City Confidential Narrator Paul Winfield’s Magic Touch

September 21, 2009 by: Tracy Pattin

Paul WinfieldThey say the best way to develop your craft is to study excellence. And the late Paul Winfield is just that. As I sit here and watch another episode of A&E’s docudrama , City Confidential, I continually marvel at Winfield’s ability to entice and engage the audience with his voice. Perhaps we can take a page from Winfield’s style for our own careers. Listening to him, I feel like I found those “Veins of Gold” that Marice Tobias talks about. Those nuggets that can catapult us to soaring voice over success. It’s that star quality that gets a voice actor noticed and hired, over and over again.

When the episode begins, we hear Paul Winfield describing the City where a heinous crime occurred. Listening to him, it’s like he’s in on a secret and eventually he’ll let us in on it too. But first, he takes us on a little tour of the town, giving its history and highlights. His voice is as relaxed and quaint as the surroundings he describing. But, all along, you know he’s leading up to something. You can’t stop watching…and listening. Then, he takes us to and through the crime in all its gory details to it’s conclusion.

Winfield passed away in 2004, but his voice lives on in the episodes of City Confidential. Although there is a new narrator, who does a good job, he doesn’t have that magical, intoxicating quality of Paul Winfield.

-Tracy Pattin



Comments

25 Responses to “City Confidential Narrator Paul Winfield’s Magic Touch”
  1. Debbe Hirata says:

    I couldn’t agree more about your comments on Paul Winfield. Thanks for honoring a truly talented man and his work. Doing so allows him to live on in our hearts and memories. And it inspires me to focus on those “Veins of Gold” in my own work. Thanks Tracy.

  2. Agree with the wonderful comments about Paul Winfield. Although I usually know the story endings (after watching many repeats)still enjoy his voice and will so miss his not being able to continue doing narrations of any nature. Thanks Paul!!!!

  3. Donna Manning says:

    I’m totally in agreement. I am drawn to City Confidential, not for the crime, not for the mystery, but because of Mr. Winfield’s voice. There are many other shows that talk about murder, like Snapped, but when listening to Paul Winfield, one feels as though they’re in a comfy home. He made every city in America seem quaint and wonderful. He will never be forgotten.

  4. ron says:

    This show is a classic and Paul Winfield could not be replaced, which is the main reason the show was discontinued. His voice is unique and captivating,the story lines were fascinating, and the music score was just as good. But when Paul Winfield died the show was never the same.

  5. Angie says:

    I loved Paul Winfield’s voice. I loved City Confidential. But when Mr. Winfield passed away the show lost its magic. No narrator, regardless of how good he is, could take me with him on an exciting journey to a city in America and keep me fascinated throughout as Paul Winfield did. I used to say his voice was my favourite voice. Six years later it’s still my favourite voice. He made me smile, and he is, oh, so missed.

  6. Mitchell Kastner says:

    I agree with everyone’s comments. Titanic loss. Irreplaceable. Ving Rhames might be passable. I agree with Angie completely. I think it will take years for the rest of the world to truly appreciate his narration.

  7. JUDITH ALSPAUGH says:

    I AM ANOTHER DEVOTED FAN OF PAUL’S CONFORTING VOICE AND DELIVERY OF THE INFOR-
    MATION OF ANOTHER INTERESTING CITY HISTORY AND CRIME THAT HAPPENED THERE. I VIEW THESE PROGRAMS AFTER WOKING SWING SHIFT. I CLIMB INTO BED, SIGH, AND BEGIN TO LISTEN TO PAUL VOICE….SOON, I FALL INTO A PEACEFUL SLEEP, CARRESED BY PAUL’S SOOTHING VOICE. MY HUSBAND DIED 4 YEARS AGO….I COULDN’T SLEEP PEACEFULLY UNTIL I BEGAN TO LISTEN TO CITY CONFIDENIAL AND PAUL’S VOICE. I WOULD SEE THE REST OF THE SHOW I MISSED THE NEXT DAYL THANK YOU, PAUL, WHERE EVER YOU ARE! JUDY

  8. ashleigh says:

    God Bless Paul Winfield i so LOVE watching City Confidenial and i dont think any one could ever take his place. and God Bless His Family. please dont take this the wrong way ….. but WOW
    what a very Handsome Man. i know deep in my Heart ,Mr. Winfield i am not the only one that
    misses You.

  9. Tonya says:

    I too miss Paul and the “Voice” of City Confidential. I would love to see the show renewed, but it wouldn’t be the same.

  10. Peter says:

    here another devoted Mr Paul Winfield’s dabbler… R.i.p. :)

  11. Steve says:

    This was excellent in it’s writing. Especially the part about Mr. Winfield knowing a little secret that he was about to let us in on. In fact when I was listening to his narration I often wondered should I turn the volume down on my set so no one else could here what he was about to tell ME!
    LOL!!

  12. Diane says:

    I think the closest “voice” to Paul Winfield is Morgan Freeman!

  13. Diane says:

    I think an adequate replacement voice is Morgan Freeman!

  14. Jeff says:

    I have always enjoyed listening to him narrate a story as well,but to be truthful,I often wondered if he was drunk or medicated.Lol. R.I.P.

  15. Diane says:

    jeff,I totally agree! I love Mr. Winfield’s voice, but sometimes he seemed to slur. You fall so in love with him through his voice that when you catch that you can’t help but worry and it’s a little distracting! Regardless, his voice was an American treasure!

  16. Joe says:

    Paul Winfield had a non-relenting style. His voice kept coming at you, changing tones, going up and down like a boat in a storm. He had the greatest set of “pipes” known to mankind and is sorely missed. I still listen to these City Confidential replays. Rest in peace sir.

  17. This guy hypnotize me wit that sexy voice of his, makes me want more!!!

  18. Brett says:

    Tremendous voice crafted by a genius. Love City Confidential but like the comments from others, it was Paul that I was addicted to. Sorely missed.

  19. dixie says:

    His voices is one of the best ever!!!! You don’t even have to like the content of the program to listen to him!

  20. Michael says:

    I enjoy watching to City Confidential and listening to Paul Winfield. A that sound familiar but I could not place, even with the name being displayed. He is truly missed. I enjoyed David Keith. What are the chances of CC returning to television. I enjoy every episode and although I know some of the ending it never gets old. I would love to see it’s return to tv.

  21. This program was one of the highlights of my week. Mr. Winfield’s narration of City Confidential kept me glued to the TV. So sorry to discover that he had passed. His program will be sorely missed and leaves a hole in my TV enjoyment.

  22. Marijo Joseph says:

    I agree with everyone about the excellence of Mr.Winfield vocal gifts!..was superb in eething heworked in…..I also love Morgan Freeman, Ving Rhames, KeithDavid, -and the all-time.!! masterful voice— James Earl Jones

  23. Carol says:

    So nice to see so many people verify what I have thought for years, that City Confidential as narrated by Paul Winfield was one of the best shows ever on TV. I can watch the episodes over and over. I would love for them to bring back the show with the same format but without Paul Winfield, it wouldn’t be as good. I noticed the occasional slurring as well but better a slurring Paul Winfield than no Paul Winfield.

  24. Jen says:

    I just recently rediscovered City Confidential on Lifetime. I had forgotten just how fantastic Mr. Winfield’s narration is and how great his voice was. It rivals Bill Kurtis’s voice, and to me, that is quite a feat! Both of these men have a soothing quality to their voices that I love drifting off to sleep listening to. I will definitely be recording and saving episodes of City Confidential to get my Paul Winfield fix. I salute you, sir.

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