Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Behind The Scenes At Radio Free Charleston 26

“Back To School” is the title of the latest episode of Radio Free Charleston, and it’s appropriate because this installment of RFC is hosted by 12-year-old Cadence Young (right), a student at John Adams Middle School, and the daughter of RFC Big Shot Brian Young. That makes this our second consecutive show with second-generation RFC contributors, following Joe Slack’s performance in episode 25. Cadence graciously agreed to step in and host after I was mysteriously injured during the “Hello” segment. She did a great job, introducing our musical guests, Whistlepunk (with her dad on drums) and Sean Richardson.

We also have a short film by Audrey and Mia Beckner, ages 10 and 9, who are also second-generation RFC contributors. Their dad, Stephen Beckner has been on the show as a solo performer, a member of Go Van Gogh, and an animator. Stephen and his wife, Amee, have these really cool movie nights in their front yard in Elkview and showed “Chins” at one of them. I quickly asked if I could use it for the show.

Whistlepunk is back (having dropped the “2.0) with “The Good” which was shot at LiveMix back on May 12, the same day that we shot the video for “Satellites from episode 20 (and also the same day that we shot The Feast Of Stephen reunion show. ) I snuck this clip out on YouTube back in May, but it was so good that I wanted to share it with you in a higher-quality format. You can catch Whistlepunk Saturday Sept. 8 at Blues BBQ and then again one week later at Oktoberfest at Appalachian Power Park from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Later that night, Whistlepunk will be playing at the Vandalia Lounge at 9 p.m. You should have just enough time to see them at Oktoberfest, then rush home to watch episodes 20 and 26 of RFC, then head out to the Vandalia, so you can get the full Whistlepunk experience.

Sean Richardson will also be performing with Whistlepunk on those dates. And Whistlepunk, along with The Voo Doo Katz, Comparsa, and more will be performing at a benefit concert Sean is staging for his cousin, Leigh Ann Bowlin who is battling cancer. That benefit is this coming Sunday, Sept. 9, at the La Belle Theater, 311 D Street, in South Charleston. Admission is $10, and the show starts at 3 p.m and runs until 9 PM.

I recorded Sean’s song “World Gone Mad” in the lobby of the Quarrier Building, home of LiveMix Studio, Aug. 28 at about 9:30 p.m. It was done in one take, and I decided to just use the one camera angle, with me circling Sean as he sang. The acoustics are fantastic in the lobby. I didn’t touch the audio. That’s exactly as it was recorded on the camera microphone.

I had a second camera rolling–my new Canon Powershot 630 — but the video worked better with just the one shot, so I used the footage from the second camera for the end credits. I also used the Powershot for the balloon footage, and for Mad Man Pondo’s promo.

Pondo, the main man at IWA East Coast, will be doing a regular segment on future episodes of RFC called “Celebrity Run-In with Mad Man Pondo.” He’ll treat us to his intimate stories of how he managed to upset various celebrities, such as Anna Nicole Smith, Paula Abdul, and Ronnie James Dio. Watch for it in the coming weeks.

The animation this time is by me. It’s some of the first animation I’ve done since the early ’80s and you’ll be seeing more of it, since I figured out how to make the programs work. This is part one of “Digitally Assaulted Charleston” which is based on the photographs that I’ve been posting here in PopCult for the past couple of years (by the way, I wasn’t paying attention, and missed my second anniversary as a Gazzblogger last week). I’ll also be doing some more narrative work on future episodes of RFC, so they won’t all require bong hits to fully appreciate.

That’s the story behind episode 26 of RFC, our “Back To School” show. Remember to check out the Radio Free Charleston MySpace Page for more information on the show, and visit the Radio Free Charleston Store to see how the T-shirts are still too expensive, even though I cut all the prices.


  1. BellaDonna

    Oh man…you got beat up by a girl. Great episode, though. “The Chins” was a nice bit ‘o cuteness and the musical performances were wonderful!

  2. Brooke

    Sean Richardson’s clip was especially intriguing. Great song and a great voice. Way to capture that magic in one take!

  3. Mr inquisitive

    This show left me longing for my squandered youth. The things I could have done if super 8 film had not been so @#$damn expensive.

  4. Teenaged Lesbian Spitfire

    Well, there are more chicks, but they’re too young.

    Nice try.

  5. Longtime Listener

    Fun show, but it made me feel really old. You’re having the kids of the bands that I used to listen to on the show now.

    It’s always great to see Whistlepunk, and Sean is amazing.

    Nice weird animation. Bong hits indeed!

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