Today is the day. Radio Free Charleston returns to radio in the internet age as part of New Appalachia Radio at Voices of Appalachia. I’m really excited to return to the roots of RFC and every Tuesday morning we’re going to tell you about the week’s new episode of the show.
First, it’s time for a little housekeeping. Due to a misunderstanding where I thought the show was slated to air at 10 AM on Tuesday, instead of 10 PM, which is when it’s actually slated to air, for the time being Radio Free Charleston will air twice on Tuesdays, once in the morning, with a replay twelve hours later. If this works for everybody we may just keep it this way.
Update: You can listen to this show now in the Voices of Appalachia archive HERE.
There will also be a replay Thursday at midnight, following a weekly live broadcast from Third Eye Cabaret. Eric Meadows, the head honcho at VOA has also induldged me and scheduled another replay at 2 AM Sunday, my old over-the-air timeslot back in 1989.
To start with, I’m calling the new audio version of the show “Radio Free Charleston: Volume Three,” but I’m sure that after a few weeks I’ll forget to use the full name and shorten it back to “Radio Free Charleston.” Another change you can expect is that, after the first two episodes, which run an hour each, RFCv3 will expand to two hours each week. I’ll tell you more about that when it actually happens.
Each week here in PopCult I will post the playlist for that week’s show, plus a description of the special themes and audio features that won’t really start in earnest until our third show. I’ll also share some trivia about some of the songs I play.
Our first hour is basically a primer on the history of Radio Free Charleston. We kick it off with the very first local song I played on RFC back in 1989, and each segment has a theme of sorts.
We start with a mini-block of legendary colorful characters:
Hasil Adkins–“Big Red Satellite”
The Amazing Delores–“Love Magic”
After a little more history, we bring you tunes from four of the bands that we discovered at The Charleston Playhouse:
Go Van Gogh–“Shut Up, I Love You”
Three Bodies–“Shingles and Tar”
Blue Million–“Lazy Bones”
Mad Scientist Club–“Save The Whales”
The third block features four songs from the New Music Feast Sampler from 1992:
Crazy Jane–“Echo of a Season”
Mother Nang–“Knee Deep In Wine”
Todd Burge–“Crawl Like Babies Do”
The fourth block of music from our first hour showcases audio ripped from the early days of the video incarnation of RFC, from 2006 to 2008:
Ghosts of Now–“Deathburn”
Ovada–“Church of Paranoia”
Melanie Larch–“Ave Maria”
Panucci Brothers–“Dancing Midget Spider-man Fantasia”
After a quick farewell, we had time for one more short song, so we close our first hour with:
The Renfields–“Machete a Go Go”
Further trivia notes on some of the above songs:
The Hasil Adkins song came from a seven-inch 45, back when local artists made such things as a matter of routine.
The Amazing Delores song was produced by Michael Lipton, and was featured with a music video directed by Danny Boyd on episode 25 of Radio Free Charleston (video version).
The Go Van Gogh and Three Bodies songs were covered by The Laser Beams and HarraH on RFC 200.
“Shut Up, I Love You” was the most-requested song on the radio version of RFC.
“Shingles and Tar” was co-produced by Spencer Elliott, myself and Three Bodies. Spencer teamed with Three Bodies drummer, Brian Young, and they still play together in Mother Nang.
The four songs from New Music Feast were produced by John Kessler in 1992, and there is archival video of a showcase performance by all four bands floating around out there.
“Deathburn” was the first Heavy Metal song featured on RFC, and this is the audio recorded for the show at LiveMix Studio. Lead singer, Lee Harrah is now a production assistant on the show, and the bass player, Roadblock, is running Empty Glass Records. You’ll be hearing a lot from The Empty Glass on RFCv3 in the future.
Ovada, featuring Joseph Hale and John Radcliff, were recorded at The Empty Glass. This audio is ripped from the video that we ran on the show.
Melanie Larch (we’re married now, just in case you haven’t read PopCult for the last three months) was recorded for our first Christmas show, singing live, acappella, on the fifth-floor fire escape outside LiveMix Studio, with no audio enhancements. This was done in one take, which is why you can hear wind and traffic noise if you listen closely.
The Panucci Brothers was a one-off collaboration where I recorded a bunch of my lousy guitar playing and gave it to my brother, Frank, who somehow managed to make something musical out of it.
We close the show with a track by The Renfields, because I didn’t talk enough and the song was just the right length.
Check back every Tuesday morning for the RFC-VOA playlist, and remember to watch the video version of Radio Free Charleston and The RFC MINI SHOW alternating Mondays right here in PopCult.