landrieu-2X), verbally jousting with Mary Matalin & James Carville, even coaching ‘Annie’ Quvenzhane Wallis through tough V/O copy for Chrysler … my most unforgettable – and beloved – character would have to be Morgus the Magnificent!

Sidney Noel Rideau & I go back over 25 years together now; he has the distinction (?) of being the only person who has recorded at every recording studio I’ve ever built, every incarnation of Airlift Productions; He is the eccentric uncle I never had! I love this man.

We first met in 1986 while I was producing radio ads for and operating as the Voice of WGNO-TV/Channel 26 here in New Orleans, and he was reviving his ‘Morgus Presents” TV show. Our first gig together was in my closet-studio Airlift iteration where we recorded all the E.R.I.C. (the talking skull) heavily-reverbed V/O tracks for use in the shows.

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E.R.I.C. the talking skull records VoiceOver at Airlift Productions

Our relationship continues to this day. I almost feel as though I’ve become his real-life Chopsley, in that I’ve operated as his behind-the-scenes henchman all these years.

Together we’ve produced everything from radio ads for Cajun seasonings products to public service announcement campaigns for his Internet Story Club teacher-family outreach … but among my favorite sessions with my fave ‘Uncle Sid’ would have to be the one that is the subject of this post – ‘Marriage Insurance’.

As fate would have it, Sid’s Morgus character is also one of nationally-broadcast Coast-to-Coast late night radio host George Noory’s favorites too! And Sid stopped by the Airlift Studios in February 2006 to record a few ‘pilots’ for segments to possibly be used in Noory’s nightly broadcasts. I kid you not.

The proposed segments never did materialize (radio marketing in the 21st century is a very tricky thing), but this never-before-heard audio is just way too-funny and priceless.

It’s for the “Morgusian Marriage Insurance Company of America”, protecting your marriage from divorce, and includes not only Sid’s outrageous take on the state of marriage in America today – but I’ve also left in all the out-takes! I particularly love the way he slides in/out of character, and oh, that laugh …..

**** Sidney Rideau – aka Morgus the Magnificent – takes on the perplexing problem of marriage & divorce for the Airlift Productions microphones in February 2006 ****

Today, Uncle Sid is enjoying retirement on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain in a tiny hamlet known as Covington, LA  with his bride of all these years Dainya. They met in the late 1950s in NYC where Sid was being considered as a side-kick to Johnny Carson, and she was an interpreter at the United Nations.

For true!  No, I could not make up a story as unique as theirs. 

What a character, and truly fine & gifted, spirited human being this man is. Lucky to have had him in our lives we all are, and to have been able to bask in his light and genius.

Because, at the end of the day (as the white man is often wont to say), in the mythology of the American Tribe – Superman will always have his Clark Kent, the Batman his Bruce Wayne … and Morgus the Magnificent will always be remembered as the man who gave him Life – Sidney Noel Rideau.

MorgusSidneyNoelRideauRecordsAtAirliftProductionsNewOrleans
Sidney Noel Rideau Records VoiceOvers and More at Airlift Productions New Orleans

Airlift Productions ~ Audio Alchemy from New Orleans since 1984