97X - Rumblings from the Big Bush-logo

97X - Rumblings from the Big Bush

Media & Entertainment Podcasts

Two former 97X DJs reminisce about the independent music and the dedicated people that made the station one-of-a-kind.


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Two former 97X DJs reminisce about the independent music and the dedicated people that made the station one-of-a-kind.






Dave and Damian sign off

After nearly 100 episodes, and a gazillion great memories, it's time for "97X Rumblings from the Big Bush" to rumble off into the sunset (or be devoured by the Big Bush in the station's old parking lot). Dave & Damian reflect on the podcast and "the voice" of 97X returns to bring it home. Thanks so much for listening!


Billy and Beth of The Hiders

It sounds like the setup to a joke: "A punk rock guitarist and a preacher's daughter walk into a theater..." But when Billy Alletzhauser and Beth Harris starting singing songs together in 2004, the result was pure magic. Their band, The Hiders, is the Kevin Bacon of music, with connections to Ass Ponys, The Afghan Whigs, Throneberry, Wussy, Heartless Bastards, Band of Horses, Plow On Boy, Comet Bluegrass All-Stars, Pearlene and more. And their sound is an amazing amalgamation of folk, country, rock, psychedelia, bluegrass, and indie rock. We talked to B & B about their start, the band's evolution, Billy's Ass Ponys tenure, Beth's harmony vocal work with Erika Wennerstrom and Heartless Bastards, the Hiders most recent album (2021's Forever at the End) and their plans for the year ahead.


Author Robin James at the Mercantile Library

On May 11th, author Robin James discussed her new book The Future of Rock & Roll: 97X and the Fight for True Independence at The Mercantile Library, with your friendly neighborhood podcast hosts Dave and Damian. The event was streamed via Crowdcast, but due to the dreaded technical difficulties, the first 10 minutes of the discussion have been lost to the ether. However, we reconnected with Amy Hunter from the Mercantile Library staff so she could reprise her intro and then this episode picks up the discussion when the audio came onto the Crowdcast feed.


woxy.com signoff: the end of the future

After 97X signed off in 2004, "the future of rock and roll" stayed alive as woxy.com - with many fits and starts (and stops) along the way. "Angel investors"... LaLa.com... Future Sounds... Oxford... Longworth Hall in Cincinnati... Austin, Texas. The dot-com version had several homes, and more lives than a cat, before finally ending quite abruptly on March 23, 2010. We talk to the folks who experienced all those ups and downs, and lived to tell the tale: Shiv, Mike Taylor, Joe Long, Brian Niesz, and Bryan J. Miller share their stories of the woxy.com era.


A tribute to former 97X program director Kerry Gray

Kerry Gray was the program director at 97X in the late 80s/early 90s, and a radio "lifer." He was a real live wire - super-energetic, enthusiastic, funny as heck... and also completely into the music. In fact, Kerry and Phil Manning teamed up to expand the back catalogue of the station, and they also launched the first ever "Modern Rock 500" in 1989. In this episode, Julie Maxwell, Julie Maxwell, Jeff Rohrs, Mike Taylor and Steve Baker join Dave and Damian to share their remembrances, and the episode wraps up with some archival audio of Kerry and Brett Heartz on-air at 97X back in October of 1989.


Memories of the 97X station signoff in 2004

It's hard to believe it's been nearly two decades since that fateful evening when Steve Baker said "goodbye to the future of rock and roll." For current and former staffers and loyal listeners, it was like the death of a loved one. We reunited an all-star cast of folks who were at the station at the bittersweet end (Bakerman, Shiv, Barb, Mike Taylor, Sledge, Bryan J., Gentleman Jim Mercer) to share their memories of that time.


Day in Eden or Day from Hell?

"Day in Eden 1993" was the first concert that 97X produced. Things did not go as planned. Goo Goo Doll meltdowns, tainted food trays, wrestling moves, copious amounts of cheap beer and cheaper smokes, folk music slam-dancing... Former staffers Steve Baker, Phil Manning, Jae Forman, Rob Ervin, Steve Roemer, Joe Sampson and Aaron Borns share their memories of that ill-fated afternoon - and reveal a couple of secrets along the way.


Colin Miller, super-duper 97X listener

Colin Miller listened to 97X obsessively. As in "boxes of cassette tape recordings of 97X on-air" obsessive. He might've been a 97Xtreme listener, but that same passion for the music and the station is something most listeners can relate to. We talk to Colin about what made the station so special, some of the shows he remembers, and the 97X events like Rock & Bowl and 97Xtrabeats on the Riverboat.


Carlton and Happy from the RCMob make us happy

Carlton Smith and Happy Chichester formed the super-cool, super-tight rhythm section of the Royal Crescent Mob. They -- along with lead singer David Ellison and guitarist "B" -- are getting the band back together to play two fundraiser shows to benefit cancer research. They'll be rocking the house at the Athenaeum Theatre in Columbus on Friday, December 16th and the Madison Theater in Covington, KY on Saturday, December 17th. We talked to Carlton and Happy about how they got together way back in the mid-80s, their legendary live shows at Bogart's, what 97X meant to their band, and why they're looking forward to performing as a group once again.


David Ellison of the Royal Crescent Mob

The RC Mob is getting back on the bus for two fundraiser shows - Dec. 16th in Columbus and Dec. 17th at the Madison Theater in Covington, KY. Proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society and the Tri-State Cancer Research Fund. We talk to David about the reunion shows, the early RC Mob days, the impact cancer is having on the band, and his longtime career as a tour manager for many bands and pop stars like Miley Cyrus.


A tribute to Mr. K

Ken "Mr. K" Glidewell put the personality into "radio personality." He had the gift of gab, a wicked sense of humor and a way of making friends wherever he went. Ken worked at 97X during the station's formative years while also playing with fellow 97Xer Dan "Danny Crash" Reed in Chemdyne. He later moved on to WEBN-FM and 92.9 The Fox in Cincinnati for his day job, and co-founded the Americana band Big in Iowa. Unfortunately, Mr. K passed away in May of 2008 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. In this episode of the podcast, we talk to 97X-ers who worked with Mr. K: Phil Manning, Julie "Jae" Forman and Steve Baker, as well as the founding members of the Mr. K Fan Club, Elizabeth Cannon and Wendy Dorn.


Chuck Cowdery was on the same frequency as 97X

Back in the mid-70's, long before 97X came along, there was a free-form station on 97.7 FM in Oxford called WOXR. Chuck Cowdery was part of that merry gang playing progressive rock... and whatever else they wanted to. It's clear from talking to Chuck that WOXR was on the same frequency as 97X, both literally and figuratively - and that station influenced a generation who, if they stuck around the area, were much more receptive to a modern rock format.


Keri Crawford found freedom and family at 97X

Keri Crawford was at 97X from 1998-2003, as a DJ and program director. She talks to us about her radio and record label background, the unique energy of 97X, the fun shows she got to organize and promote, the fervor of the listeners... and how her dog had free rein at the office.


Rhett Leibecke, still scarred from his Breakfast Club internship

Rhett Leibecke (a.k.a. "Reed LeBeak") spent a single semester as a student co-op for Rictile and Dave on the Breakfast Club back in 1996... and it's clear that he's been scarred for life (and not just from the lawn jarts). He got the gig based on his shady past doing a SoundScam... and it was all downhill from there. Rhett and special guest Rictile join to talk about Rhett's stellar work cleaning a "sound room," the Aye Team, BatBoy, 97X bitcoin, Barenaked Ladies and Northern Exposure.


Garin Pirnia wrote the book on Ohio rock and roll

Garin Pirnia grew up in Centerville, Ohio and discovered 97X when she returned to the area after stints in L.A. and Chicago. She's written about music (as well as film, food, and travel) for dozens of publications including Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vanity Fair and The Atlantic. Her book about bands from the state of Ohio, Rebels and Underdogs, came out a few years ago. We chat with Garin about the many bands who hail from the Buckeye State and explore why Ohio is such a fertile ground for musicians. You can find out more about Garin's writing on her website.


Taylor Fox, keeping cool music on the air

Taylor Fox (a.k.a. "TayFo") is a co-founder and morning host on Inhailer, a streaming/HD radio station that plays indie rock and helps promote local bands and the music scene in Cincinnati. The impetus for the station came from losing other local stations that played cool music, first 97X and WVXU's Nightwaves, and later WNKU. Taylor tells us about how the station started, how he discovered 97X, and how the 97X message boards helped him connect with kindred spirits.


Brian Niesz, the Unsung Hero of live in-studio performances

Brian Niesz engineered more than 400 live on-air performances at the woxy.com studio in Longworth Hall in Cincinnati, as well as dozens more during the station's short-lived stint in Austin, Texas. No one had more of a hand in capturing the magic of those live music moments than he did. Brian tells us how he connected with woxy.com, lists some of his favorite live performances, and shares how he's keeping "Lounge Acts" alive at WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.


A Day in the (1993) Life of Dave

Dave Tellmann spent nearly a decade on the air at 97X (1988-1997)... and sometimes he thinks he's still on the air there! Dave combed through his "aircheck" cassettes from 1993 and put together some snippets of audio that give you a feel for what listening to the station was like back in the day. Come for the Eavey's commercial, stay for the Marge Schott news story.


Jim Vinch: the student has become the teacher

Jim Vinch was a Cleveland-raised classic rocker... until he moved to Oxford for college and caught the earliest years of 97X. Jim credits the station and its community of listeners with helping him be open not just to new music, but to new ideas. As he puts it, "I am now an assistant visiting professor at Miami and every time I step onto campus I can’t help think about how the university and the local radio station exploded my small little Midwestern world." We talk to Jim about those connections, some concerts he saw back in the day, and his day job protecting America's waterways as an environmental lawyer for the EPA.


More from Jay Batista, the Swiss Army Knife of Modern Rock

The second part of our conversation with Jay Batista, who helped WOXY-FM make the transition to the 97X we all know and love. Jay was the station manager, was involved in programming, did sales, and also knew how to whip an ancient transmitter into shape. In this episode, we hear about Dr. Demento, an "Army of Ticks" (not a Dr. Demento song, but it could be!) and the infamous "Beer or Buns" guerilla promotion for the station.