Wednesday, August 25, 2010
BAM! Putting the "Gee" In Ecology
Some of you may know that until this past March, I spent the last 10 1/2 years working full-time at WOXY Radio: first in Oxford, Ohio, before moving with the station into Cincinnati proper, and finally here to Austin. Whether it was WOX-EE, W-O-X-Y-dot-com or '97X', my association goes back to early 1989 when, as a recent college grad and new transplant to Cincinnati, I decided to apply for a part-time gig at my favorite station. I mean, I had skillz. I'd completed a two-year vocational program for radio broadcasting in high school (which really helped the ol' GPA -ed.) and worked as both the Program and Music Director at my college station. Besides, during school, I had a part-time on-air slot at the local Top 40 station, holding down countless graveyard shifts and providing the time and temp before letting Casey get on with the countdown. So, in stops and starts and excluding a few years spent in Chicago, I go back a long way with The Future of Rock & Roll.
Over the last 10 years especially, I've managed to save whatever audio elements I could get my hands on, particularly station imaging and a few old commercials. Labor Day weekend would have marked the station's 27th anniversary. So, I thought this'd be a good time to dust some of these off and try to provide as much of the back story as I can remember (and WOXY alumni, don't be shy!). Over time, you'll probably be able to create a reasonable li'l 97X program for yourself: just drop 'em onto your iPod and have 'em come up in shuffle mode. At the very least, indulge my trip down memory lane. This'll be the first in a series.
Listeners knew the phrase 'Putting the "Gee" in Ecology' as the tagline for a series of public service announcements we referred to internally as Green PSA's. Voiced by our Traffic Director Kathie Lucas, they were short, practical tips about conservation, recycling, and being kind to Mother Earth. Whereas many stations would bury their public service requirement during off hours, 97X embraced the notion of being socially and environmentally conscious to the point of saying so in its rambling yet earnest mission statement. Steve Baker provided the near-famous tagline and produced the spots. I recovered these from an antiquated radio delivery method of on-demand tape known as a cart, and they've remained untouched until a college buddy gave me an old machine to play them on two years ago. These handful weren't all that was produced, but all I managed to digitize.
BTW, loyal WOXY listener Craig Froehle has compiled the most exhaustive archive of WOXY audio and info that I know of. Check that out here.