Sunday, April 27, 2003

Hollywood scripted the 'Future'

The Future of Rock 'n' Roll was made in Hollywood.

Dustin Hoffman's mantra from the Oscar-winning film Rain Man - "97X. Bam! The Future of Rock 'n' Roll." - is seen as the defining moment in WOXY's struggle to gain respect as the area's leading modern-rock radio station.

But one of the most famous slogans in radio came from a screenwriter, not station personnel, says 97X owner Doug Balogh.

"Researchers from the film company were here looking for locations," recalls Balogh. "And the question that they asked was ... 'What is the cool, hip station in town?' And our station kept coming back."

When the filmmakers called him, Balogh was skeptical, thinking it a prank. He called back to verify it was on the level.

"They asked us to start sending them our 'liners' (radio lingo for recorded station IDs). Then it was '97X - The Future is Now.' They came back and said this is what we want."

"97X - The Future of Rock 'n' Roll" became 97X's slogan "through eternity."

WOXY's pre- and post-Rain Man "liners":

1983-84: "97X - Cincinnati's Only Modern Rock Station Isn't in Cincinnati"

1984-93: "97X - Cincinnati's Only Modern Rock Station"

1984-87: "97X - "Dare to Be Different" "97X - The Station Your Mother Warned You About"

1986-1988: "97X - The Future is Now" and "97X - The Future is Here"

1988-present: "97X - The Future of Rock 'n' Roll" ("Bam!" optional)

Larry Nager

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