"The '80s were so bad, I had to invent my own…It was a terrible decade for music."
-Mike Scott, The Waterboys
Well, yes and no; pop and classic rock radio were certainly bleak, but alternative music was flourishing. In southwest Ohio I was lucky to have WOXY 97X, an independent station where the '80s was a wildly varied wonderland of new and unusual sounds. 1985 in particular seemed staggering in its offerings: now-classics, forgotten one-offs, even songs that later broke into the Top 40, 97X played it all.
Lo-fi snippets of vintage WOXY broadcasts can be found on SoundCloud, but I've assembled this series of mixes in part to highlight tracks that I've still never heard anywhere else, including local artists from the OH/IN/KY region and songs that can't be found on streaming services. I hope you enjoy this peek into a golden age of alternative radio.
(Some holdovers from '84, kept in rotation throughout '85 due to listener demand, are included here for historical accuracy.)