Wednesday, September 1, 2010

BAM! ...a word from our sponsors

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Labor Day weekend marks the 27th anniversary of the launch of 97X / WOXY Radio. This is the latest in a series of commemorative posts, featuring archived audio from the station's history. Recollections and opinions are my own.

Aside from famously being known as The Future of Rock & Roll, one of the slogans that resonated the most with WOXY listeners was 'CORPORATE RADIO SUCKS'. I think it may have been used in print ads, but my recollection is that we never actually built an on-air campaign around it, therefore reaping the benefit of the message without actually having to say it as such. WOXY was, after all, a politically correct beast and it simply wouldn't have jived with its ethic to call out other stations so bluntly. (It did, however, help to sell a lot of t-shirts!) Still, if you listened to the station for even a little bit, you could tell this was not a slick, overly commercialized setup. The message was that you had a clear choice: they're in it (primarily) for the money, and we're in it because we believe in this stuff. It was a succinct rallying point.

So, while the station would regularly air professionally produced national spots from advertisers like Budweiser, McDonald's, and Pepsi - fine corporations all, and whose support of 97X was crucial - another of WOXY's more endearing qualities was the high percentage of commercials produced in-house for advertisers like Jungle Jim's, Everybody's Records, Scentiments/Rock City, Eavey's Fine Foods, and many others. Like 97X, they were locally owned, like-minded independent retailers and their often quirky spots proved a good match for the station and were a hit with listeners.

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.

Previously:
BAM! Putting The "Gee" In Ecology

4 comments:

  1. Awesome vintage goodness there Mike. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. The memories...Thanks!

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  3. There was also a commercial for either Sentiments or Everbodys where it was Jeopardy with alt rockers (Ian Astbury was incomprehensible). I can't remember the other contestants but it was damn funny. Anyone?

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  4. Thanks, Mike. It was great to hear these - I especially loved hearing the Everybody's spots again. You know, when I listened to WOXY on the air in the 80's/90's I was never quite sure whether the Frank Eavey spots were tongue-in-cheek or not about the 'rock and roll grocer' thing or not. Living in Cincinnati, I never did visit Eavey's, but I did shop Everybody's.

    Your comments about the fact that you were all in it because you believed in what you were doing - playing great music - always came through in everything about the station. The music was great, of course, but so was the atmosphere, such a great vibe. Many other 'alt-rock' stations that have come and gone over the years played some of the same music as WOXY, but the DJs were ALWAYS so obnoxiously self-consciously trying to be cool and 'edgy' that I could hardly endure them to get to the music. But you and Shiv and all the others in pre-internet days were always about the music not about faking an attitude as artificial as any Top 40 DJ's, and that's why I listened to WOXy for over 20 years, most of them with you. I sure do miss being able to tune in to you every morning, but thanks for maintaining the blog for the new music ideas and these tidbits of WOXY nostalgia. Best wishes, Mike.

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