PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Sunday Evening Video: Rock, Rock, Rock

MV5BMTc2NjgxNDA5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjAwMzUxMQ@@._V1_Tonight we bring you a musical gem with sterling performances from Rock and Roll’s pioneers. In Rock, Rock, Rock A young teenage girl (Tuesday Weld) desperately tries to earn enough money to buy a dress for a school rock and roll dance. This early rock and roll feature, the 3rd in a series of 5 starring Disc Jockey and Rock N Roll impresario Alan Freed, includes performances by artists Chuck Berry, La Vern Baker, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, The Flamingos, The Moonglows and The Johnny Burnette Trio.Released in 1956, this film became a mainstay of Night Flight when it entered the public domain in 1984.

Connie Francis provided the singing voice for Tuesday Weld’s character, and we also get to hear Dion and The Belmonts and Jimmy Cavallo and his Houserockers on the soundtrack. This is a great musical time capsule, filled with top-notch early rock and roll, and now you can watch it right here in PopCult. It holds up pretty well for a movie that was made sixty years ago.


Ten Years of RFC Flashback: Episode 10

This is Radio Free Charleston’s tenth episode, originally posted to Gazz TV on November 29, 2006, and remastered october 4, 2013. This episode, “Captain Action Shirt,” features music from The Sleeping Dons and The Heydays, vintage animation remixed, and a short film starring Danny Boyd as an evil dwarf.

Host segments were shot on the grounds of the State Capitol Building, and if you look at the montage under the end credits, you can see the lovely fountain that they have since bulldozed.

Continue reading…

Random Notes From The Poppity World of Culture

Img_6117The PopCulteer
August 19
, 2016

Your PopCulteer has had a fun week of unexpected driving adventures, delays and hang-ups that pulled his mind away from the task of writing, so this week our Friday column will be filled with short bursts of randomosity, okay?

Mattel’s Thingmaker

We wrote about the new Mattel Thingmaker 3D printer earlier this year after we saw it in person at Toy Fair in New York. Now you can pre-order it from Mattel, Apparently there have been some delays and the pre-order for Thingmaker has been removed from Mattel.com and Amazon, so maybe it won’t be available in time for Christmas.  When it does get here, it looks like they’ve made it easier to import your own 3D designs than it seemed it would be back at Toy Fair. Three hundred dollars for a decent little 3D printer isn’t too bad. We’ll keep you posted about when it will be available. Check out our video to see what we’re talking about.

Hillbilly Toy Chest Sale

1622019_1061461397258171_40754674031151817_nJust a few weeks ago we told you about Hillbilly Toy Chest in Milton and their huge celebration marking one year in their new location. We have since learned the bittersweet news that Hillbilly Toy Chest is shutting down at the end of this month.

It’s not actually bad news. Nathaniel and Emily Williamson decided to close their shop because Nathaniel’s other career is taking off, and they want to start a family, so running a collectible toy/comic/card shop was simply too much. They are going out on top and they’re doing it with a huge sale, which now sees everything in the store marked down 50%. We hate to see them go, but we’re glad that it’s not because of bad business or anything negative. It was just time to move on.

The sale runs until August 27 at Hillbilly Toy Chest at 878 E Main Street in Milton. Everything is half off and they are selling off their fixtures, pegboards and display cabinets.

Continue reading…

STUFF TO DO and A Little Milestone

STD LOGO 8 18Today is August 18, 2016. Three years ago on this date your PopCulteer decided to see how long he could go if he tried to post at least one item in this blog every day.

The answer, to quote the announcer from the old Tootsie Pop commerical, is “The world may never know.” We’re still going. Eagle-eyed readers may notice a couple of days where we removed posts to keep from having a crazed millionaire hit us with a nuisance lawsuit for exposing a fraudulent scheme of his, but there were originally posts on those days so I’m counting them.

It’s been three years that have seen your PopCulteer travel, get married to his longtime love, launch an internet radio station and be diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. It’s been eventful and I thank my loyal readers for sticking with me, even with the video content dropping off quite a bit this year due to my eyestrain issues from dealing with MG (oddly enough, it’s because my eyes are healing, and in the process of that, I am susceptible to headaches if I stare at the computer screen intently enough to edit video).

Anyway, that’s three years of fresh content every day here in PopCult. Yay, me.

This week there is a ton of STUFF TO DO, and rather than write about it all, how about I just post a link/player thingy with a half-hour radio show that you can listen to? HERE This is the show that my wife, Mel Larch, and I do for The AIR, which is that internet radio station I manage to mention almost every day here in PopCult.

This week we talk about The Simply Jazz and Blues Festival in Beckley, Summerfest in South Charleston, ArtWalk in Downtown Charleston, that sport thing that’s closing Kanawha Boulevard and we also cover the night music scene, theatre and area car shows. There is so much stuff going on this weekend that we only had room to sample one song, by Todd Burge, who can be seen and heard tonight in Saint Albans before heading to New York for a benefit show for West Virginia flood victims.

We did miss a couple of shows at The Blue Parrot that came in after our deadline. Friday night at 10 PM you can catch Down in Round 3, Move Home, Yearling and Youth. Saturday, hot on the heels of their show at the Charleston Streetfest, Hybrid Soul Project takes the stage at 10 PM. Both shows have a five dollar cover.

So listen to STUFF TO DO at the above link, and check out the these graphics from the people who were kind enough to supply us with them.





Continue reading…

Yet Another Post About Internet Radio

WEDNESDAY LOGOIt’s time for yet another Wednesday filled with great programming on The AIR. Listen at the website or on this swell little radio widget…

Now, because your PopCulteer spent almost three hours trapped on Interstate 64 driving his wife home from work last night, you loyal listeners of The AIR get to experience some classic episodes of your favorite programs.

We do have a brand-new edition of STUFF TO DO with features on The Simply Jazz and Blues Festival and South Charleston’s Summerfest and a tune by Todd Burge, plus the station debut of a classic episode of The Goon Show and a new edition of The Gibby Hunters.

Here’s the schedule:

11 AM  The Lynn Browder Show About Autism
Noon Curtain Call with Mel Larch Episode 004
1 PM On The Road With Mel “National Parks”
2 PM The Real with Mark Wolfe and RJ Haddy
3 PM Curtain Call with Mel Larch Episode 002
4 PM The Swing Shift Episode 002
6 PM The Goon Show NEW!
7 PM The Best of Word Association with Lee and Rudy
8 PM Booster Pack
9 PM The Real with Mark Wolfe and Create WV
10 PM The Gibby Hunters NEW!
11 PM The Comedy Vault

Radioland Is In The AIR

Wed 8 10It’s another all new Tuesday on The AIR, with fresh installments of Radio Free Charleston, Radio Coolsville, Six Degrees of Separation featuring Chris Ojeda of Byzantine, and Radio Free Charleston International.

You can tune in at The AIR website or on this special little embedded radio player widget…

It all kicks off at 10 AM with a brand new Radio Free Charleston, opening with InFormation and bringing you tons of music by other great local bands. Don’t believe us? Check out the playlist right here:

New RFC Logo 0401InFormation  “She’s Like Poison”
Dina Hornbaker  “At Bay”
Ron Sowell  “Gig From Hell”
Christopher Qiet “Black Hole Sun”
Kenney Clark  “Jerry’s Funeral”
The Irreplaceables  “Digital Age”
Miniature Giant  “Kill Your Friends”
Blue Million  “Don’t Leave”
Rofs  “Don’t Cry”
John Inghram  “Prayer In The Spring”
Groove Heavy  “Do You Remember The Time”
X-3  “6102 Dance”
Electric Suicide Method  “Jessica Negri Syndrome”

You can hear Radio Free Charleston at 10 AM and 10 PM Tuesday on The AIR.

Continue reading…

Monday Morning Art: The Barbarian

barbarian 09


Let’s just say…hypothetically…that a blogger wants to take the weekend off to celebrate his birthday without having to write something every single day, which he has been doing for nearly three years now. And let’s assume that he has the option of posting items several days in advance so that his readers can have something new to look at if he needs a day off.

We can continue to speculate that this blogger, who maybe does a weekly feature where he showcases his own artwork, maybe doesn’t have any new art to drop into the blog to cover that feature the next week. Yet, because of his streak of consecutive days posting content, he doesn’t want to skip a day, particularly a day with an art feature that he’s kept going for ten years.

Further speculation may lead us to assume that he picks up his mouse late on a Thursday evening, and drawing with said mouse, creates a semi-abstract digital painting of a barbarian crossing a bridge over some hell-like place in about fifteen minutes.

But that’s all hypothetical. Click to enlarge.

Sunday Evening Videos: Spidey Super Stories

001Marvel’s Spider-man, created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, is a huge movie figure today. Films starring the crime-fighting web-spinner have grossed billions of dollars and survived multiple reboots, with another coming our way next year. But the first live-action incarnation of Peter Parker’s superhero alter-ego was not in theaters, but on the small screen, debuting on PBS in 1974, as part of The Electric Company, a fondly-remembered bizarre, psychedelic reading education program.

Spider-man does not speak, but communicates via word balloons so that the kids watching at home can read along.

Tonight we bring you a whole bunch of the Spidey Super Stories segments, the first of which is narrated by Electric Company regular, Morgan Freeman. This was all to promote reading skills among young kids, and also to give a boost to Spider-man, who had already become a major super hero, on par with Superman and Batman. These are still a lot of fun and might be good viewing for super hero-obsessed toddlers today. The villains are original creations, not drawn from the comics, and these shorts are more like the 1966 Batman TV show than Marvel’s angst-ridden comics.

Spidey Super Stories remained part of The Electric Company until the show ended in 1977. From 1974 to 1982 Marvel produced a companion comic book, which was ad-free and aimed at younger readers.

Ten Years of RFC Flashback: Episode Nine

“Duh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh Nuh BATMAN Shirt,” henceforth known simply as “Batman Shirt,” was episode 9 of Radio Free Charleston and originally appeared November 14, 2006, and was our first Thanksgiving show.

This is one of our most-watched and least-watched shows. Since being remastered and posted to YouTube a couple of years ago, it has been viewed more than three-thousand times. However, most viewers bail out after about ten seconds, probably disappointed that it isn’t the theme song sequence from the Batman TV show.

It is, however, a great local music showcase that features songs from Stephen Beckner and Mother Nang, a Pentagram Flowerbox cartoon, the short film, Hell for Turkeys and funny host segments from the pre-demolition food court at The Kanawha Mall. End credit music is by Greg Wegmann.

Still recovering from our first big Halloween shows, we took a low-key approach to this episode of RFC. Stephen Beckner returned with a second song recorded at the second-ever RFC recording session at LiveMix Studio, which also gave us his song for episode two. “Olive Or Twist” was on his “Apples” CD.

We also bring you archival footage of Mother Nang from 1992 performing “Knee Deep In Wine.” After this show was originally posted to the Charleston Gazette in 2006, Mother Nang reunited and appeared in more modern times on the show. Their frontman, Spencer Elliott, has gone on to become a big-shot amazing fingerstyle guitar recording artist for CandyRat Records. His second solo album is due out in a few weeks.

There is an epic-length Pentagram Flowerbox Thanksgiving cartoon on hand, as Timmy and his grandma go hunting for a giant turkey and pay tribute to the late Iron Eyes Cody. This was just restored to this episode when it was remastered in 2013, after having been cut out in 2008 following a misunderstanding with its creator, Third Mind Incarnation.

There’s much more in this edition of Radio Free Charleston: a glimpse of turkey hell, a brief visit by the Talking Adventure Team Commando, and end credit footage of The State Capitol Grounds, including the now-extinct fountain.

It’s hard to believe this was ten years ago. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Original production notes can be found here.

Animal House, Bad Reporting and Fresh AIR

large_9xwMZgLNZDnRUUhiK8i3U19EJZEThe PopCulteer
August 12
, 2016

It takes a lot to get me into a movie theater these days. My eyes are slightly wonky from the myasthenia gravis and I’ve sort of aged out of the demographic for most big, dumb Hollywood blockbusters. However, Sunday night I will be headed to the Regal Nitro Stadium Theater to see National Lampoon’s Animal House on the big screen, something I haven’t done since my sixteenth birthday.

Animal House was the very first National Lampoon movie, written by Chris Miller, Douglas Kenney, and Harold Ramis and based largely on Chris Miller’s semi-autobiographical “Tales of the Adelphian Lodge” frat boy stories that had been published in the National Lampoon years earlier.

National Lampoon was one of the major formative forces in my life. I cut my eyeteeth on MAD Magazine, embraced Monty Python before I was ten, but by the time I was twelve, I was sneaking and reading my older brother’s copies of National Lampoon, poisoning my young mind with their unique mix of highbrow and lowbrow humor, underground comic strips, and vicious, biting political satire. for better or worse, it’s one of the things that shaped me.

And National Lampoon was also a major influence on American comedy, one that is still being felt more than forty-five years after its first issue was published. Saturday Night Live had its roots in the National Lampoon through such writers as Michael O’Donoghue and Anne Beatts, and performers from National Lampoon stage productions and radio shows, Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray and others.

Continue reading…