The latest Radio Free Charleston, “Fantastic Four Shirt” is online now. This is a very special episode because it features two acts who are alumni of the original RFC radio program, but are making their first appearance on the video version of Radio Free Charleston. Lady D is Doris Fields, and I first played her music in the fall of 1989 back when 96.1 FM was WVNS, and I got to run wild for a few months in the middle of the night. Blue Million was also on the show back then. Their front-man, Alan Griffith, also appeared performing solo, and on one memorable night, backing up me and The Stunning Janice as we butchered Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone.”
Also on the show this week is a new installment of “The Android Family,” and part four of Frank Panucci’s series of enlightening animation, this episode is called “Porky Bang.” We shot the host segments last Friday in the Quarrier Building, home of LiveMix Studio, because the nasty weather decided to crap all over all our other potential locations.
Blue Million has been around in a few different incarnations for a couple of decades now. Always lead by the talented songwriter/guitarist/harmonica master Alan Griffith, the band now includes Alan’s longtime drummer Andy Lewis and newcomer Jay Hill on bass guitar. Blue Million has a new CD out, which you can find at Budget Tapes and Records and at Taylor Books. You can read a review here. Taylor Books was also the location where we recorded Blue Million performing “I’m Gonna Catch You” for this episode of RFC.
Our crew that night consisted of yours truly, plus RFC Big Shot Melanie Larch on camera two. It was a bit challenging shooting in low light with the bright lights of Capitol Street and The Brawley Walkway shining in through the window, but I think it came out looking pretty cool, especially when the fire truck pulls up right outside near the end of the song. What I didn’t know at the time was that, while I was concentrating on getting the really cool shot where the firemen jump out of the truck right behind Alan, my fellow camera operators were contemplating how long they could go before bolting for the door in case the building was on fire (it wasn’t).
We didn’t have any adventures like that at the Unitarian Universalist Church when we recorded Lady D. Doris is one of the area’s true delights as an entertainer, and we were thrilled to have the chance to record her for the show. We were treated to a wonderful evening of music at the UUC as they closed out Black History Month with a night of Blues, Soul and Jazz. Doris’s song “Go Higher’ was inspired by John Mayer’s “Waiting On The World To Change.” Doris said she really enjoyed the song, but it made her think that we can’t wait for the world the change, we have to change it ourselves.
The end result is a tremendous, uplifting song, which Doris promises will be on her next CD. As soon as that CD is ready to be released, I’ll tell you about it here in PopCult. Lady D is backed up by keyboardist Robert Gray and vocalist Joyce Brown. Also chiming in on backing vocals is Barrelhouse Bonni, whose name I mangled in the intro on the show. Sorry, Bonni. Because this song is longer than the tunes we normally feature on RFC, I decided to close the show with it and roll the credits over it.
Buried in the middle of all that great music is the latest installement of “The Android Family.” Without giving too much away, I’d like to make it clear than no chickens were flattened during the filming of this episode. If you listen carefully, you can hear the little bird escaping at the end. Of course, this means that an irate chicken, pumped full of steroids, may return at any time to bedevil our family of lovable androids.
We also feature “Porky Bang,” more mind-expanding animation from my brother, Frank. You must watch these intently so that you can follow along on your path to spiritual enlightenment.
That’s it for this episode. Check back in a week or so for the next Radio Free Charleston, featuring music from Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen From Mars plus Joe Slack, and The Spurgie Hankins Band.