Battle Announcer, MC and Host


 Battle Announcer, MC and Host

A few, short years later, during another reenactment of The Battle of Parker's Crossroads, Rick Revel would launch his signature style of announcing the "play-by-play" action on the battle field. His voice gave reason for what the spectators were seeing happen before their eyes and for the first time the spectators understood what was taking place on the field of action. Not only did they get the historical fact of the battle, but they got an actual description of the battle action.

To top off the presentation, Rick included movie sound tracks underneath his battle narration and the response to the dynamics was remarkable. Between the dramatic inflections in Rick's voice and the power of the music, the audience was drawn emotionally into the battle action. Tears of patriotic fervor flowed down the cheeks of many onlookers and cheers for the battling reenactors erupted all up and down the spectator line. A new energy had entered into the reenacting world that day and it was just the energy needed in order to get to get  Civil War Reenacting before mainstream America. 

 Rick has even taken the art of  battle announcing to levels that no others have attempted before. He has ridden onto the reenactment battlefield while horseback, riding up and down the spectator line giving his commentary. The challenge for this innovation is that wireless technology has its limits and the expanse of the battlefield spectator line causes signal loss. Until a wireless system is made available that can handle the extended signal range, horseback announcing has its limits.

On the other hand, there is a way to maintain historic continuity and remain stationary, so present technology holds up under fire. Rick has requested and received on occasion, horse drawn farm wagons and concealed his electronics under canvas tarps. The speakers were mounted on round bails of hay disguised as cotton bales, then the speakers were covered in canvas. The speaker cables were buried under ground, so they were safe and concealed. While announcing in the bed of the wagon, Rick used a wireless lapel microphone, so that no electronic devices were visible to the spectator or reenactor. To the right is a video clip of such a set-up.

 The Voice of Reason!

Battle announcing did not originate with Rick Revel, but he did innovate the craft to a level that no one had taken it before. He would add the touch of professionalism the reenactment world needed.

His first exposure to battle announcing was at Parker's Crossroads during a reenactment in the mid-1980's. The announcer for the event was an extremely knowledgeable local historian, but his delivery was very dry and he only gave the historical background at the beginning of the battle. The announcer then remained silent till the end of the battle and left the spectator audience totally in the dark to what was happening on the battle field. On that day, Rick's creative mind took over and the results have been astonishing.

In comparison, the closest kinship to battle announcing is that of a sports caster or a rodeo announcer. Rick says, "The art of battle announcing is not just about spewing historical fact and explaining Civil War military tactics; it is about drawing your audience in on an emotional level and making the spectator feel as if they are witnessing an 1860's event happening before their very eyes."

Just as Orson Well's captivated his radio audience in his 1938 "War of the Worlds" broadcast, Rick Revel is known, to not only captivate his audience, but to educate and inspire. Many in the audience have flocked to the nearest recruiting tent to become new reenactors, while others walk away better enlightened and entertained. Most event coordinators of annual events agree, that their attendance numbers increase with Rick at the announcing podium and that always translates to better returns on ticket sales. The reenactor is always an important factor at any event, but it is usually the spectator ticket sales that make or break a reenactment.

Event budgets and resources sometimes limit what is available for an announcer stage or platform, so a flat bed utility trailer or even the bed of a pick up truck will serve the purpose. Flexibility is a must and improvision is a constant in the reenacting world. The bottom line is, with advance notice, Rick can provide a sound system to cover a gathering of few hundred spectators or a hundred thousand.

If you are interested in having Rick announce your event, call for a quote today.

 Noteworthy National Events

140th, 145th & 150th Anniversary Battle of Shiloh, TN

140th, 145th & 150th Anniversary Battle of Columbus/Belmont, KY

140th, 145th & 150th Anniversary Battle of Sacramento, KY

140th & 145th Anniversary Battle of Parker's Crossroads, TN

140th Anniversary Battle of The Tullahoma Campaign, TN

140th Anniversary Battle of Franklin, TN

145th Anniversary Battle of Munfordville, KY

145th Anniversary Battle of Chickamauga, GA

150th Anniversary Battle of Fort Donelson, TN

150th Anniversary Burning of the Linden Courthouse, TN

 Notable Annual Events: The Battle of Aiken, SC; The Battle of Tunnel Hill, GA; The Battle of Suwannee, FL.