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sponsored by TANTRUM 95.7 TNT
The loudest microstation in the loudest micronation!
Where could you hear Weezer, James Brown, John Mellencamp, Afroman, Gloria Estefan, Willie Nelson, Over The Rhine, Headboard, Megadeth, Swain, Rage Against The Machine, Kenny G, the Smithereens, Usher, the Rolling Stones, Kermit the Frog, the Dave Matthews Band, the Beastie Boys, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Babyface, the Bangles, Crystal Gayle, Twisted Sister, and Frank Zappa all on one radio station?
TANTRUM 95.7! That's where!
But wait! There's nothing but static there now! Why?
Because the FCC is a bunch of fascists who don't know how to keep their noses out of sovereign lands when corporate radio calls on them to do their dirty work to keep us from "stealing" their listeners. Tantrum 95.7 was shut down by the First Church of Censorship on September 28, 2001, after 4 tumultuous years in business.
Yep, that's right! Tantrum 95.7 was PIRATE RADIO for Campbell County, Ky. Our 1-watt commercial-free broadcasts began in Highland Heights in September 1997. Times were tough. The Gingrich recession was tightening, and Northern Kentucky was outright hostile to freedom of speech. But we toiled overtime to be able to buy $300 of equipment to operate our new broadcast outlet. Clumpy Channel probably quoke in its jackboots when it learned that a lowly peasant such as I can put a station on the air for $300 while it cost them millions for an FCC-licensed station.
Northern Kentucky in the late '90s was a troubled locale in a troubled time, and the area's economic turmoil stymied Tantrum 95.7 a great deal. So we developed "Tantrum technology", a unique form of cassette automation, for the music and other programming heard on Tantrum 95.7. The result was a real, functioning music station operating most hours of the day (except when tapes jammed up in the shoddy cassette deck and melted). After we moved to Bellevue, the corporate ether exploiters moved the towers of most of their 50,000-watt FM stations directly across the river from our new office--which we know was done deliberately to drown out our signal--and we were also impeded increasingly by a terrible local economy that prevented purchase of additional equipment and records.
In 1998, we briefly experimented with current hits, but this project fell into shambles because we couldn't obtain most current music. Generally, the only way to add new music was to tape it off other stations, because we could no longer afford to buy all the latest records--but the local airwaves were dominated by stale MOR fodder, largely because of payola by record companies, so we could find very few currents that were suitable for airplay on Tantrum 95.7.
Finally, the plug was pulled early in 1999.
But in August of that year, Tantrum 95.7 returned to the air, using new MP3 technology to automate music. We specialized in lost hits of the '80s--not just the same 6 songs from the '80s played over and over but rather a large library of hundreds of titles, many of which hadn't been played on Tri-State radio in 15 years. On March 14, 2000, we changed to a widely-focused hit radio format that featured mostly new music but continued to employ our collection of oldies that had grown to 2,500 songs. Our music selection was based on YOUR requests, not on the bribes of record companies! We even played independent labels from the likes of MP3.com--even though by 2000, independent labels were extremely rare on American radio. We also played a lot of songs that were big only locally.
Another characteristic of Tantrum 95.7 music that was rare on other stations by 2000 was the fact that we usually played uncensored versions of songs even when "regular" stations played the so-called radio edit.
Tantrum 95.7 even featured a little bit of political commentary. We provided a balance against the right-wing bias of the corporate media. But politics was already a key interest of our empire, and we had our newsletter and web page for that--so with Tantrum 95.7, politics was secondary to the music.
By 2001, Tantrum 95.7 operated 12 hours on most days and attracted a loyal following, and it was believed that we commanded a 15% share of the audience in our small listening area, which would make us the top-rated station in this section of town. The independent radio station of old was reborn!
The "big" stations of today fail to offer the spontaneity or musical variety of Tantrum 95.7. They don't even come close. It's no wonder that they felt so threatened by us that they sicced the FCC on us.