DJ Badger:  The News and the Journal

Entry One Hundred Ninety-Five.
Wednesday, 2016.01.13, 11:59 PM CST.

Missing KTOW Progressive Radio.
Current Mood:  A little melancholy.
Current Scent:  Messe de Minuit by Etro.

On Sunday, January 13th, 1991, the final KTOW progressive FM broadcast went out over the airwaves.

I was an awkward student in my second semester of college at the University of Tulsa.  I was already pretty sure that I was going to fail Calculus II, I felt like a social outcast, and I spent too much time wishing for my [unfaithful] girlfriend who lived in Texas to move back.

Even though I had magnificent hair... It was a horrible, horrible time.

But, at least I could find solace in the radio - specifically, KTOW Progressive Radio, 102.3 FM, 1340 AM.

I could switch on KTOW on any given day and hear anything from Depeche Mode to Michael Penn to the Cure to Elvis Costello to New Order to Sinead O'Connor to Morrissey to Bronski Beat to the Dead Milkmen to the Church to Camper Van Beethoven to Nine Inch Nails to Midnight Oil to Bongos, Bass and Bob with Penn Jilette on vocals.

I have said it before, and I'll say it again:  It was the greatest radio station that Tulsa ever had.


It was shortly after that fateful Sunday in 1991 - probably Monday or Tuesday morning - that I took a drive from TU over to Ann's Bakery to pick up a box of doughnuts.

As I made the drive in my gold-coloured late-1970s model Malibu Classic, I turned on the radio... and I heard "Ice Ice Baby" coming through the speakers.

I knew this had to be some kind of joke.  I checked the station dial setting... yep, it was KTOW.  So, they had to be putting us on.  Playing a bit of a prank on the listeners.  The DJs were given lots of creative freedom at the station, so I figured this just had to be some sort of shenanigans.

I kept listening.  I can't even remember what the next song was... but it was evident that KTOW, as I had known and loved it... that station that had provided such comfort and companionship for the last few years... it was gone.

(I found out this year that the progressive/alternative stuff actually continued on the AM side for a little while longer... but due to changes in procedures and programming, it paled in comparison.)


Twenty-five years later, and I still think of it every day.

I miss it more than words can properly describe.

- Badger

(April 11th, 2015.  Yep, that's an original KTOW shirt, kept in great condition for all these years.)