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The Frank Truth
GENRE: Music | Downloads (18557) | Comments (71) | Get Podcast | Visit Site

The 6.5 Questions
1. How long have you been podcasting?
I started podcasting on February 7th of 2005, shortly after hearing a story on NPR Radio about Adam Curry and The Daily Source Code. I found Adam's show, and then went looking for other things that interested me and was surprised that there wasn't a podcast of the daily Catholic Scripture Readings. I thought "How hard can it be?" So I looked at some podcast feeds in a text editor, and hacked around until I got a test podcast to work and then set about producing "Verbum Domini" which is still the longest-running Catholic podcast on the Net, though I'm no longer the producer. A couple weeks later was the first episode of "The Frank Truth" which is still my flagship show. I've done several other programs over the years, some of which are also still in production. The two that I'm pretty consistent with are "The Frank Truth" and "The Comedic Genius of Martin and Lewis."

2. How many shows have you done?
I rarely missed a day for the first year or so with Verbum Domini, so there were hundreds of episodes of that before I got some help with it. I'm up to episode 129 of The Frank Truth, and 50 something of the Martin and Lewis show. I've also done dozens of episodes of other programs such as "Studio C" and "World News Mashup." I also play around with video from time to time on a show called "Thursday's Child." For awhile I was on the team that helped Adam produce his daily Sirius radio programs (and PodFinder USA as well). I have no idea how many of those we did.

3. How has your quality/performance changed since your first show?
Without question it's changed and is still changing. I listened to some of the older episodes recently and it's pretty frightening. I still have my share of technical flaws from time to time, but overall it's a lot better than it used to be, and I would say the production quality is as good as anything I'd care to norm against. The thing that has NOT changed is the spirit of The Frank Truth. My recording and production skills are better, and my knowledge of Sinatra increases all the time, but the passion for the subject was always there. The same is true of my other productions. If the passion goes there's no sense in doing it. I think that the spirit came through from the very beginning even when the technical quality wasn't as good. That's one of the things that makes podcasting cool. People who truly care about something can easily share it with a world wide audience. I've never been one of these people who thought that something had to be impromptu or of poor recording quality to be "honest" - but if i had to choose between technical perfection and passion, i'd take the passion every time. Fortunately, most people who care about their subject also care about the quality and improve as they go along, so we rarely have to choose.

4. What podcasts do you listen to and which are your favorites?
I'm subscribed to over 100 shows, and I still catch others from time to time on the Web. I never miss Digital Flotsam, Five Hundy By Midnight or Things I Learned This Week. I also still listen to a lot of Catholic podcasts, and some stuff from the BBC, NPR and such. I've been getting into No Agenda lately. The Jersey Boys Podcast is one of my favorites too. My podcast playlist changes from week to week, depending on my mood and what my pals on Twitter mention or what I stumble across on MEVIO during my daily work flow. I'm still finding new things that interest me all the time.

5. Tell us about your show and who should be listening to it?
The Frank Truth is a show about Frank Sinatra - not just his music and movies but also his life and his legacy. I'm still learning so much about the man, and the more I learn, the more I am in awe. He was an incredibly intelligent man, and he had good instincts but he also did things very intentionally. If someone is a die-hard Sinatra fan, I think they'll like the show, but I think other listeners will find it interesting too. Sinatra's story is the story of the 20th century, so it's not just about records and movies, but about the changing times that a lot of us lived through.

The Martin and Lewis program is essentially their old time radio shows from the late 40s and early 50s, with a little commentary from time to time. Those guys still crack me up - just their sheer silliness. Dean Martin was such an incredible singer too, and there are several numbers from him in every show. I'm licensed through BMI and ASCAP, and since the recordings are in the Public Domain, I can leave the songs in. Dean's fans, Jerry's fans, or anyone who just needs a laugh will like this show. It's also historically interesting, since a lot of people may not even be aware that the two of them were a team. It's cool to me to be able to close your eyes and put yourself back in that time (even though it was before my time).

6. What is your background (especially if relevant to your podcast)?
From the time I was a little kid I was fascinated with recording technology. I got a tiny reel-to-reel recorder when I was 7 or 8 (for selling Christmas cards), and used to go around interviewing family members and pretending that I was a radio announcer. I started working in broadcasting when I was 16, and also worked as a club DJ in the very early days of the Disco craze at about the same time. I also worked as a news reporter for awhile, so I got a lot of experience doing interviews, and I worked in commercial production too. The tools have changed dramatically since then, but having an ear for transitions, the ability to imagine compelling audio and get what you're working on to sound the way you hear it in your head - that's something that I learned how to do when I was a teenager.

Since my shows are scripted or at least outlined in detail, my writing background is also essential. I approach The Frank Truth as a writer and researcher as well as a fan of his music.

6.5 Is there anything else your listeners should know about you, your show, etc?
If someone has never heard The Frank Truth, I think they might be pleasantly surprised. I remember Adam saying once "It's weird to think about a Sinatra show that only plays short clips of his music, but somehow it works."

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