People around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, know the word “gumbands.”It’s a regionalism, a somewhat wacky word that some call an example of “Pittsburghese.” A gumband is simply a rubber band, and we all know those words too, but we also often have a bit of pride in our exclusive Pittsburgh vocabulary. WQED’s longtime producer Rick Sebak is the host, and he works closely with podcast creator Rich Capaldi who has been producing at WQED since 2017.


October 16, 2023 55 mins

We talk about her lifelong love of animals, some of the many places she’s lived, including Pittsburgh where she and her husband, Boaz Frankel, have lived for about five years now. (They also wrote a book together titled Let’s Be Weird Together.)

You can sample her work on instagram where she posts as @sadanimalfacts

And you can also find her books at libraries and at bookstores across the country (and around the world!) including at ...

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Born in Braddock, studied at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Day shares stories about his own history, how the festival that started as Fresh Fest in 2018 transformed into Barrel & Flow that was recognized in 2023 by USA TODAY as The Best Beer Festival in America. We talk about craft beer, community and Blowfish BBQ.

Day on Facebook:
Day on Instagram:

Barrel & Flow websit...

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September 11, 2023 55 mins

We talk about her early years, her dreams of being an opera singer, her schooling, her successes, and the factors that led her to WQED-FM where she started to work for this all-classical-all-the-time radio station in 2000. She is on air weekdays from 2pm till 6pm.

To learn more about Anna and her many skills, click on these links:


On a fundraiser for Pittsbugh Opera

A sample of her paintings

A shor...

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August 28, 2023 67 mins

He is also an Adjunct Lecturer at the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He has published many articles and delivered presentations in cities around the world. But he tells a great story about his father, working as a civil engineer on a highway construction project in 1990 in the jungle in Colombia.

And we learn a lot.

Follow him on Facebook and Linked In: Sebastian Lobo Guerrero

To learn more about AGES I...

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August 14, 2023 58 mins

There's a lot about Rick—including his growing up in Bethel Park, PA, studying in Brazil and France, working at South Carolina Educational Television, and arriving at WQED in 1987.  Rick has told a lot of stories about a lot of topics over the years, this episode highlights some of his own story.






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July 31, 2023 63 mins

Tom also explains the origins of some of the organizations he works with including the Allegheny City Ragtime Orchestra, the Hot Club of Pittsburgh, and the Red Beans & Rice Combo. He’s a busy man with lots of good stories.

See him at work:

Allegheny City Ragtime Orchestra

Red Beans & Rice Combo

Listen to the Red Beans & Rice Combo (with special guest Rick Sebak) on WQED FM




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July 17, 2023 47 mins

In this episode of GUMBANDS, he talks about growing up in Swisshelm Park, teaching himself to play piano, learning about ragtime, classical and New Orleans jazz, moving to other cities, and eventually how he introduced himself to the great Leon Redbone with whom he toured for several years. He has some really good stories.

To learn more about Tom Roberts visit his Wikipedia page

His personal page

His Facebook group about 78 rpm rec...

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July 3, 2023 56 mins

And you can hear (and see!) how they all connect with lots of help from Mark Houser, writer, historian, architectural reporter, tour-guide extraordinaire and our guest on this episode of the podcast. We had a good time talking to Mark, and we learned a lot. Give it go.





More from Rick Sebak:


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For this episode, there are three parts: 1) an audio podcast, 2) a video version of that interview and 3) a special documentary short about the Tarallos and their business. You can listen to the first one and/or watch the other two.

And if you stop by their weekend table in the Strip or visit the shop in Millvale, don’t be afraid to try the Trinidad Scorpion Salt.  It’s extra spicy in all the right ways.

Steel City Salt Company: stee...

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June 5, 2023 41 mins

Jared talks about the detailed process of preparing for Radical Trivia, his regular creation of unusual promotional posts on Instagram (and Facebook) and a few of his favorite movies.

Jared also loves the martial arts and studies and teaches Brazilian jiu jitsu and has a series of instructional videos on the Radical Trivia YouTube channel with Coach “Iron City” Mike Wilkins.

There are also some enthusiastic food recommendations invol...

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Bill Tippins has written two novels set in the Stone Age in a territory that may seem familiar to readers from Western Pennsylvania. Intended for YA (Young Adult) readers, the books focus on a boy named Tioga and his best friend Kopi as they take on several difficult quests near where the Allegewi River and the Angry River meet to form the Great River.

Bill has a website about the books:

Both books are available o...

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May 16, 2023 38 mins

Sarah McAlee makes soups. A wide variety of soups from chowders to bisques to gazpachos and noodle-y broths. She started by selling to friends from her home on Pittsburgh’s North Side in 2018, mostly through her Instagram account @brothomnger, but the number of her hungry fans have grown steadily since then. You can now get quarts of her tasty creations at Thyme Machine on Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield.

On this episode, GUMBANDS host...

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