97X’s Final FM Broadcast Was 20 Years Ago Today

Many of you know that I wrote a book about “the last great independent” modern rock radio station, 97X WOXY/woxy.com. Today, May 13, 2024, is the twentieth anniversary of the first time the station went off the air after the FM license was sold to First Broadcasting.

As I argue in the book, the remarkable thing about WOXY is that even after it has closed down at least three times, it continues to be reborn in new forms: first (and second) as an online-only station, and now as a sort of grandparent to the Cincinnati-based web radio station Inhailer. In 2023 former WOXY DJs came together to release a new version of the station’s signature countdown, the Modern Rock 500, for broadcast on Inhailer. After that, several former 97Xers – including Jae Foreman and Matt Sledge – have done weekly shifts on Inhailer. And in 2024, Inhailer will broadcast its own update on the Modern Rock 500, the Indie 500. WOXY may not broadcast at 97.7 FM in Oxford, Ohio, anymore, but its community has kept it alive for over 40 years

You can hear a recording of “The Voice of 97X,” Steve Baker, deliver what he and everyone else thought would be the station’s final break ever here:

Leading up to that moment, the station played the following songs:

  • 11 p.m. “Step Inside This House,” Lyle Lovett
  • 11:05pm “Life On A Chain,” Pete Yorn
  • 11:17pm “Juke Joint Jezebel,” KMFDM
  • 11:22pm “Last Night On Earth,” U2
  • 11:27pm “Chapel Hill,” Sonic Youth
  • 11:31pm “Last Goodbye,” Jeff Buckley
  • 11:39pm “The Universal,” Blur
  • 11:43pm “Doing The Unstuck,” The Cure
  • 11:47pm “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” Green Day
  • 11:50pm “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” U2

Dave & Damian of the Rumblings From The Big Bush podcast have an episode about the 2004 sign-off here.