Good times and great oldies – Mayor Of Ponce

Boombox_pc_3 I don’t have a CD player in my car. As a matter of fact, I don’t even own an I-pod. Hard to believe that a happening 28-year old dude rolls around the city on the same tech-wave as your grandparents. Cruising to Clark Howard or the Kimmer, getting news and traffic on the 20’s- That’s 20 minutes to and from the hour, not 20’’ rims.  And that’s me. Hip to be square. 

Huey Lewis is shrugging his shoulders.

I’ve had an I-pod before, but it was stolen when I left it backstage for a few days at MJQ in my record bag. They left the shitty records, though. Thanks. I didn’t care much either way. Whether it be a Walkman or a girlfriend, if you really care about something, you probably shouldn’t take it to MJQ, much less leave it in a back room for a few days.

Tape decks were supposed to kill radio. You could fast forward through the weak filler on a Cruë cassette that could fit in the back of your Bugle Boy’s. Then CD players, shit, you could go right to any song you wanted, and you didn’t even have to flip them over.  Satellite radio, the future, right? Right, I think I knew a guy once who had XM. Or maybe it was Sirius. Payola scandals hurt the industry, but they were more or less irrelevant. And even President Bush’s ridiculous F.C.C. Wyatt Earp-like policing of the air waves failed to nail the coffin shut. Although, many a good disc jockey are in marketplace 160-something now, or selling insurance because of Janet Jackson’s left boob. But radio survived.

 Really, the only thing that has mainstream radio on its last leg is the corporate thieves and raiders themselves. It’s the good people from Cox Communications or Cumulous buying up mom & pop stations like Susquehanna ,who owned 99X, and giving them the Gordon Gecko love squeeze.

Elvis Costello is shrugging his shoulders.

I’m one of the proud, the few who actually grew up in metro Atlanta. An actual native.  I’ve been listening to local radio ever since Major Tom and “yo, yo, this is Domino” were giving spins to Rick Astley on Power 99. Just like the ‘Monster Plantation’ at Six Flags, or an F.O. at The Varsity, “I am 99X” is just as ingrained in us as asking for “The Wolfman” or Donna at Gallery Furniture. Although, I don’t know anyone who’s actually ever been to Gallery Furniture, much less bought the black lacquer with gold trim bedroom suit that seemed to be in every commercial.


96 Rock’s heyday seemed to be in the late 80’s. I distinctly remember the car tags everyone had, simply because everyone put them upside down on the front of their Camaro’s, S-10 Blazers, or whatever the hell they were driving. The 96, became, well, a 96. Clever enough. It was kind of an unspoken thing you did- Like a graduation tassel hanging on your rear view. No real explanation on the car tags, though.  It’s just… what you did. Like a few years ago, high school kids all seemed to have Hawaiian lays hanging from their rear view mirror. I never really understood that one. 

96Rock became Project 9-6-1 for no real, particular reason other than to give the illusion that it’s hip, relevant, and somewhere near the “edge”. You can turn the name upside down, but it’ll still be 96Rock to most people.

FOX 97. Because this is what most of our parents listened to when they drove us to the 8th grade dance , this was our first, real allegiance to any radio station. Falling in love the first time Lennon & McCartney said they wanted to hold our hand. Chuck Berry. The Beach Boys. Sam Cooke. Motown. British Invasion. They were all there. Love at first listen. Songs you can still hum by heart when the Muzak comes on in the Ingles. “She was just… Seventeen…If you know… what I mean…”

Going to Turtle’s on a Saturday morning to get Ultimate Oldie concert tickets was a once a year rite. They’d always trot out some washed up fat dudes on stage trying to hang on to their waistline and a pay check. And instead calling themselves “The Temptations”, it should have been, “The Temptation”. Or, “The One Top”. Cause that sure the hell ain’t the other original three Top’s. And sure it wasn’t all The Beach Boy’s, but it was still fun watching old people get boozed up and act like they’re in a Cialis commercial.

Or listening to Randy & Spiff in the morning. Randy the straight man, Spiff the goofball, kind of creepy uncle type. I always pictured Spiff a close talker with bad breath. I don’t know why.

Fond memories of my first radio station. Good Times & Great Oldies.

Fat Elvis is shrugging his shoulders.

Part 2 highlights include Bert from “The Bert Shows” nipples, ego-maniacal Leslie Fram, who has the worst band name, Mudvayne or Staind, and shit talking, rival Christian stations.


  1. kinda makes me wish i’d grown up in Atlanta…
    i only remember as far back as the Morning X w Jimmy, Barnes and Leslie.

  2. greatest city in the world, bubba.
    yeah, part 2 will talk about 99x. I dont think people realize how influential that station was to the entire mainstream radio.
    with that said, i dont think people realize how much I dislike Leslie Fram.

  3. You really bring it back- Turtles? Only the hottest record store at Town Center Mall….
    When I had to cut the lawn, you know I had that shit locked on Z-93……

  4. haha.
    The Greaseman in the mornings!
    What a perv that dude was.
    But yeah, Turtles was great. Remember when CD’s came in boxes?
    And Turtles gift cards were brass coins.

  5. Are you going to cover HOT 97.5 anytime soon?
    I made it to Atlanta in ’96
    so I’ve got a few radio
    memories stored away.
    Some good, some terrible.
    I never experienced Turtles
    in Atlanta but I could probably
    dig up a few coins from a store
    on the west side of Jacksonville.
    Looking forward to the next edition.

  6. Yer right, HOT 97.5 was pretty amazing. Imagine how many people got their 1st spin on that station went on to become big.
    Hell, Ludacris and lala from mtv interned there.
    Funny thing is, other than Sports talk, ALL I listen to is hot107 and V103. I love that shit.

  7. Hi:
    I grew up in Atlanta and moved to Miami in 1992.
    I’d love to know what ever happened to the following notable local music Atlantans:
    Cheryl Wilson (Id love to hear some of her current work), Tom Gross, Jerome Olds..

  8. This reads like Andy Rooney waxing Atlanta radio.

  9. Were the tags upside down because the “96 Rock rocks you upside down” slogan, or was the slogan because of the tags being upside down? I’m from Alabama, right on the GA line and we all had our upside down tags, but I don’t know which came first…

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