Episode 8: Pittsburgh Drive-In Theaters - A Conversation With Shawn Israel

Many drive-in theaters used to dot Pittsburgh's landscape: the Wexford Starlite, Blue Dell and Camp Horne to name just a few. Most of them have since disappeared.

In this episode of BurghCast, Shawn Israel, who works at the Riverside Drive-In in Vandergrift, talks all things drive-in, including classic trailers, drive-in food, continuing this longtime tradition, and more. If you grew up going to drive-ins in your parents' station wagon or went to them with dates as a teenager, you'll love this episode.

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  Episode 7: The True Story Behind Pittsburgh's Favorite Urban Legend: The Green Man

His story has been a scary Pittsburgh urban legend for generations: the man known as Charlie No-Face or the Green Man. The story differs from neighborhood to neighborhood, but one thing stays the same. He was electrocuted, his face became disfigured and he once walked on area roads at night.

Listen in as Burghcast presents the true story behing the urban legend.

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  Episode 6: 10 Kennywood Park Secrets

If you grew up in the Pittsburgh area, chances are good you spent lots of childhood (and adult) time at Kennywood Park in West Mifflin. The park has for many generations been a favorite destination for people and families of all ages.

But there are some things you might not know about Kennywood's history and most popular attractions. In this episode of BurghCast, we delve in 10 secrets about the park. Enjoy!

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  Episode 5: Yolanda Avram Willis, Pittsburgh Holocaust Survivor

Yolanda Avram Willis is a longtime Pittsburgh native and author who lived in secrecy as a Jewish child in Greece during World War II.

She and her family members were protected by Greek Christians (Righteous Gentiles) and moved from home to home. After some time she was separated from her family but continued to live undercover.

She moved to the United States as a Fulbright Scholar, holds a PhD and has written a book about her childhood experiences. She talked with the cast and crew of Prime Stage Theatre's production of The Diary of Anne Frank prior to the production's opening. Her story is compelling and powerful.

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  Episode 4: Hell's Oasis, Pittsburgh Band

Hell’s Oasis is a Pittsburgh band that’s making music with gigs all over the city. And, their new CD will be available this summer. By their name, you might think that they’re a metal or goth band. But you’d be incorrect.

Hell’s Oasis is composed of two people, a Pittsburgh husband and wife who are combining their considerable musical talents to create a unique sound, a mix, at various times, of progressive rock, funk, punk, trip hop, folk, and more.

Ginger Polozoff was born in Texas and began singing in her church when she was little. She later studied voice in England, Dallas and Austin.Her husband, Alex Polozoff, is a Pittsburgh native who grew up playing clarinet, cello and piano, then switched to the guitar as a teen. He played in New York and Austin, Texas.

Ginger and Alex met in Austin, started making music together and eventually relocated to Pittsburgh where they now record and perform live.

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  Episode 3: Michael Rupert, Tony Award-Winner and Point Park Visiting Artist

Actor, singer, director, and composer Michael Rupert is a bona fide Broadway legend. The Denver native, who grew up in Los Angeles and acted in numerous television programs during the 1960s, moved to New York at age 17 to play a role in the Kander-Ebb musical The Happy Time On Broadway. He received a Tony Award nomination for his efforts.

In 1986, he starred in the Broadway revival of Sweet Charity and WON the Best Actor Tony. Since then he's appeared in numerous shows On Broadway (Ragtime, City of Angels, Pippin, and Legally Blonde) and Off (Falsettos, Putting in Together, and others). He's also an accomplished singer with numerous tracks; check out the Varese Sarabande collection.

During February 2019, he was in Pittsburgh directing Point Park University's student production of Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George.

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BurghCast, Pittsburgh, John Fries Communications   Episode 2: John Oliver, Pittsburgh Recording Artist

John Oliver is a Pittsburgh native who has been singing, writing songs and playing piano and keyboards virtually all his life.

During the early 1980s, the Carlynton High School graduate was part of a band called Endless Summer that he formed with several friends. They played Beach Boys-inspired surf music in a wide variety of Pittsburgh-area venues from Crafton Park and at least one 3WS Radio Gateway Clipper cruise to  countless shows in area nightclubs. Oliver was the front man, lead singer and keyboard player.

In 2018, he was inspired to write a full album of solo material, which will be released in 2019. Recording the tracks in his home studio, often accompanied by vocal and instrumental parts provided by his longtime friends and former Endless Summer bandmates (including bassist Jeff Hoffman on nearly every track), Oliver is taking his music in a new direction.

Listen to the tracks that open and close this edition of BurghCast, and follow this website for details about when his album will be available.

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  Episode 1: Trevor Ley, Former WDVE Legend

If you lived in Pittsburgh during the 1970s and were a rock music fan, it's very likely that you listened to Trevor Ley, who ruled the airwaves on WDVE Radio. A proud Pittsburgh native (Shaler Township), Trevor worked at FM97, 3WS and several other stations across the U.S. before retiring and moving back home to the Burgh.

On this episode, John Fries talks with his former co-worker and longtime friend about his journey through the radio industry.

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