Robin James is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at UNC Charlotte and the author of three books… with a book about 97X in the works. She grew up listening to the station from age 11 on, including her time as an oboe major (yes!) at Miami University. Robin still has a fond place in her heart for the 97X/woxy.com music community, and the DIY ethos that made it truly unique. Dave and Damian talk to Robin about her research for the 97X book, the Modern Rock 500 and intersection of philosophy and music.
You can check out some of Robin’s writing on her blog, It’s Her Factory. She also wrote a great piece about the Modern Rock 500 for Belt Magazine. Here’s an excerpt:
As a teen, the Modern Rock 500 was the closest thing I had to a catechismic text. I grew up on the other side of Butler County from WOXY, on the outskirts of Cincinnati. Every year I recorded parts of the broadcast on cassette and listened to the top of the countdown late into Memorial Day night. Radio led me to music I would otherwise never be allowed to buy or hear live (if I could even get a ride to Looney T-Birds, Everybody’s Records, Bogart’s, or Sudsy Malone’s).
My dad didn’t like music, and I didn’t have older siblings, so the Modern Rock 500 was the curriculum I used to educate myself about cool music and its history.https://beltmag.com/woxy-modern-rock-500/
In May of 2021, Robin is scheduled to give a talk on the Modern Rock 500 at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland – a draft of that presentation is here.
You can also visit Robin’s Soundcloud to listen to a few of her lectures and some original compositions.
In our podcast, Dave and Robin mentioned the 97X Mission Statement. Here it is, direct from Dave’s basement: