May 1, 2021
Steve Roemer (a.k.a. "Roemie da Homie") served three tours of duty as a Breakfast Club co-producer in 1993, commuting to the station on a balky bicycle. He also started a heavy metal sport at Miami U., was the 90s version of "Schneider" from One Day at a Time... and even though he's a lifetime non-smoker, his two favorite stories from his 97X days involve generic cigarettes.
Steve shares his radio memories and also talks about PawsForPatrick, the charity that his family started to honor his son Patrick, who passed away last May.
April 17, 2021
Steve Leeds has had a long and illustrious (dare we say even Gump-like) career in the music business. Terrestrial radio (Murray the K!). Major labels (Led Zeppelin!). Indie promotions (Joan Jett!). MTV (Adam Sandler!). Today he's a VP of Talent for Sirius XM and a college professor. If it's happening, Steve was -- and still is -- involved. Steve shares his memories of working with 97X (and getting lost leaving...) and what stations like 97X meant to emerging artists.
Check out Steve's blog for his take on today's music business.
April 3, 2021
Here's Part Deux of our chat with Brett Heartz, who bookended his long and illustrious radio career with stints at 97X in the late 80s and 2004. This episode includes the on-air banter between Brett and the late Kerry Grey when an earthquake struck the San Francisco area during a 1989 World Series game between the SF Giants and the Oakland A's, as well as Brett's tales of corporate radio (spoiler alert: it sucks).
March 20, 2021
Brett Heartz got the 97X bug when he was in high school, a fever that was aided and abetted by his interview with Danny Crash and Mr. K for a cable-access program. Thanks to his Mr. K connection, he wound up working on-air at 97X in the late 80s (and being roommates with Phil Manning). His long career in radio came full circle 15 years later when he returned to 97X for weekend shifts before the terrestrial station signed off in 2004. We talk to Brett about Hamilton's "Modern Rock Mafia," limo rides to REM, backstage at Bogart's, and random encounters with fellow 97Xers in The Big Easy.
March 7, 2021
The Lovely & Talented Elizabeth Cannon started working at Riverbend as an usher when she was 16... and wound up staying there for nearly 15 years. For most of her tenure, she managed Riverbend's marketing, working closely with local radio and TV stations and record labels on media buys, ad scripts, promotions (ticket giveaways, meet-and-greets), artist interviews, and more. As a 97X listener in high school and a Miami U. grad, she always had a special place in her heart for the tiny modern rock station in Oxford... and the feeling was mutual.
Elizabeth fills us in on her behind-the-scenes work at Riverbend... including why a mullet man was making a sick kid's heart achy-breaky, and who was cool and who was a tool in CS&N (and sometimes Y).
February 20, 2021
In the second part of our interview with 97X station owners Doug & Linda Balogh, we find out why Steve Baker was the soul of the station, Dave was Mr. Sunshine, and Linda was the lady behind the curtain. Doug also talks about "buyer's remorse" at his welcome BBQ and Linda recalls the 97X mission statement and the baby in the file cabinet. Oh, and we hear about how the Rainman movie appearance happened... and how legendary record exec Howie Klein freaked out about it.
February 14, 2021
Doug and Linda Balogh bought 97.7 FM in Oxford, Ohio in July of 1981, adjusted the format to modern rock in September of 1983, and spent 23 years giving their heart and soul to a "mom and pop" radio station. 97X's signal was tiny, but its impact was mighty, and Doug and Linda guided it every step of the way. In the first of a multi-part interview, Dave and Damian talk to Doug and Linda about why they got into the radio game in the first place, and the station's formative early years.
February 6, 2021
Dayton native Dan Bockrath left San Diego in the mid-90s, returning to southwest Ohio and joining forces with editor John Fox to launch CityBeat, Cincinnati's alternative weekly newspaper. One of the first media partnerships they formed was with 97X, because championing local music, arts and culture was their raison d'êtra and 97X listeners were open-minded and adventurous. We talk to Dan about that synergy, CityBeat's sponsorship of Midpoint Music Festival (MPMF), and his ongoing love affair with live music in local clubs.
January 23, 2021
In the mid-80s, Terrence Burke came to Cincinnati from Boston, where he was weaned on a steady diet of Beantown's finest alternative/indie/college rock stations. He quickly discovered 97X and was hooked. After a few years back in Boston, he returned to Cincinnati in 1993 and was so enamored with how the Cincinnati/Dayton music community had blossomed that he published a 'zine about it called Screed. (He made several appearances on 97X's Local Lixx during this time.) Terry also hosted a show at WAIF and worked at CD World, so he was fully immersed in the music scene. After his father passed away suddenly in 2001, Terrence decided to pursue his life's calling of bringing joy to kids via his Wump Mucket Puppets shows. Terry's a DIY guy to the core, and it was a real treat to catch up with him.
[Visit 97Xbam.com for bonus content, including photos, videos, and the audio recording of Terry's guest appearance on a Local Lixx show in 1996, featuring songs from Brainiac, Throneberry, The Wolverton Brothers and Stitch.]
January 10, 2021
Stase worked weekends at 97X in 1995-96, and then handled the midday shift in 1997. She got the gig partly due to the fact that her previous job was working alongside Rictile (in his side hustle) at GE Credit... and partly because she went to the same high school as 97X co-owner Doug Balogh. But what sealed the deal was her effervescent personality, which remains intact 25 years later. We chat with Stase about the party patio, unbreakable piñatas, the Michigan Mafia and pandemic parenting.