CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- "Radio Free Charleston" is perhaps the longest running Web show in West Virginia, but before that it was actually a real live radio show.
The radio version of the program aired from 1989-90 on the old 96.1 FM station WVNS.
"Originally, it was just to keep from being bored and play whatever I wanted to play on the air," said founder and host Rudy Panucci. "After a few weeks that became playing local music and mixing it in with national artists."
It was 16 years after the show left the airwaves that Panucci resurrected it online.
"When we brought it back as a web show after 16 years, I decided to make the music exclusively local and add short films and animation. I've really tried to have a creative anarchy, format-free show, to show off the creativity in Charleston and the surrounding area since the Internet is an international phenomenon."
When interviewed for this story, he was hard at work editing web show no. 195, which doesn't count the 11 RFC MINI-SHOWS he has also posted devoted to performances by a single artist or group.
The mini-shows run to about 10 minutes, he said. "The regular show now runs usually between a half-hour and 45 minutes. They've gotten to be about three times longer than they were in the beginning."
His ongoing mission? "Document and preserve as much local creativity as possible. And have fun while I'm doing it."
He does that by heading out, often with production assistant and fiancée Melanie Larch, armed with two or three cameras.
"We just go on location and try to capture performances in the best circumstances possible with the best audio possible. Sometimes that means going in where there's a studio set-up where we have multiple tracks with great lighting. Other times, it means going into very dark bars and working with the camera audio."