Rob Ervin (also known as "Rowdy Rob" when he hosted Gridloxx) worked as a part-timer at 97X in the 90s. He also co-hosted the Chris & Rob Late Night Talk Show on WAIF-FM and later was part of the writing staff and cast of characters for the Gary Burbank Show on WLW-AM. But wait, there's more... Rob led the local bands Monkey Biscuit and the High Strung Lifters. Oh, and he wrote for the Hamilton Journal-News, was a substitute teacher, and led historical tours in Cincinnati. Find out how Rob got his 97X gig via a lumberyard, why he once was suspended from the station and much more in his chat with Dave and Damian.
Ron Poore, a.k.a. "Jetson" was only at 97X for a year back in the late 80s, but he moved on to record labels, where he has continued to work tirelessly to get great music into people's ears. Currently Senior VP of Alternative & Rock Promotion for the legendary Atlantic Records, Ron chats with Dave and Damian about how promoting a band actually got him his first gig at 97X, how a trip to New York City with Rock & Roll Grocer Frank Eavey changed his career trajectory... and how his son saved his life.
Special holiday gift: check out this episode on 97Xbam.com to hear the 97X in-studio performance from the Dave Matthews Band back in 1995, a session that happened thanks to Jetson's ties to 97X.
Mark Griffin tuned in to 97X as a teenager, and "the future of rock and roll" shaped his future. As he says in a great blog post about the station: Throughout life, but perhaps most profoundly in our youth, we encounter things or people that click on a cellular level—a movie; a book; a group of friends that awakens, challenges or reflects our feelings or worldview in ways that help define our identity. For me, it was a radio station.
Dave and Damian talk with Mark about how he ruled his high school art room with an iron fist... and why that iron fist never had a digital watch on its wrist. And we learn why (and how) Mark painstakingly assembled 14 hours worth of song mixes from 97X circa 1985.
In Part 2 of our conversation with Kevin Couche, the man of 1,000 jobs, you'll find out why Steve Baker is the best ever, you'll discover how Dave and Damian might become models for plus-sized lingerie, you'll uncover the 97X artist behind kids songs like "It's Raining Tacos"... and you'll learn why we owe Kevin $163.
Kevin Couch, a.k.a. Kevin Couche, was an Indiana kid who tuned in to 97X early and never looked back. He wound up working at the station, and later headed to Hollywood to work for the top ranked morning show, do interviews for other radio stations, host a comedy show on Sirius XM, do publicity for Death Row Records and a comedy club... and about a hundred other gigs we can't remember. Dave and Damian talk to Couche about his 97X payroll windfall, Brainiac, and his myriad jobs.
Aaron Borns started at 97X as a student intern (a.k.a. "co-producer") for the Breakfast Club in 1993, then worked part-time shifts, answered the phones and worked with Julie Maxwell doing promotions. He wasn't at the station long, but the lessons he learned there served him well during a 20-plus year career doing promotions and marketing at RCA Records. Dave and Damian talk to Aaron about his 97X days, his record label roles... and how he got a free car when he was at 97X.
Rik Helton was a mild-mannered record store owner by day, but CD World Guy by night (complete with cape and tights, no less). Dave and Damian chat with him about dropping tons of dirt in his parking lot, his close encounter with Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs) and other amusing tales, plus we play a few other throwback ads from 97X, including Frank Eavey and Les Agee the True Value Hardware Man.
97X had dozens if not hundreds of part-time DJs over the lifetime of the station, but no one else can top the tenure of "Gentleman" Jim Mercer, who worked weekend and vacation fill-in shifts for a whopping 14 years, from 1990 through 2004. His dedication and professionalism made him the ultimate weekend warrior. Dave and Damian talk to Jim about his day job, how he got the DJ gig, and how he made his shifts sound so smooth.
97X was a small but mighty station in many ways. Being on the outskirts, in the fringes, left of center, off of the strip (to paraphrase Suzanne Vega) with a small (but dedicated) listener base allowed us to get away with stuff that other stations couldn't or wouldn't do. Not just with our music playlist (or lack of a playlist, really), but also with the other stuff that made its way to our airwaves, like having a 5th grader do the weather report, doing live "remote" broadcasts from the lobby, throwing birthday parties for Abe Vigoda and sharing secrets from romance novel cover model Fabio. Dave and Damian chat with the weatherperson, play some bits, and also announce the winner of the 97X 10th Anniversary "name the 4th band" contest.