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.


United States


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






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...


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...


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...


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...


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.


Jay Batista, engineering a modern rock switch

Jay Batista joined 97X before it was 97X... it was more like a real-life WKRP. Jay played a pivotal role in helping the station make the switch to the modern rock format. We talk to him about those formative days, going from spinning the Spinners to hanging with the Talking Heads.


Aaron Sharpe, Kindred Radio Spirit

Aaron Sharpe never listened to 97X... but he wore many hats at WNKU-FM, a station that picked up the mantle from 97X/woxy.com in being a free-spirited, adventurous, community-oriented radio station that introduced many to music they couldn't hear elsewhere -- including plenty of local artists. Unfortunately, WNKU suffered a similar fate to 97X, signing off for good in September of 2017. In this episode, Aaron talks about how he got involved at WNKU-FM, the bittersweet ending, and what...


Jeff Rohrs back for more

Here's Part 2 of our interview with Jeff "DJ Sloth" Rohrs, where he talks about the community of music lovers at 97X, the great program directors during his tenure, his scary sighting on the Party Patio, his side hustles (DJ... and grocery bagger), and "Balogh University."


Jeff Rohrs, Weekend Warrior

Jeff Rorhs was hooked on 97X from the very first song he heard on the station. In fact, he attended Miami University mostly because of 97X, and he was so determined to work at the station that he played polka music at his hometown radio station just to get on-air experience. All that polka-playing paid off - he wound up working weekends and fill-in shifts at 97X for his entire college career, from 1987 through 1991. In this episode, we talk to Jeff about that first song he heard, how he...


Anthony Hartke comes full (vinyl) circle

Anthony Hartke was really into music even in grade school. He discovered 97X around 6th grade and stuck with the station throughout its existence. (He even tuned in to woxy.com when he was deployed overseas in the Army back in 2005-2006.) When woxy.com sold off vinyl LPs from the original 97X music library, Anthony picked up several albums that still contained an old school "grid" on the cover for 97X DJs to mark the date and time that they played a track. We talk to Anthony about his love...


Joe ”Rock the” Voet, Model Citizen

Joe Voet was a mild-mannered student in a small Midwestern college town, working at the Miami U. student radio station and listening to 97X... until one day Rictile turned him into Joe "Rock the" Voet, political correspondent. That led to a Breakfast Club co-producer role, with highs (a meeting with The Cure) and lows (reading the news on-air without any prep). Joe claims he was the worst Breakfast Club co-producer ever, but we beg to differ. We talk to him about his 97X memories, and learn...