The man with the booming voice
Charlie Bame-Aldred is the public address announcer at Matthews Arena. Photo by Brooks Canaday.
Charlie Bame-Aldred did not sink a shot in the men’s basketball team’s buzzer-beating win over Boston University in November. But he did play a part in the thrilling victory, firing up fans as the public address announcer for Northeastern athletics.
“Huskies win, Huskies win,” he screamed, after sophomore guard Demetrius Pollard sank an improbable last-second shot from beyond the arc, prompting fans to storm the court in frenzy.
“It was a phenomenal moment,” recalls Bame-Aldred, the booming bass-baritone of six Northeastern sports, including men’s hockey and basketball. “Matthews Arena was so loud and so much fun.”
His distinctive voice has been heard by thousands of fans since he joined the Northeastern faculty in 2007, before which he was the voice of Washington State University baseball and women’s volleyball.
The story of how he became a public address announcer begins at Washington State’s baseball field on a particularly chilly day. “I was sitting in the cold with the wife of an assistant coach who told me I should figure out how to get a comfortable seat in the press box,” Bame-Aldred recalls. “I thought that I could be the PA announcer and I kept asking the sports information director until he acquiesced.”
He was assigned to women’s volleyball and eventually received an endorsement by the baseball coach, who characterized his announcing style as “interesting and fun.” As a result of the high praise, Bame-Aldred never again had to watch the Cougars play in the cold, but the energy, enthusiasm, and excitement he conveys through his low-lying baritone is not confined to the announcers box.
“I view my classes as performance art,” explains Bame-Aldred, an executive professor of accounting in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business. “Being loud doesn’t do it; there has to be some modulation in your voice depending on the point of emphasis.”
To keep his voice in shape, he drinks tea and eats cough drops, and says, “There’s usually a bag of Ricola right next to me.”
And yet his iconic calls are not the only way in which he supports Northeastern—he is also a rabid supporter of the red and black and believes the men’s basketball team will qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
“They’re a really talented group that finds a way to win in the face of adversity,” he says.