A tiny radio station that went off the air nearly 20 years ago, and shut down online in 2010, is “having a moment” as they say. It’s garnering all sorts of “ink” (as they used to call publicity) for rounding up more than 30 DJs who worked at the station to present a 40th anniversary of the signature “Modern Rock 500” countdown of the top modern rock/indie/alternative songs from their massive library o’ tunes. And author Robin James just released a new book (The Future of Rock & Roll: 97X and the Fight for True Independence) that chronicles the history of the station and why its independent spirit still matters today.
The press parade started back in March, when the press release for the Modern Rock 500 came out.
On May 11th, Robin did a book event at The Mercantile Library – co-hosted by Dave and yours truly. That gig was sold out… and an absolute blast!
Robin James was interviewed by Jason Cohen in the June issue of Cincinnati Magazine. (Editor John Fox is a longtime friend of the station – he used to appear on the air when he was editor of Everybody’s News and later Cincinnati CityBeat.)
The press coverage is nice… but honestly, this means more to us than anything else:
We’ve been able to reconnect with a small-but-mighty community through music. And that’s more precious than all the “ink” (or gold) in the world.
“From WOXY I learned it is important to support your local scene. If you care about independence, being creative and really having the ability for both yourself and for other people to innovate and do things that are new and different, then you would care about the story and example of WOXY.”
Robin James in the Journal News article by Don Thrasher linked above
If you’d like to tune in for yourself and find out what all the fuss is about, you can do so today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (the Dolly Parton shift) on Inhailer Radio, and then again over the Memorial Day Weekend at that same spot on your internet radio dial!
Our son Peter graduated from Ohio University a couple of weeks ago. It was a gorgeous, sunny Spring day. Fitting, because his future is bright, and he’s still growing into the person he’ll become.
Peter got cheated out of some of the college experience (thanks COVID!). But in his own quiet, unassuming way, he put in the work. Triple major. Summa cum laude.
The academic prowess is great, but five years hence, it won’t matter as much. Your friends and co-workers won’t care what your major was – they’ll care about how you treat them. Peter’s summa cum laude in that department too. Kind. Caring. Gracious. Generous. Supportive. That’s what we’re most proud of.
It’s called “commencement” because it’s the start of the next chapter. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for him.
Photo above from The Mercantile Library’s website.
And tomorrow night, I’ll be co-hosting an event there. It’s bucket list material for me.
A sold-out event at that! I harbor no delusions that anyone will be there to hear from me. They’ll be there because they loved a little radio station in Oxford, Ohio that respected their listener’s ears and minds.
My 97X buddy Dave and I started a podcast a few years ago, recording episodes in my basement. We had no idea what we were doing. Still don’t, honestly. “Shoestring budget” would be inaccurate. No budget. Actually it’s a “loss leader” given the hosting and website fees we pay. We’ve done very little promotion of it. But somehow, someway, the small-but-mighty group of people who loved 97X found it. And Robin James, who has been our guest a couple of times, wanted us to co-host her book event. BAM! Pretty friggin’ cool.
Silver lining: this post also references two families, half a world away from each other, who managed to look beyond their own grief at losing a loved one to depression, and start a charity that will help others in a similar situation.
Both text blocks above are from the Tinychanges.com website.
Text/imagery above from the Paws for Patrick website.
Please watch this video to see just a few examples of the ways that Paws for Patrick is making a difference:
What the Hutchison family is doing, and what the Roemer family is doing, is nothing short of emotional alchemy. Taking their tears, their grief, their pain, and redirecting it into something that will help others.
Image above from the Tiny Changes website.
The world is a lesser place without Scott and Patrick. The world is a better place because their families are keeping their memories alive. Godspeed to them.
“The reason why I wrote Fahrenheit is that I am a library person and I am in danger of someday writing something that people might not like and they might burn. So it was only natural that I sat down and wrote Fahrenheit 451.”
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