September 19 was my birthday, but the folks who ran my favorite radio station didn't give me much of a present.
I drove to work that morning to discover the whole station was dying.
The morning "Kirk and Mike Show" was gone, replaced by a stream of classic rock interrupted only by occasional announcements that the station would be switching over to an all-talk format. And the fact that the promos all featured soundbites from Ronald Reagan speeches left no doubt as to just what kind of talk that it would be.
Just before noon, the station played The Who's "The Song Is Over" and the Beatles' "Hello Goodbye." With that, 105.9 The Edge — "Classic Rock That Rocks" — was dead.
The Edge had been on the air for just two years, so I can't say it was the end of a great historical institution or tradition. But you might be surprised to learn that although Washington may be the nation's capital, most of our radio here stinks.
It's a little known secret, but little ol' Baltimore just an hour to the north has much better radio than we do. (Which wouldn't be so bad if station interference didn't make reception of those Charm City stations so hit-and-miss down here.)
So while The Edge wasn't on the air for too terribly long, it did have the chance to make an impression on a DC area audience just desperate for something good on the dial.
Listening to it, The Edge had a kind of WKRP feel to it. Like the fictional sitcom station set in Cincinnati, The Edge was sort of an oddball "little station that could."
The real beauty to The Edge, though, wasn't even the music, since classic rock still is available on one other DC station. Rather, it was in the on-air talent which delivered the tunes.
The jocks on The Edge often poked fun at themselves as old farts and has-beens.
It's true. Most of the deejays on The Edge were in their primes back when their funniest material revolved around a girl named Monica Lewinsky.
No matter. These guys may have been has-beens, but they were good has-beens. And they clearly still just loved being on the air. That passion for radio came through, loud and clear.
When the end came, though, there were few tears. And they aren't even really gone. You may not find them on the FM dial, but you can find them over on the Interwebs.