PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Great Talk Shows and Music Today On The AIR!

AIR color 0041We have a killer line-up of great programming today on The AIR today. All-new episodes of Life Speaks with Michele Zirkle Marcum, Curtain Call and The Swing Shift are joined by new-to-The-AIR editions of Lynn Browder’s Autism Discussion, The Best of The Real with Mark Wolfe, and The Goon Show. We are also re-presenting, by popular demand, the On The Road with Mel about ShockaCon and later tonight you can hear the latest episode of The Gibby Hunters.

Wednesday is loaded with great talk, comedy and music. Listen at the website or on this sweet little radio widget…

At 1:30 PM, Life Speaks brings you tales of paranormal happenings in real life, and this week a spider comes into play. At 3 PM Curtain Call presents an hour of terrific showtunes from Company, Sunset Boulevard, Little Shop of Horrors, Les Miserables, The Last Five Years and more. The Swing Shift starts at 4 PM, and this week the show, hosted by your PopCulteer, in case you didn’t know, is really jumping! We bring you an hour of swing tunes with the word “Jump” in their titles.

Here’s the full line-up of all of today’s great programming on The AIR:

11 AM  The Lynn Browder Show About Autism NEW
Noon Curtain Call with Mel Larch Episode 007
1 PM On The Road With Mel Shockacon interview with Penny Maple
1:30 PM Life Speaks with Michele Zirkle Marcum NEW
2 PM The Real with Mark Wolfe with Kth Allen NEW
3 PM Curtain Call with Mel Larch Episode 008 NEW
4 PM The Swing Shift Episode 007 NEW
6 PM The Goon Show NEW (now one full hour!)
7 PM The Best of Word Association with Lee and Rudy
8 PM Booster Pack
9 PM The Real with Mark Wolfe  with Albert Perrone and Douglas Imbrogno NEW
10 PM The Gibby Hunters NEW!
11 PM The Comedy Vault

Tuesday 9 06It’s time yet again for the Tuesday line-up on The AIR, with fresh installments of Radio Free Charleston and Radio Coolsville, and special encores of The RFC Interview with David Synn and  Six Degrees of Separation featuring Johnny Compton, plus we have an encore of Radio Free Charleston International before it moves to its new timeslot, Thursdays at 3 PM.

As is always the case, 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 a new tune from Hurl Brickbat, and continuing with an impressive line-up of fantastic local music. We have a replay at 10 PM, so you can listen a second time! Just check out the playlist:


Hurl Brickbat  “World On Fire”
Crazy Jane  “Seven”
Kerry Hughes  “Abe Vigoda”
Todd Burge  “Looking For My Nuts”
Sheldon Vance  “1000 Miles”
The Big Bad  “Luna Rage”
Harrah  “Idiocracy”
TriElement  “Bitchin’ Hitch”
DEVO  “Ono”
Mark Beckner  “Sad Delilah”
Stark Raven  “There’s More To Life Than This”
Qiet  “So What Anyway”
Ann Magnuson  “Cynical Girl”
Lost Swimmer  “Forget Regret”
The Irreplaceables  “November 1st”
Sly Roosevelt  “Hopscotch”

At 3 PM, DJ Betty Rock regales us with another new-toThe-AIR, two hour blast of the coolest music on the planet, as Radio Coolsville comes to The AIR via WMUL in Huntington. At 5 PM we offer up a replay of last week’s Radio Coolsville, so you can enjoy four hours of Coolsville coolness.

At 7 PM we re-present The RFC Interview with David Synn, and at 8 PM it’s Six Degrees of Separation with Johnny Compton, recorded at The Empty Glass. This week’s RFC replays at 10 PM and at 11 it’s Radio Free Charleston International, opening with local band, The Irreplaceables.

Overnight you can enjoy a mini-marathon of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat, repeating part of our popular Labor Day New Wave Music marathon. That starts at 1 AM.

Monday Morning Art: New Wave Girl

new wave girl 005


In honor of the Labor Day New Wave Marathon on The AIR today, we bring you a digital painting of Lavender Menace, based on a pose from last Spring at a Harry Potter-themed session of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School. We have taken liberties and turned Lavender into a “New Wave Girl” in an appropriate setting, toting a classic album by DEVO.

The reason for this is to remind you that, all day today, you can tune in to The AIR and listen to a marathon of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat, which is our normally weekly two-hour showcase of classic music from the New Wave era. Today we’re running nine episodes beginning at 7 AM. Ms. Menace has been drafted into our promotional efforts.

You can click to enlarge, and tune in to the show on The AIR, or on this neat little player…

Sunday Evening Video: The MDA Telethon

Annex - Martin and Lewis_09For years the Muscular Dystrophy Association held an annual telethon to raise funds for the research and treatment of Muscular Dystrophy and other disorders. Until 2011 Jerry Lewis was the host. This year will be the second in my lifetime without an MDA Telethon, but it really hasn’t been the same since the “retirement” of Jerry Lewis.

What many people don’t realize is that, originally, the telethon was hosted by Jerry Lewis AND Dean Martin. It wasn’t a nearly day-long epic and it didn’t happen during Labor Day.. Tonight, just in case you’re getting a nostalgic itch for the telethon, we bring you the MDA Telethon from November 25, 1953, which ran on ABC, in the days before the telethon built its own network. It’s a pretty wild artifact and it’s interesting to see how, after Martin and Lewis split, Jerry Lewis got custody of the telethon.

Ten Years of RFC Flashback: Episode 12

ep-12-001This week we come to the point in our representation of classic episodes of Radio Free Charleston where we had a blip and had to change plans at the last minute. Originally episode 12 was going to be recorded at a special jam session party at LiveMix Studios on New Year’s Eve 2006/2007. Unfortunately, we forgot that New Year’s Eve is, in fact, one of the busiest nights of the year for working musicians, so hardly anyone showed up.

Instead, we did a “best-of” show, which seems ridiculous to us now that we’ve cranked out a few hundred more episodes of the show. But above you see “Radio Free Charleston Shirt,” a show born out of the misery of nobody showing up for our party. Host segments were shot in my office.

Anyway, that’s episode 12. Enjoy! Original production notes are HERE.

New Wave Music Marathon on Labor Day!

Labor Day CatFans of Classic New Wave Music are in for a treat! On Labor Day, The AIR will present an eighteen-hour marathon of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat, our showcase of the best music of the New Wave era that’s normally heard on Friday afternoon at 3 PM.

You can tune in to The AIR at the website, or right on this shiny and cool little radio player widget…

Presented by legendary London DJ, Sydney Fileen, The Big Electric Cat brings you the hits of the day, plus deep album cuts and rare B-sides by the titans of the New Wave era, like Ultravox, Duran Duran, The Cars, Talking Heads, Oingo Boingo, Lene Lovich, Elvis Costello, Split Enz, DEVO, Romeo Void, Gary Numan, The Pretenders, Echo and The Bunnymen and more.

In addition to the artists you remember, lesser-know cult and regional bands find their way into the mix. This was one of the most exciting and eclectic eras of pop music, and you’ll find a healthy mix of power pop, ska, punk, electronica, pub rock and more.

The Labor Day marathon begins at 7 AM and runs past midnight, with a break at 1 PM to showcase the newest show on The AIR, Life Speaks. All day long you can tune in and relive the days when the future was bright and the clothes even brighter. Spend your day off plugged into the soundtrack of the “Me” decade, a time when imagination was rewarded and innovation admired.

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The Life of Flip Wilson

The PopCulteer
September 2
, 2016

For today’s PopCulteer we hail the return of The PopCult Bookshelf. The plan is to get back to reviewing books, comics and graphic novels at least once a week here in PopCult, after a few months of slacking off. In the coming weeks The PopCult Bookshelf and The PopCult Toybox will settle into their own days here in the blog, but this week, it’s PopCulteer time for the Bookshelf.

Flip: The Inside Story of TV’s First Black Superstar
51xBi10OwNLby Kevin Cook
Plume; Reprint edition
ISBN-13: 978-0142180754
various prices

This is a little unusual. I am reviewing a book that was published more than two years ago (the first edition came out in 2013). I picked up my copy of this book at Half-Price Books over the summer, for under five bucks, not expecting much. I was a fan of Flip Wilson when I was a kid, and it was cheap, so I figured “why not?”

The book sat in my stack of unread things for a couple of months. Then one day I saw it and thought it’d be worth flipping through for a few minutes to kill some time.

I could not put the book down. Flip Wilson’s life was thoroughly interesting, and Kevin Cook does an amazing and intricate job showing us what made this complex man tick. Cook does an amazing job sorting through an unusual amount of documentation, much of it Wilson’s own writing, and crafts a stunning portrait of a man who was seriously flawed, yet overcame so much, that you want to shake his hand and kick his ass at the same time.

Wilson was so charismatic and so talented an entertainer that he was able to break down barriers and become the first black superstar to host a network variety show. On one hand, he clung so close to “the establishment” that he could be seen playing golf with Bob Hope and Gerald Ford. On the other hand, among the writers for his variety show were two struggling stand-up comics who needed a hand–George Carlin and Richard Pryor. Without Flip Wilson’s help, neither would have made it in show business.

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The PopCult Toybox

Longtime readers of PopCult know that I am a collector of toys, primarily action figures and predominantly action figures that are twelve inches tall (roughly), like the original GI Joe, Marx’s Johnny West and Captain Action. For years I’ve been predicting a mass-market resurgence of this scale (1/6) of action figure, even with evidence of the decline of action figures as a toy for kids over-all.

Before we get into this, let me vent a little: There are “experts” in the collecting world who insist on calling 12″ figures “dolls.” They usually have some arbitrary, self-serving definition, like “anything over eight inches tall is a doll” or “any figure with removable clothing is a doll, not an action figure.” These people are either willfully or woefully ignorant, and their opinions are not to be taken seriously.

The fact is, all action figures are dolls. They are “dolls for boys.” The term was invented to get away from the stigma of the word “doll” as a girl’s toy, so that toy companies could sell figural representations of the human form to parents as an appropriate plaything for their boys.

“Action Figure” was coined by Hasbro to make GI Joe more palatable to parents than simply “Barbie for boys” (Which, to be fair, it basically was). Any doll made for a boy is an action figure. Got it? Now, in our increasingly gender-neutral times, they are making action figures for girls. Those should be called “action figures.” As a simple sign of respect, you should call it whatever the person to whom it is important wants to call it. Now that we have the terminology settled, let’s talk about size.

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