Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

RFC Week Video: Day One, Melanie Larch

Each day this week we’re going to bring you a preview of Saturday night’s big Radio Free Charleston retrospective. Today, it’s RFC Big Shot Melanie Larch, with “Ave Maria” from last year’s Christmas episode.

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This video was shot one year and one day ago on the fifth-floor fire escape outside LiveMix Studio.  That’s the Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral that you see in the background.  Melanie performed Schubert’s “Ave Maria” acapella.  The top-secret identity of the person who arranged this version of the classic will be revealed Saturday night in the end credits of our “Best of” compilation. 

This video was posted to YouTube so that I could include it here in PopCult on Christmas Day last year.  Since then, nearly 1,400 people have viewed it, making it the second-most-watched music clip from Radio Free Charleston on YouTube. 

For those of you interested in trivia, Melanie is wearing my hat and coat in the clip.  Mel needed a hat because it was so windy.  It was also too cold to shoot outside without her wearing a coat, but the one she brought wouldn’t photograph well, so she wore mine.  I shot the video in short sleeves and hatless, laying on the cold steel grating of the fire escape so that I could get just the right camera angle.  The things we do for art. One of the other RFC Big Shots, Brian Young, ran the side view camera, and recorded the audio.  I directed and edited the clip. 

Of all the performers on the show, Mel remains the most nervous about getting in front of the camera.  Though a seasoned stage performer, Melanie is notoriously camera-shy. She also worried about performing on the show for weeks, and then came in and nailed it in a single take.  The entire shoot took less than half an hour, and most of that was setting up the microphone to record outdoors. 

When this clip was posted here in PopCult, it garnered reaction from several international commentators, including one with a Vatican City email address. 

You can see this clip and many others from Radio Free Charleston Saturday night at 7 PM at The La Belle Theater in South Charleston.  After the retrospective, a jam session will take place featuring past and future musical performers from the show.

Later this afternoon, our celebration of ourself continues, as we bring you classic RFC audio from March, 1990, featuring two of Three Bodies, performing live on the radio from a pay phone in Key West, Florida.

1 Comment

  1. Longtime Listener

    Lovely song from a lovely woman.

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