Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

The Show Without Words Is Here: Production Notes For RFC 34

The latest episode of Radio Free Charleston is online now! “Lucha Mask Shirt (Show Without Words #1) features music from Charleston’s Blues legend Raymond Wallace, WV’s Latin Stars Duo Divertido, and Parkersburg’s master of the 12-string Josh Buskirk. We also have fresh animation from RFC Big Shot Frank Panucci and a special visit from the Commander in Chief. Best of all, this episode of RFC features NO VOCALS! The music is all instrumental, as is the animation, and even the President doesn’t have much to say.

Of course there were the host segments to contend with. I host the show with duct tape over my mouth. There are subtitles for my mumbling. We even recorded a special version of the theme song, and non-verbal jingles for this show. A lot of effort went into this as an afterthought. We remembered to record them while we were shooting the host bits on the fifth floor of the Quarrier street parking building at the Charleston Town Center, and the new jingles and theme were recorded in the car while RFC Big Shot Melanie Larch and I were warming up between segments. It was very, very cold last Sunday when we shot these.

Of course, the music is the star. Our first guest, Raymond Wallace, is actually in the hospital as I write this, recovering from surgery. I just spoke to him and he’s doing well and will be released in a few days. I recorded Raymond in the lobby at LiveMix Studio performing “I Have Anchored My Soul To A Haven Of Rest.” This traditional hymn is very special for Raymond. I think it was twelve or thirteen years ago when his mother passed away. Her funeral was on the coldest day of the year, and only three people showed up for the service. I was there with Steve Wiznan and Raymond. Raymond played this hymn at the service, and it was very moving and memorable. When I told Raymond that I was doing an instrumental show, he wanted to play this tune and show off his new Taylor 12-string. We recorded this on the same night that we recorded Raymond’s version of “It’s a Long Way To Tipperary” that we showed back in episode 31.

Duo Divertido is Eduardo and Beth from Comparsa, performing as a guitar and flute combo. Last October they held a “party for the arts” at LiveMix Studio, and as luck would have it, RFC Big Shot Brian Young flipped a switch on the studio camera and recorded most of the evening’s music. The music was recorded on LiveMix’s digital multi-track, and with the blessing of Eduardo and Beth and LiveMix, I combined the camera shot with the finished music, and did a little video tweaking. The end result is the song you see on this show. The tune itself is “Blue Afro,” a tribute of sorts to “Afro Blue” by Cuban percussion legend Mongo Santamaria.

Eduardo appeared on episode three of RFC, and Comparsa was on episode 27. We look forward to having any combination of the state’s finest Latin musicians back on Radio Free Charleston whenever we can.

Parkersburg’s Josh Buskirk is young master of the twelve-stringed arts. We were introduced to him by RFC fave John Radcliff, and Josh first appeared on episode 18, our road trip to Parkersburg. We used another of Josh’s tunes from the Parkersburg sessions on episode 20 of RFC. For this episode, we dipped back into our stash O’ good music for a clip of Josh performing his song “The Green March” last May at Taylor Books. Josh was just in town last weekend, at The Bluegrass Kitchen, and he’ll be back there on February 16. You should make it out to bask in his virtuosity. And try the Bruschetta, it’s great.

“Pesky Mung” is the latest bit of animated enlightenment from my brother, Frank. If you’ve been following this series of cartoons, then you know that they reveal the secrets of the known universe in carefully-measured doses. You should watch them and take in their deep meaning. There are spiritual subliminal messages embedded here that will penetrate your brain and raise your level of awareness. After viewing all 49 chapters of this series, you will be able to look down on Nirvana as your universal awareness eclipses that of the most enlightened Dalai. Heck, after you watch the first fifteen chapters, you’ll be able to levitate and turn lunch-meat into gold with a mere glance. This is some heavy stuff. It’s like Zen on crack! SPOILER ALERT!: In the segment where I introduce the animation, I’m actually giving away the ending to “Cloverfield.”

That’s the background into on Radio Free Charleston‘s “Show Without Words.”  Be sure to check out the RFC MySpace page for bonus production notes and info on upcoming shows, plus clips from previous episodes of RFC that are no longer online.  And remember, you can surf on over to the Radio Free Charleston Cafepress Store for a variety of shirts, mugs, and trinkets bearing the RFC logo.  The quality is questionable, but the prices are exorbitant, so it balances out!


  1. Fred Martin


    Killer show. Not too talky or anything.

    Got me through the night shift again!!

    You need more close ups of the flute chick.

    What was under the bar at the end.

    How bad did it hurt ripping that tape off?

  2. Elvis Capone

    CLOVERFIELD spoiler translation:

    Tommy Lee and Llewelyn go Rambo on Chigurh, but Tommy Lee is mortally wounded in the gun battle. Chigurh falls on his own slaughterhouse bolt-gun and his heart blasts out his back. Llewelyn and his wife retire with the $2 million dollars. It’s sort of a happy ending.

  3. Charleston Marley

    You are carrying on in the grand tradition of Ernie Kovacs. Kudos to you and your crew. This is a very special episode from your very special show. Charleston is lucky to have something this clever originating from it. I love how you put the lie to the Greek Chorus of “There’s nothing in Charleston to see or do, and there are no artists or musicians.”

    Keep up the good work.

  4. The Dude

    Hey, this show left me speechless.

    Great music and animation and stuff. I think I seen that ear-picker on the TV before.

  5. Bella Donna

    More silent monster movie type stuff!! That animation intro was wayyyyy kewler than “Cloverfield” could hope to be.

  6. Mountain Woman Phd.

    What a delightful show. I’m struck at how creative and imaginative you still manage to be after more than 30 shows. The duct tape over your mouth was hilarious. The music was wonderful, too. I loved Duo Divertido and can never get enough of the Latin Music WV crowd. Raymond was great, as always, and I’d seen the Josh Buskirk clip before, but it was good to see it again.

    You should pat yourself on the back for this show. It’s a real keeper.

  7. Longtime Listener

    Too funny. And the music kicks it, too. Wish I’d known about this last week. All the good comments have been made already.

  8. Mexican Romeo

    Great show, very funny and inventive, but I wish you had better camera angles on Duo Divertido.

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