Del Sharbutt, a broadcast network announcer, musician and songwriter who became one of the most familiar voices on the air during the radio and early television era, died April 26 in New York. He was 90 and had lived for many years in Palm Desert, Calif.
Sharbutt retired from broadcasting in 1976 after four decades as an announcer, newscaster and company spokesman.
Blessed with a resonant voice, he began his radio career in Chicago in 1933 and joined CBS a year later, about the same time he married Mary C. Balsley, who sang with the Gus Arnheim big band as Meri Bell.
After moving to New York, Sharbutt was a staff announcer at CBS from 1936 to 1945 on radio and TV shows starring Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Robert Benchley, the Dorsey brothers and “Your Hit Parade” with Frank Sinatra, plus others.
Later he was a newscaster for the Mutual Radio Network and a spokesman for Campbell’s soups, where he originated the familiar commercial, “Mmm-mm-good.”
A musician who played sax, clarinet, piano and organ, he wrote many songs, including the theme for “The Bob Cummings Show.”
Meri Bell Sharbutt died in 1990. Two years later, their oldest son, Jay, an Associated Press war correspondent and drama and television writer, died in New York.
Another son, Bill, was among a handful of employees of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. who escaped the World Trade Center on Sept. 11.
Survivors, besides Bill Sharbutt, include a daughter, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.