I have basically zero evidence for this, but I’ll assume that early podcasters had some idea of the formats that would naturally gravitate to podcasts and find early success. Things like talk radio, sports, and interview formats were easy picks. I’d also assume they had no idea how much audio dramas and narrative formats would blow up throughout podcasts. Probably first hitting the mainstream with Serial, true crime narrative podcasts are among the most popular (and most talked about) in the industry. Soutee uses this format, and expands into lightly-fictionalize audio drama.
Soutee tells the story of a charismatic playboy lawyer who goes on the other side of the law on various occasions, even potentially killing his own wife.
Started by Dale, who knew the real Soutee when he was younger, he decided to blend the real-life Soutee and the fictionalized Soutee into a compelling narrative audio drama podcast. I got a chance to meet Dale and ask him about how he decided to start podcasting, why tell the story of Soutee, and the challenges he faces as an indie podcaster. See below for our full Q&A.
Discover Pods: What’s your podcast about?
Dale: Story of a bigger than life lawyer who went to prison, raced horses, and may have murdered his wife. Life so real it’s almost fiction.
DP:What’s unique about your podcast?
Dale: It’s exploring a real and fascinating man. Anyone who met him had a story and an opinion. He was such a seventies character and that era may have let him get away with murder.
DP: Why’d you decide to podcast and why tell the story of Soutee?
Dale: I started thinking about Soutee as a fictional character. The story arc of his life is just so perfect for fiction, and the more I studied creating characters for this other project I’m working on, the more I realized that I already knew the perfect fictionalized character. Since he had died just years before without leaving kids, but with people still alive who remembered him, it seemed well timed.
DP: How’d you first come to interact with Soutee, the person?
Dale: I knew him from as long as I can remember. He worked with my dad, I remember knowing that all the women I ever saw him with were gorgeous. As I got older, I went to his chili cookoffs and events. He did the coolest thing for me when I graduated high school. He sent me a card saying that I could have his tailor make me a suit.
DP: How much of Soutee the podcast is fictionalized versus the real person?
Dale: Well, I read a little of the fictionalized Soutee in the first episode, but from there on, it’s been fact and legend, in the way that forty year old stories really aren’t true “fact” anymore. I’m building the base, and the more I learn, there’s so much that reads straight out of a novel in his actual life.
DP: What’s the biggest challenge you face as an indie podcaster?
Dale: Learning how to best use the fancy equipment and how to build the audience.
DP: What equipment do you use?
Dale: I have one of the new Zoom setups and a Blue ball. I use the Mac and GarageBand.
DP: What are your five favorite podcasts?
DP: Where can listeners find you?
DP: Anything else you’d like to add?
Dale: It’s been a fascinating journey, trying to talk about the difference between fact and fiction and legend. When you learn the actual story of Soutee, of the flying high and the fall and then how the world really passed him by why he was in prison, and then to see how quickly it all dries up if you’re gone and there’s no children to carry on the memory, you see how fragile that all is.