When Joe Mullins bought Xenia’s WBZI-AM in 1995 and changed the format to classic country with bluegrass and gospel, it made for a lot of happy listeners in the Miami Valley of Ohio. Using name country DJs from the past such as his dad, Paul “Moon” Mullins, Jack Bartley, and Chubby Howard, he let everyone know upfront that this was a real country operation. Joe pulled air time himself, as well as bluegrass authority Fred Bartenstein and musician Tim Shelton, who subsequently left to form the group NewFound Road. The station had its own band, which evolved into the Radio Ramblers, that appeared at remotes around the listening area. The whole operation had the feel of a 1950s radio station but with 1990s professionalism. Later on, WBZI began simulcasting on WEDI in Eaton and WKFI in Wilmington and FM 100.3 as “Classic Country Radio,” significantly broadening the local listening area, and still later streaming broadcasts to the World Wide Web.

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