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the future is over

I was very saddened this past Friday to hear the final broadcast of WOXY, my favorite radio station for nearly the past 10 years.

I was first introduced to WOXY when I started college at Miami University down in the quiet little town of Oxford, Ohio. Since 1983, the small little station played the best in modern rock, and boasted that it had the largest collection of modern rock music in the world. The station was literally the soundtrack to my college years at Miami. I always had the radio on around my dorm, and most of the stores and places around campus played the station. If I had to guess, I would say the number of hours I’ve spent listening to WOXY is easily in the thousands, even in this era of MP3s and iPods.

But in 2004, the station went off the air after the owners sold the frequency, only to re-emerge months later as an internet-only station thanks to some optimistic investors. It had broadcast online for years and was widely regarded as one of the most popular internet stations in the world, so it seemed like a logical progression. Things were looking good until earlier this year when they had to start offering the broadcast on a subscriber basis. Failing to make enough revenue to cover their expenses, they announced on August 31st that they would be going off the air on Sept.15th, a little over 2 years into their online-only existence.

So last Friday afternoon, I tuned in after getting home from work, just in time to hear the last hour they were broadcasting, just as I had done 2 years earlier when they went off the airwaves the first time around. It was sad, though not as much so as the first sign-off back in 2004. I had thought at that time, like many others, that we were hearing the last of WOXY. So when they came back a few months later, it was like gravy. Two years of gravy. It was good, but it never had quite the same feel as the old days. Hearing the ads for Jungle Jim’s and getting the weather forecast from the good old “party patio” were just a few of the silly little things I missed from the old broadcasting days.

After a lot of goodbyes and thank yous, they played three final songs before going silent: “Acquiesce” by Oasis, “Fight The Power”, by Public Enemy, and the final track, MC5’s song “Kick Out The Jams”. A pretty good representation of the diversity of music you could once hear on WOXY. The station, which touted itself as “the future of rock n’ roll”, has now found itself a piece of the past. But it will long be remembered by myself and many others, whether they be from Oxford, Cincinnati, NYC, or Europe. WOXY was a classic.

– For more on the history of WOXY, check out their Wikipedia article.
– If you missed the last days, go here to download WOXY recordings.

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