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WILD 104.9 fades away into oblivion…

Pour a little gin and juice out for a homie.

On May 24th, WILD 104.9 – The Pepsi to KJ-103's Coke – quietly flipped formats to a genera-rock format called Alice, which promises to play some of the greatest, stalest, and most mainstream rock hits from the 1980s through today. I'm sure the 200 or so OKC rock and roll fans over 60 who haven't heard about the Internet will love it.

Although I had not listened to WILD 104.9 in ages, news like this is always kind of bittersweet in a nostalgic sense. There's something about the human condition that hates to see remnants of your past fade away into oblivion like my hairline...

I'm so old that I actually remember when WILD 104.9 debuted as WILD 97dot9 in the year 2000. It was a pretty big deal. OKC didn't have a rap and hip-hop-focused Top 40 FM station, and things like Napster, CDRs, and MP3s had yet to go mainstream, so it filled a big void in our market. Sure, the station didn't have the largest playlist – I think they were obligated to play I Forgot About Dre, Party Up, and Clark Matthews's all-time favorite, Juvenile's Back That Thang Up, every hourbut it was better than nothing.

I'm also so old that I remember listening to the station the first night that Joey Combs – The Ug of The Brooks Clinic billboard fame – debuted as the station's first DJ.

I was playing NFL Blitz with my perverted old roommate from Chickasha in our apartment at the always classy Lincoln Greens near 122nd & Penn. Joey asked people to call and make or request or something like that, and we thought it would be fun to request Lil' Troy's I Wanna Be a Baller. We really wanted to hear the song, and at the time, trying to get a radio station to play it was more efficient than downloading it with dial-up on Napster.

We called repeatedly but the line was always busy and we couldn't get through, but for some reason, it's a clear memory that's stuck with me all these years. Also, if you would have told me that 15 years later that very same Joey would be donating Dragons to my village as a Clan Leader on a video game we played on cell phones, I probably wouldn't have believed you.

WILD grew in popularity as hip hop became more and more mainstream, and eventually the venerable Heather joined the station. One night, some buddies and I ran into her at the top bar at the Bricktown Pub – one of OKC's premier turn-of-the-century dance clubs / meat markets. She was really cool and chill and super kind while turning down our starstruck advances.

My interest in WILD didn't last long. I had always been more of an "alternative" music guy, and around the same time the station debuted, I found myself falling deeper and deeper into the dreaded nu-metal and post-grunge wormhole, before being rescued by The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Interpol and becoming a bonafide indie music hipster snob who would eventually have his own radio show on 105.3 The Spy.

Despite that, WILD was definitely a big part of OKC's radio culture and deserves to be remembered. Fortunately, with Joey and Heather still doing their thing on KYSS FM, and photos of Nugget remaining on this website for eternity, it will live on in our hearts and minds for eternity. Or until it changes formats, too.

Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.

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