Daytonians of the Week: K99’s Nancy Wilson and James Frye

When you think of country music coverage in the Dayton area, two names should jump to mind: Nancy Wilson and Frye Guy.

These two characters have been manning the mics over at our sister country station, K99.1FM, together on the Breakfast Club since 2010, and they remain our main sources of country music knowledge, as well as big belly laughs at their antics on and off the air.

But if you thought being a country radio DJ was all fun and games, don’t forget about the great philanthropy these two work on year-round.

For that, and for everything else they do every day, meet our Daytonians of the Week.

James Frye “Frye Guy” and Nancy Wilson have been manning the mics at K99 together since 2010, and there’s no more dynamic duo in country radio. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

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What’s your Dayton area background?

Nancy Wilson: I’m from South Charleston, just south of Springfield. I graduated from the University of Dayton in 1985 and came to work for K99.1FM in 1989.

Frye Guy: Waynesville, Ohio is my home town! Grew up in Centerville until the age of 13, then moved and graduated from Waynesville. I was born at Kettering Hospital, so born and raised here!

How did you each get into radio, and how long have you been with K99? 

NW: I was originally a Civil Engineering Major at UD when I quickly realized that was not for me. I switched to Broadcast Journalism and that’s how I got my start. I graduated and worked at WIZE and WBLY in Springfield before getting the call from K99.1FM in 1989. I’ve been on the morning show ever since—going on 27 years!

FG: I started in radio at the age of 13 at an oldies station in Cincinnati. Worked there for 2 years until I was 15. I was then hired at Z-93 at 15. I was hired on full time while I was still a senior in high school at 17 doing the night show. I then joined the Cox family in 2010 and have been on the K99.1FM morning show just over 5 years.

What is it about country music that just grabs you?

NW: It’s about real life. I love working in an industry where the music speaks to me and sometimes, for me. And to be able to connect with the best listeners ever, is icing on the cake!

FG: Working in Top 40 before country, you learn one of the biggest things with country is the sense of family. Listeners, artists, radio, and over all the industry really is one big family that looks after one another. This is something that in other formats of music, you just don’t see. People go to bat for one another, and it gives life into every aspect of country. That is what makes a difference and sucked me into country.

Your dream show: which bands would be playing?

NW: Little Big Town, Big & Rich, Parmalee, Maddie and Tae and Brothers Osborne!

FG: This is already a dream show, I can’t imagine doing much better for such a great cause. I am sure Luke Bryan wouldn’t hurt in the lineup. But other than that, this would be one of my top picks for a lineup of artist.

Taylor Swift (center) backstage with K99.1 FM’s Nancy Wilson and Frye Guy last Thursday, Sept. 17, at Nationwide Arena. CONTRIBUTED (2015)

If you weren’t radio personalities, what would your career be instead?

NW: I always wanted to be the lead singer in a band or an actress!

FG: If I wasn’t doing radio I would have followed the path of law, most likely in the intelligence sector as this was a minor of mine in college, taught by instructors from the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) at Wright Patt. If radio would have failed, I would have most likely applied with the CIA or Department of Intelligence out of the Pentagon. But I have to say, I am glad the radio thing worked out.

What do you love about Dayton? Where can people typically find you, if not in the studio?

NW: Dayton has everything you could ever want or need, right here! You want concerts, good food, comedy, movies, outdoor activities, shopping, food? You don’t need to drive anywhere when Dayton has it all! I get to work around 3:15 in the morning. When our shift ends at 9 a.m., you can find Frye and me in the studio talking about what we’re going to do the next day. You may also find me in the production rooms working on commercials, in a meeting or at my desk, waaaayyyyy back in the corner in the newsroom, talking with record reps from Nashville!

FG: I love Dayton because it is home. Exactly that…what does that mean. It is a place you can thrive, a place that has entertainment, and a place you can feel comfortable. You can find me at restaurants. I love food, and love any mom and pop restaurant. Any place that has home cooking. I always keep an eye out on for new ideas on restaurants to eat at I may have overlooked.

Nancy Wilson and Frye Guy K99.1 FM answer phones during the annual Cares for Kids Radiothon Benefiting Dayton Children's Hospital Wednesday, Nov. 19 at Dayton Children's Hospital. Bob Garlock / Staff (Staff photo by Bob Garlock)

If there were one thing you could change/improve about Dayton, what would it be?

NW: To quote KISS, “you wanted the best, you got the best!”

FG: This is a tough question, because I would have said tear down some buildings and create new living. But that is exactly what is taking place! Other than that, I would prefer to have 70-80 degree weather all year long. Until they create a weather machine, I will take the change of season (another great part of about our area, you get all seasons).

What do you think Dayton will look like in 10-15 years?

NW: I think Dayton will only grow even more in its cultural diversity, educational and business opportunities and be a great place to raise a family. I’m also thinking there will be a ginormous NCAA Championship sign honoring the Dayton Flyers when you drive into the city!

FG: I think Dayton will be thriving in the future. I believe the base will grow, along with our private sector. We have a lot of great business coming to our area, and looking at our area for growth. I think you will see a stronger Dayton in 10-15 years than you have ever seen. One with great community.

>> Get to know our past Daytonians of the Week.

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