Greene County News Report
XENIA — Classic Country Radio — WBZI AM 1500, FM 100.3 (Xenia), WKFI AM 1090 (Wilmington), and WEDI AM 1130 (Eaton) — is celebrating the two decade milestone.
To commemorate 20 years, a listener appreciation party and concert will be held Thursday, Aug. 6 at the Greene County Fair. Classic Country Radio’s morning man, Bucks Braun, will begin the festivities with a live broadcast 4-6 p.m. from the Entertainment Center stage.
The concert will take place 6-9 p.m. and will begin with steel guitar Hall of Famer Chubby Howard and Wyatt McCubbin. The award-winning bluegrass group, Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, will take the stage 7:30 p.m. and then both bands will collaborate for an all-star jam.
“I am certainly thankful for the opportunity to celebrate two decades of classic country radio,” Joe Mullins said. “The loyalty from thousands of listeners and hundreds of advertisers has allowed us continual growth. It’s really quite amazing that in a media world that has seen internet radio, satellite radio, iPods and dozens of other innovations since 1995, our regional network is still providing entertainment and information our audience isn’t getting from any other source. It’s quite a testament to our veteran, on-air team and each member of our staff who still realize the rewards of old-fashioned hard work and consistent quality.”
In the spring of 1995, all that was left of WBZI AM 1500 in Xenia was a tower, transmitter, and a few pieces of 30-year-old studio equipment. The control board was a loaner; there was not one computer; not one country music CD; not even an office chair in the building. The only other thing in the run-down, rental building was a stack of bills; not an accounts receivable list, only accounts payable. E
ven worse, and the most glaring absence, there was not one listener. General Manager Joe Mullins put the classic country radio format on air July 4, 1995, replacing programming that had been in place for a year or two, and the phone didn’t even ring for a week; no one noticed.
Through the work of the Mullins Family, including Joe’s dad, the late Paul “Moon” Mullins, business was in the black within six months. By the end of the first year, WBZI had new studios in a new location, a full staff of professional broadcasters and a loyal audience and supportive sponsors. The additions of WKFI, WEDI, a webcast, and FM 100.3 in the years following have allowed the network to not just survive, but thrive for 20 years. What began as one small station dedicated to presenting entertainment and information the way radio “used to be” has blossomed into the strongest network of classic country radio stations in the Midwest.
Classic Country Radio will also be collecting donations for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library on behalf of the Greene County Library Foundation. The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is a completely free program that puts books directly into the hands of Greene County children under five-years-old.
Children will receive a book every month until their fifth birthday. Each $10 donation will earn a Classic Country Radio 20th Anniversary T-shirt, a bag of Rue Farms Rustic Potato Chips, a Classic Country Radio commemorative water bottle and an entry into a drawing for 10 prize packages.
The event is free with fair admission. Bleachers and a shade tent will be provided. Lawn chairs are welcome. There will also be a free gift for everyone entering the fairgrounds courtesy of Classic Country Radio. For additional details, see www.myclassiccountry.com or call 937-372-5804.
Greene County News report compiled by Scott Halasz.
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