Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Buster Jones, Black Vulcan voice actor, 1943-2014

Buster Jones, popular cartoon voice actor of the 1970s-80s, passed away on 9/16/14. I learned of this because his neighbor kindly notified his Facebook friends list one at a time. Buster was not married and had no children.

In 2011, I had the privilege of interviewing him for my Super Friends blog series. It was the first interview he gave about his animation voiceover work. His interview was one of the most candid of that (or any of my) series—in fact, one of his stories in particular is flat-out ribald. Buster had been out of the VO business for a while and was desperate for work. That interview got him invited to a cartoon convention in Texas, for which he got paid—and the royal treatment.

When talking conversationally, Buster had a stutter. However, when he recorded, it went away.

A radio and on-air TV personality as well, Buster interviewed everyone from Bill Withers to Rosey Grier to Gladys Knight:

Earlier this year, my good friend Mike Fox kindly went to Buster’s on my behalf (I don’t live in Los Angeles) to take a photo of Buster with the action figure I’d sent him. It was his Super Friends character, Black Vulcan.

You were electric, Buster. RIP.

Addendum: Because Buster was not married and had no kids, I feared no one would submit an obituary to the media. (Sensitive issue for me; Bill Finger never got one.)

But thanks to my friend Jonathan Taylor, I reached the right person at Variety and results happened:


Georgi said...

Goodbye Black Vulcan.

You will be missed.

RIP Buster Jones, forgive us for not really getting to know you.

Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

Thanks for this lovely comment, Georgi. It choked me up for a moment.

hobbyfan said...

I know it's 2 years later, Marc, but I can identify one of those clips you posted.

Four years before he was cast as Black Vulcan, Buster hosted "Soul Unlimited", which was Dick Clark's answer to "Soul Train", and served as a part-time fill-in for Clark's "American Bandstand". I never saw the show, since it was, as memory serves, blacked out in upstate NY, as "Bandstand" was for a good chunk of the 70's, in favor of syndicated programming.

Ed said...

For a few years I lived across the street from Buster in North Hollywood. He was the nicest, most unpretentious, non-egocentric person imaginable. You all know him from television or his voice work. That's what he did for money. As his friend and neighbor I can tell you his real love was music. I was in his house many times and the living room looked the extra instrument room belonging to a recording studio. Drum kit dominated of course, but guitars, basses, brass instruments and many more. He gave me a 45 of his music; I still have it. The man was an angel to my kids, and the sweetest person you'd ever want to meet. RIP, Buster.