Ralph Cominio

'the American'
Recording Pioneer

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This photo best captures Ralph's wild, primitive spirit.

      According to legend, Ralph began his recording studio with a Woolensak tape recorder purchased from Goodwill and microphones stolen from a local catholic church. One of Ralph's favorite quotes to recording musicians: "Bend over and show me your wallet."
      I first met ralph in 1975 when doug miles ( don't ask, don't tell ) produced a radio show and used ralph's studio. It was only the second time i had been in a multi-track facility. (the first time was in Albuquerque, NM with a dead cover band with Dan Dowling and the Ruminski brothers and Lester Salazar.)

     The recording session was more like a talent show, featuring a young female announcer recruited earlier in the day at Pitt, surrealistic piano by emmett and "tangled up lovin'" by frenchy burrito and doug miles.
     Once, Ralph moved his 16-track ampex machine (over 400lbs.) from the 4th floor of his building to record Jesus Fest in Moraine State Park. It was $1000 that Ralph couldn't turn down. Other antics included testing mixes on his dogs. If the dogs liked the music, ralph awarded certification but no free studio time.

      Ralph is shown on a tractor with his good friend Wayne Lipps. Wayne's wife was named "Pants". Wayne played in a 50s rock n' roll trio with Pat Wallace and the Rockin' Ravens one of their songs began with the sound of a flip-top opening on a can of beer.... Mike Kolesar of Mon Gumbo writes:
" I did a show with them when I was with Eddie & the Otters, promoting the Bogus Records LP "Made in Pittsburgh Vol. 1" at the King's Court Theatre. We all thought we were hot shit and kind of smiled indulgingly at the old guys (the Rockin' Ravens) who smoked a bunch of joints before the show and blew us all off the stage."
      Ralph knew almost everyone mentioned on the Wilkinsburg web pages, including Jimmy Sapienza, Jack Farnsworth and Norman Nardini. Ralph was also a model train enthusiast. Always optimistic about Asterik Studios, Ralph often would refer to the utility companies as subdivisions of Asterik Studios. In his office, Ralph had a fish tank with large 'jack dempsy' fish that maintained their magnificent coloring from the cockroaches that were fed to them.
     In june 2004 emmett received e-mails and photos from charlene (cominio) feret and her daughter christine (feret) rosas. They are displayed on the next page.