Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Month: June 2017 (Page 1 of 5)

Looking Back At The Marx Toy Convention

The PopCulteer
June 30 , 2017

It’s a rare video PopCulteer today as PopCult looks at the 2017 Marx Toy Convention, an annual event held at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum in Wheeling, West Virginia. Yours truly and his lovely wife were in Wheeling last weekend for this event and had a wonderful time seeing old friends and meeting new friends while swimming amongst the vintage toy goodness.

In the video we speak with Allan Miller, one of the founders of the museum, and several of the regular attendees who tell us about their love of Marx Toys and the special bond that they feel with their fellow collectors. We also speak to Tom Heaton, author of The Marx Action Figure Encyclopedia, who has just published a new Update Module with detail information on the early days of Johnny West and the Fort Apache Fighters. You can contact Tom through his website for information on how to order all of his books, which are an indespensible research tool for collectors of Johnny West and other Marx action figures.

If all goes according to plan, we’ll have a brief video with highlights of the special sale of items from the Francis Turner collection, which was held last Friday night at the site of the former Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville. It was great seeing the Turner family again and they announced that American Pickers had come to the museum to film an episode which will air in September on The History Channel.

Here is the video…

Radio Notes

air-5-18All day today we’re reliving debut episodes of the programs on The AIR, as a way of prepping for next week’s anniversary of our re-branding.

We will also have a brand-new edition of The Third Shift with Jay and Jarod tonight at 9:30, so tune in at the website, or on this nifty embedded player…

All weeend long we’ll be replaying this week’s special looks back at our humble beginnings, so you probably don’t want to leave your computer. Just eat your meals there.

Maybe someday we’ll have an app.

And that’s it for the PopCulteer this week. Check back for all our regular features, and prepare yourselves for some special stuff coming up next week, as we celebrate the Fourth of July as well as some other interesting milestones.

The AIR Revisits More Debut Shows Thursday

rfci-4-20Thursday is usually when we drop a new Radio Free Charleston International on an unsuspecting public at 3 PM on The AIR.  But this week we’re dredging up our past on The AIR, a week before the anniversary of our re-branding. Tune in at the website, or on this handy embedded radio player…

We kick off Thursday with a replay of the first two episodes of Curtain Call at 7 AM. After that, get ready for three hours of Mr. Lee Harrah unleashed as we bring you his episode of Six Degrees of Separation at 9 AM, followed by an encore of the first-ever Harrah’s Hard & Heavy at 11 AM.

At noon we go back almost exactly one year for an encore of the debut episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. Legendary London DeeJay Sydney Fileen presents two hours of the best music of the New Wave era, and you can hear the very first episode here.

At 3 PM it’s time for a replay of the premiere edition of Radio Free Charleston International. This is the show wehre I get to play anything I wish, and this debut episode has been out of circulation for nearly a year. In case you were wondering if the show was always unpredictable, check out the playlist below the jump:

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A Quick Look At The 2017 Marx Toy Convention

Last weekend saw Marx Toy collectors from around the world converge in Wheeling, West Virginia for the 19th annual Marx Toy convention at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum. A wonderful time was had by all and today we’re just going to bring you a few photos of the fun. Later this week we’ll have our video coverage of this great show ready, but until then, here’s a mini-photo essay to hold you over.

At right you see the group photo, where a fraction of the folks in attendance gathered to have their picture taken on the steps up to the second floor of the museum. Friday was a bit of a rainy day, and the inside photos tend to attract a smaller crowd. Of note is that, directly in front of your PopCulteer is Dave Roth, a prominent collector who always seems to hook me up with rare figures for my Johnny West collection.  Trust me. I’m pointing him out for a reason.

Later in the week we’ll bring you photos and video from the Francis Turner collection sale at the former site of the Marx Toy Museum, but for now we’re staying in Kruger Street. Apologies for the small number of photos, but we’re still ironing out technical bugs here at PopCult, and we concentrated more on video this year.

Without any further ado, here’s the first taste of the 2017 Marx Toy Convention…

The reason we mentioned Dave Roth was that this is his creation, a Medicine Wagon we first saw at JoeLanta/ToyLanta in March. This quickly sold for $450, which was a bargain.

The reason we mentioned Dave Roth was that this is his creation, a Medicine Wagon we first saw at JoeLanta/ToyLanta in March. This quickly sold for $450, which was a bargain.

On the lfet you see our buddy, James Wozniak, who's responsible for bringing many freshly-made Marx toys into this country from Mexico. Check out his website.

On the left you see our buddy, James Wozniak, who’s responsible for bringing many freshly-made Marx toys into this country from Mexico. Check out his website.

Tom Heaton, author of the Marx Action Figure Encyclopedia and several subsequent modules with extra information unleashed his latest module, with a detailed look at the early Johnny West and related figures from 1965 to 1968. You can order your copy here.

Tom Heaton, author of the Marx Action Figure Encyclopedia and several subsequent modules with extra information unleashed his latest module, with a detailed look at the early Johnny West and related figures from 1965 to 1968. You can contact Tom to order your copy here.

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Wednesday is AIR Day!

wednesday-5-31-logoNew episodes of Life Speaks To Michele Zirkle, and The AIR Audio Playhouse mix with encore airings of the first episodes of On The Road with Mel, Curtain Call, Beatles Blast and Word Association with Lee and Rudy to make your day  on The AIR. You can tune in at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

At 1 PM we take you back to the very first episode of On The Road with Mel, as you meet Mel Larch and learn all about travel as part of our special week where we encore some of the debut episodes of our shows leading up to the first anniversary of The AIR next week.

At 1:30 PM, Life Speaks To Michele Zirkle Marcum brings you “Wolves and Rocks,” as our resident spiritual life-coach talks of dreams and her father.

2 PM sees a replay of the first two episodes of Beatles Blast, while 3 PM is where you’ll find the first two episodes of Mel Larch’s other show on The AIR, Curtain Call, bringing you the best of musical theatre.

air-6-6-17At 5 PM The AIR Audio Playhouse presents the first hour of a two-part radio adaptation of Jules Verne’s Journey To The Center Of The Earth. Part two will be heard in this timeslot next week.

At 6 PM tune in for The New Music Show, followed at 6:30 PM by The (BS) Crazy Show and a replay of Life Speaks at 7 PM.

At 7:30 PM we present a replay of the very first episode of Word Association with Lee and Rudy, where the two pop culture mavens discuss The Incredible Hulk.

This is one of the early episodes of Word Association that hasn’t been aired for over ten months.

That’s followed at 8 PM by a replay of the very first episode of Herman Linte’s Prognosis.

Then at 10 PM it’s the fifth edition of Marking Out, our hour-long show devoted to Professional Wrestling, which comes to us from WMUL radio in Huntington. Hosted by Matt BelVillain and Betty Rock, this weekly show will fill you in on everything you need to know about WWE, NXT, ROH, Impact Wrestling and even the local indy scene.

That’s followed by the first episode of  The Comedy Vault at 11 PM. Then at midnight listeners can settle in for an all-night marathon of select albums of beloved music.  All part of the unique programming that you can only hear on The AIR.

Secret Origins of Super Radio Shows

rfc 9 20With the first anniversary of the re-branding of The AIR coming up next week, this week we are going to re-present some of the first episodes of our key shows.  Today you can hear the first episode of Radio Free Charleston volume four, Ska Madness and The Swing Shift. And at 5 PM stay tuned for a special presentation of this week’s Marking Out, which was bumped for the Prognosis marathon Monday. You can tune in at The AIR Website, or just settle down right here on this embedded radio player…

At 10 AM and 10 PM relive the first new RFC radio show, from January of last year. We’ll post the playlist below. This is in our old, two-hour format, but it’s still solid, wall-to-wall local music.

At 2 PM, we re-present the first hour of Ska Madness, which used to be a half-hour program. Dexter Checkers brings you the best of the three waves of Ska in the new Ska Madness timeslot.

3 PM is when we give you an encore of the first two editions of The Swing Shift, with the best of the last century of Swing Music, hosted by yours truly.

5 PM sees this week’s episode of Marking Out with Matt BelVillain and Betty Rock, looking at last week’s professional wrestling highlights. We’ll also run this at 7 PM, in case you miss it the first time.

We’ll be bringing you encores of a lot of the premiere episodes of our most popular shows all week long. Next week we mark the anniversary of The AIR with all-new episodes of everything.

Here’s the playlist for Radio Free Charleston V4 Episode 1:

Jordan Andrew Jefferson “White Light”
The Smoky Room “Pie Chart”
No Rain  “Don’t Come Around”
Jack Griffith  “Everything It Takes”
Dina  “Pies”
The Laser Beams  “Eden By The Fire Escape”
Sheldon Vance “Don’t Walk Away”
Miss Mousie and The Rigamarole  “Dumpsters and Divebars”
Neil Zaza  “Take On Me”
Under Surveillance  “Rachel”
The Nanker Phelge  “Meerkat and Wombat”
Trielement  “Ultra Violet”
The Company Stores  “Pocket Change”
Wolfgang Parker  “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head”
Superfetch  “Suck My D*ck ISIS”
Mark Wolfe “Gypsy Rant”
The Heydays  “Shady Grove”
Bud Carroll  “Mistaken Identity”
Out of Nowhere  “Rise Above”
Tape Age  “Worst Night Of My Life”
J Marinelli  “The Great Negation”
Joe Vallina “Humble Days”
Renaissance  “So Blase”
Stark Raven  “It Never Goes Away”
Clownhole  “Old Man Jumping A Fence”
Under The Radar  “All Along The Watchtower”
Bobaflex  “Pray To The Devil”
Syphter  “No Laughing Matter”

Monday Morning Art: Melvin

Today’s art is a geometrical digital painting that recycles one of my old works and turns it into something new. I call it “Melvin,” because I’m writing this late at night, I’ve been up all day and really don’t want to bother thinking of another name. As always, click on the image to see a bigger version.

If this piece puts you in the mind of progressive rock, then you should listen to The AIR today. There’s a 24-hour marathon of our progressive rock program, Prognosis going on. Listen at the website, or on this embedded player…

Sunday Evening Video: Marx Redux

The man of the hour, Johnny WestYour PopCulteer was in Wheeling for The Marx Toy Convention this weekend, and with Marx on our minds, how about we look at some video from a previous Marx Toy Convention? Specifically, how about we look at Scott Stewart’s discourse on Johnny West from a couple of years ago?

Scott Stewart walks us through the “50 Years of Johnny West” exhibit at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum in Wheeling, West Virginia. Learn about fifty years of one of the country’s most memorable action figures, Johnny West, and The Best of the West toy line. Recorded June 20, 2015.  Scott has a special page devoted to Johnny West’s 50th Anniversary up at his site, and it’s well worth checking out.

If all goes according to plan, you’ll have fresh video from this year’s Marx Toy Convention at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum later this week.

Ten Years of RFC Flashback: Episode 56

montage (1)Episode 56 of Radio Free Charleston, “DEVOBAMA Shirt” hails from November, 2008. This episode features searing hot rock from Dog Soldier, a really cool music video from The Button Flies, encore animation from Frank Panucci, and a trailer for the film “The Bride & The Grooms,” which was written and directed by Charleston native, Butch Maier.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been so long since we put this show together. Time flies, y’know. Check PopCult each week as we continue our chronological presentation of  Radio Free Charleston‘s past. You can read the original production notes HERE.

Speaking of chronological, here’s a bonus “half” episode that we did the following week, featuring music from the CYAC production of Scarpelli and Kehde’s MARY

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An Epic Event Of Trivial Importance

The PopCulteer
June 23 , 2017

This week’s PopCulteer is about PopCult. Earlier this week, PopCult’s streak of having a fresh post every day came to an end at 1,401 days. Your PopCulteer was about seven weeks shy of four years of consecutive daily posting. And breaking the streak was pretty much all my fault.

See, the blogs here at the Gazette-Mail have had some routine glitches lately, and the IT team managed to get everything under control. I thought that my streak might have been broken two weeks earlier, but it didn’t happen and we very quickly got back to our normal routine.

But Monday I went to update PopCult, and…I couldn’t log in.

Before I go any further, let me explain my relationship with the Gazette-Mail. They are perfectly happy to have me as a community blogger and I am perfectly happy to have PopCult hosted on their site. Much of the reason for their happiness is that I am low-maintainance. I don’t cause any trouble and I pretty much operate autonomously within the parameters of what they want PopCult to be. In fact, I go above and beyond what the other community bloggers do, mainly because of what some would characterize as a personality disorder. I get pretty obsessive about any project I work on, and PopCult has been my most visible work for nearly twelve years now.

I’m happy because I have plenty of freedom, and I benefit from being associated with a major media presence here in Charleston. Since 2005 I have only been asked to remove one two-part story, and I completely understand and agree with the reasons for that. While that story was completely true and accurate, it’s not a good idea to get into a conflict with somebody who buys lawyers by the barrel, especially over something laughably trivial. I’m really happy to be part of the Gazette-Mail, and I’d like that to continue for some time.

Because of this, I hate to complain when there’s a technical issue because I know that fixing these things can be a major headache and the last thing you need when trying to sort out a computer problem is someone leaning over your shoulder going “Is it fixed yet?”

In this case, I called the Gazette-Mail Monday and got a voice mailbox and did not leave a message because I figured they were working on the problem, like they did a couple of weeks ago, and would get it fixed soon enough. Tuesday was West Virginia Day and the only post I wanted to run would have plugged the Radio Free Charleston marathon on our companion radio station, The AIR.

So Tuesday I didn’t even try to contact anyone. It was the first day since August 17, 2013 with no fresh post in PopCult.

The world did not come to an end. There were no major catastrophes as a result, and I went out for a pleasant drive with Mrs. PopCulteer. To be honest, ending the streak was a bit liberating.

Wednesday, however, I was starting to feel blogger withdrawal, and called and spoke to Glen Flanagan, who was completely unaware of my technical issues. It was a simple matter of fixing a problem with my log-in to the system. If I’d left a voicemail on Monday, it would’ve been fixed Monday. This one is all on me for being too sheepish to speak up sooner.

Many thanks to Glen for his prompt action. Glen’s even going to try and update our cover image to the collage that I created for that purpose a couple of years ago. You see bits of it illustrating this post.

Wednesday evening I was able to post a quick note plugging the marathons we’ll have on The AIR for the next few days and I was able to get ahead on my PopCult posts because I’m heading to Wheeling this weekend for The Marx Toy Convention that I told you about last week.

Now I just need to decide if I’m going to start a new streak, or allow myself to take a day off once in a while. It’s a safe bet that I’m going to try to post every day. I mean, I got lots of stuff to cover, and lots of video and photos that I haven’t brought to my readers yet. And that’s just how I do.

Anyway, that’s why we didn’t have a post for you on Tuesday.

That is our PopCulteer for this week. Please get out and enjoy something this weekend, whether it’s FestivAll, Riverfest, or if you’re one of those brave souls making the drive to Wheeling to gather in tribute to The Marx Toy Company. All our regular features will still be here. I’m writing them as I write…I guess.

Stuff To Do: June 23-24

Okay, your PopCulteer is going to level with you. I won’t be able to attend any of the cool things I talk about in this space this week. I will be in Wheeling at The Marx Toy Convention that I told you about last Friday. That’s a neon Magic Markie that you see to the right. I’ve been going to the Marx Toy Convention since 2009, and this year, due to some medical issue, I chose it over FestivAll.

This will be the first year since its inaugural weekend back in 2005 that I have not attended a single FestivAll event. This is mostly due to the fact that the medications I’m taking for Myasthenia Gravis make it risky for me to be in sunlight for too long.  Outdoor events are just too potentially dangerous for me. This is also the first time I can recall the Marx Toy Convention taking place during the second weekend of FestivAll instead of the first.

There are plenty of great FestivAll events, and I recommend you take advantage of our city becoming a work of art. This is one of the things that makes Charleston such a special place, and you should visit the website for a full schedule of this weekend’s FestivAll festivities.

Likewise, Riverfest, which made the last-minute switch from Saint Albans to Nitro this week, is happening, and many local bands will be playing in the more comfortable environs of Nitro City Park. I do have to wonder why, if they could move the location of Riverfest at this late date, why didn’t they move it to the following weekend, when there isn’t anything major going on locally.

In addition to those huge events, there are several other cool things happening, and I’m going to specifically mention two cool shows, which are happening at roughly the same time, in Charleston Saturday night.

At the Blue Parrot, three bands that I play regularly on Radio Free Charleston on The AIR will take turns storming the stage. Zeroking, Under Social and Payback’s a Bitch combine to offer up a triple-bill that would sorely beckon me if I weren’t en route from Wheeling to Canonsburg, PA while it’s going on.

Across town at The Empty Glass, Pale Nova finds support from Indighost and Scroungehound for another killer triple-bill. Pale Nova has also been in heavy rotation on RFC of late, and when the video show goes back into production later this summer, they’re on my list of bands to record.

Both of those shows require a measly five dollar cover. That is an insanely low price to see three bands. Cover charges weren’t that low back in caveman days. You couldn’t go wrong with either show. Check out the virtual flyers, and then after the jump, check a few other cool shows that I could find graphics for this week.

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