Sounds of the Sideshow

1 minute read

I’m writing a spoken word routine about The Outside Talker who performs to announce the carnivals or freakshows, etc. To get ideas, I’ve purchaced a recording of some of these performances. I was enticed by the sample recordings on the website, about Eekah the Geek, and about Nature’s Greatest Mistakes. It is called “Bally, Sounds of the Sideshow”, and the CD even has a flavorful pitch for itself.</p>


Hear the pitches as throngs of happy people heard them on the carnival lot! Hear the screams and rumbles from the clattering rides in the background!

Hear the growls and the rattling cage of "Eeka" the Geek as she waits to be fed! You can almost smell the cotton candy and the hotdogs… you can certainly smell the carnys… as these sounds pierce the darkness of the carnival lot outside of town!Authentic spiels gathered from forgotten 8-track tapes discarded in a "junk shop" as the era of the freak-show ended, from antique transcripts buried in dusty archives, from the personal memories of the last living old-time pitchmen, and from carnival and circus veterans who re-lived the glorious language of the sideshow for us one last time! We found rare transcripts of ...
  • A candy pitchman's spiel, with a prize in every package!
  • A "little booklet printed in France" pitched at a girl show!
  • A geek show bally (if you don't know what a geek is, you might not want to…)
  • And a real medicine show pitch (NOT the fake stuff you see in the movies)!
The original tapes were in rough shape (imagine 8-track recorders being shouted into, and the tapes played hour after hour, season after season) but we were able to clean them up a little digitally. We also had several new tracks voiced in our studio by a professional actor using scripts researched from entertainment archives and contributed by one-time sideshow performers. We mixed them all with the real sounds of carnival rides and crowds. You can experience the sounds you'd hear on a summer night stroll along the midway!


Leave a comment