Contemplating 99.7 KY: The Hippo Rolls Over for “Quality Rock”
By ALAN SCHERSTUHL
The last time the hippo left the city, the city begged him back.
In 1997, outraged that then-23-year-old rock station KY102 had, under new owners American Radio Systems, dumped Styx and the Nuge for an all-Alanis, all-the-time format, Max Floyd’s Rock ‘n Roll Army fought its last great battle. They protested, rival stations hosted eulogies, and Kansas City suffered its greatest radio-retirement controversy since KCUR had shitcanned Walt Bodine a year before.
As with Walt, the complaining worked. The hippo returned, shades and all, at his new address: 99.7 KYYS, somehow less badass than 102.1, where throughout the ’70s and ’80s the KY signal commanded a fat quarter inch of most receiver dials.
The hippo kept on keeping on. But he was old, now. He fretted at this angst-music the kids liked, played a lot of Joe Walsh, hosted an Elvis parade once in a while, and passed many hours reminiscing. …