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A big 'Woo Hoo' for the return of 99X - Curt Yeomans

Oh yeah, baby, it's back!

The gone-for-far-too-long alternative rock station, 99X, was re-launched on the FM dial a week ago - on 97.9 FM of all places.

Nearly 16 months ago, the long-time Atlanta rock station was pulled from its previous 99.7 FM perch by parent company, Cumulus Radio, and relegated to the Internet and high-definition radio.

It never totally went away, but it wasn't readily accessible, either. Sometimes, I'd go on the web site at home and listen for a little bit, but you can't take your computer around with you as if it were a radio.

And buying an HD radio was not worth the high cost for only a few extra channels. Essentially, 99X wasn't available when I wanted it the most.

Thankfully, that glitch has finally been corrected.

Still, I have to question why they chose 97.9 FM as the new home for 99X, since the numbers don't exactly match up. However, 99X is a brand name for Cumulus. Go figure. Only in Atlanta can a station on 97.9 FM be considered close enough to be called 99X.

I was a fan of 99X during my high school years, and later, when I came home for breaks between semesters at college. I was still a fan even after entering the work force.

When it was pulled from the FM dial last year, I went into a bit of withdrawal, and became a nomad on the FM dial - never quite finding a place to settle down and live for more than two songs.

I was so excited about the re-launch of the station, though, I didn't wait to write this column. I sat down in front of my computer and wrote this out a week in advance. That is how much I've missed 99X.

Now, it's true that the new 99X is missing many of the great disc jockeys, like Leslie Fram, Steve Craig and Sean Demery, but for the last year, the Atlanta radio market has been sorely lacking the type of music 99X gave the city for so many years.

It's just going to take some time to get used to a version of 99X that follows the True Oldies 106.7 FM format of lots of music piped in from another source with little DJ banter.

You see, if you listen to the new 99X, you occasionally hear the announcer say the station is on 99.7-2, which is the HD radio signal.

All in all, though, people who are long-time fans of 99X can't complain about the form in which the station, in FM-form, came back to us.

The wait, to quote a line from "Song 2" by British-alternative rock band Blur, was, well: "It wasn't easy, but nothing is."

Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.