It began when a news reporter in Columbus Ohio spotted a homeless man by the side of the road with a sign that was a little different from the rest.

Whilst most handmade signs beg for money or offer to work for food, this transient individual offered to use his voice.

Yes, his rich, golden voice. Close your eyes as he speaks, and it sounds exactly like those deep, resonant promo voices that radio stations are so enamoured of.

The homeless man, Ted Williams, owned up to a life partially destroyed by alcohol and drugs.

"But now two years clean!", he added quickly.

Matthew Odam, a columnist for the website Austin 360, picked up on the story.

"You see them every day. Transient men and women They often look tired and weathered, drug addled and sleep deprived. If you were to ask them a question, you may expect a tired voice, jagged with the scars of smoking, burned by the fumes of booze", he wrote.

"Then you come across someone like the man in this video [at right].

"He stands on the side of the road with a sign offering to put on display his amazing voice in exchange for any help.

"Something tells me", writes Odam, "he may not be out of work for long."

This man's story is very reminiscent of the way Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez tried to resurrect the career of homeless LA cellist Nathaniel Ayers, a story immortalised in the Jamie Foxx/Robert Downey Jr movie The Soloist.

And it certainly brings to mind the saying "never judge a book by its cover".