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Sunday, March 18, 2012

All That Jazz




The best of the western music played on the radio and just with a volume control knob, I could increase the decibel level to my liking, on the kind of music being aired. Initially, it was only biweekly on the Monday night, The Forces Request and on Friday it was  ‘A Date With You’. Later the All India Radio started the Yuv Vani service for the collegians. So each night a college kid would come and play his favorite western numbers in ‘In the Groove’ program for half an hour from 8PM onwards.  I reminisce those days when after a day at school there were no other indulgences besides playing games with friends in the garden adjacent to our government flat. No TV, PC, laptops, mobile to fiddle around. The only available music systems were the gramophones to play the LPs( Long Play records),an expensive hobby by any stretch of imagination. Komal GB Singh would host the program in her perfect diction in ‘ A Date With You’ and subsequently in the Yuv Vani in the era of mid seventies.

There ware incomparable hits in instrumental, rock, and jazz like ‘Come September’, ‘Tequila’, Beatles, Bee Gees( Grease), Heneri Mancini’s ‘Baby Elephant Walk’(from Hatari),and sound track s from ‘Mackenna’s Gold’, ‘For a few Dollars More’ and many more.

No program of the collections being aired would be complete without Harry Belafonte’s ’Jamaican Farewell’, Dolly Parton’s( Working Nine to Five),Cyndi Lauper’s ( Girls just want to have fun), Petula Clark’s( Color my World), Susan Raye( LA International Airport)Elvis Priestley’s ( Jailhouse Rock), Trini Lopez( LemonTree) ,John Denver ( Country Roads) and scores of others lilting ones.

As time moved, the era of radios and transistors evolved to cassette decks and stereo players. The music too changed tracks and Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Janet Jackson,Madonna, Boney M, Abba, Tina Turner, and Whiney Houston took over the reins from the old horses! Their music had a distinct quality and struck chord with masses. The Billboard s Top 20 were assiduously tracked by English Music lovers with equal gusto as the ‘Hits of Binaca Geet Mala’ compeered by inimitable Ameen Sayani was tracked by Hindi music aficionados! One could tape the songs of liking on audio cassettes which would often misbehave either due the dirt accumulated on the audio head of the players  or the cassette tapes getting entangled while playing! Next half an hour would be spent to pull out the tape from the deck and try to restore it back!

The evenings were generally spent listening to the music while doing the school homework or practicing problems in Mathematics despite protests from parents. I always found the soft music in background a companion while studying till I reached the college.

Soon the music industry was set to change forever! The radio sets with big valves, transistors and even tape recorders and decks were laid to rest in favor of MP3, MP4, DVDs , and the Blu -Ray players! The music also shifted gears and instead of melodies and lullabies of the yesteryears more jarring and noisy music took over. Enter a disco and return back after an hour later to realize the feeling of temporary deafness. In the marriages too the soft shehnai was elbowed out by the DJs to blast the music at full crescendo to set the bodies shaking on the dance floor while others desperately tried to make each other heard over the din. We are now living in times of Jennifer Lopez ‘s Love Don’t Cost a thing, Back Street Boys , Quit playing games and Shakira whose hips don’t lie for our unending entertainment. The music industry is all set to change now once again with the latest mobiles/smartphones/I pads having inbuilt music players and radios. The new breed of singers like Justin Timberlake, Beyonce Knowles, Kate Perry, Lady Gaga and Rihanna are set to rule the music world.


PS –  Image Kind Courtesy Google

60 comments:

  1. abs right.. though i love the old school music.. i love the radio too.. keeps a good mix of music going.

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    1. Thanks Kajal! Music is the best healer:)

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  2. Now a days.. to an extend i can say that radio is redefining music. There a so many varieties that they air... and its always fun to be tuned in :)

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    1. True Madhulika too be born in this age where 24x7 music channels are available to choose:)

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  3. You have aptly chronicled the journey of music through the apparatus available in respective eras. However, that is also a fine commentary on culture.

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    1. So right you are, Umashankar! The cultural transformation has been enormous in the years gone by with changes in musical notes:)

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  4. Nice post. I have a good collection of 78 Rpms, Lps, Eps and Sps. Shouls I now throw them out.

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    1. Thanks PN! These could be a vintage collection till a new technology is available to play them on a new music device:)

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  5. So true. But you know ,I am a fan of old Indian music :).

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    1. Thanks Izdiher! I too like Indian music especially the old ones!

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  6. Whatever the genre is, no one can replace one's own music of their origin,
    acc to me Ilayaraja and A.R.R and Mohammed Rafi are immortal :)
    nice post sire !

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    1. True Deepak! The old Indian music from times of KL Saighal , Manna Dey, Suriya and all those you mentioned are unbeatable! Will have to write another post on that:)

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  7. new, old
    our own or foreign... i believe music has no boundaries..
    it is blessing to the world.. !!

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    1. Jyoti, the widespread plagiarism in music industry is a clear indication of that the music has no boundaries:)Music is a blessing , so true!

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  8. This is wonderfully put post, the evolution of music. One thing to note is, one always forgets the lyrics of the newer songs, but never the older ones!

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  9. I'm pretty old fashioned when it comes to music... I guess I am just old, not old fashioned :-)

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    1. Agnes, you are far too young too label yourself old! Love for old music cuts across the age:)

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  10. This is such a FABULOUS post!! I completely understand when you say that maths cannot be done without music playing in the background!! I am not so much of a western music listener. But I used to be a great fan of Vividh Bharti and ofcourse Amin Sayani ( Behno aur Bhaiyon ??). I am now inspired to do a similar post. Hope you don't mind!

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    1. A sincere thanks, Meera for being so magnanimous in the praise:)I love Hindi and some regional music too including classical! This post was about my falling in love with the western music.Look forward to your post on similar subject!

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  11. Replies
    1. A big thanks to you, Francesca and to your toddler who too loves music:)

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  12. I wasn't born during the the heydays of music on records, when songs had more meaning and you could actually hum to a tune. Thats something I think I have really missed out on. Great insight on the evolution of music!

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    1. Sam, you are lucky to be born in time when you can pick and choose what you like to listen:)A huge thanks for liking!

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  13. Hi, I love music so much! And I enjoyed your post!:) thanks for sharing!!:)

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  14. The world of music has changed, I enjoy all kinds of music but when I am driving I listen to the radio as I find it relaxing. We have an 'easy listening' radio station which plays some of the old songs and some classics which I find calming in this world of discourteous drivers and road rage.
    A great article dear Rahul!
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Thank you Dianne! I too like the western music aired by all across the world wherever I traveled and never missed on the listening pleasure of the lovely music being played. Especially in Australia:)

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  15. A very nice post, times change and along with it the tastes undergo a change too. But the tunes linger on... in our memories for us to reminisce years later... I love old Hindi music, they have so much melody hidden in them..

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    1. True Arti, the tunes continue to linger in our memories:)

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  16. So so true !!! I love Beyonce..she's been my all time favorite! Also,Maria Carey and Whitney Houston! They have voices that won't even come back in a millennium! Don't you think? :)

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    1. They are all great singers,I agree Jen!Michael Jackson, and Whitney Huston will always be remembered!

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  17. Nice post, I love to read anything about music. Music= life ♥ ♪ ♫

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  18. Nice post! I think music tastes change according to age.

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    1. Very right! However, certain kind of music becomes immortal!

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  19. Oh gosh yeah how it has changed. Not sure whether it is for better or for worse but well we need to change too. As you say we did not have all this for entertainment and nowadays kids dont know what playing outside with other friends is unless you push them to go and play. They prefer to be glued to PSP, x-box or wii. I think in a way this is sad.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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    1. Yes PAPS with so many options kids are now spoilt for choices:)

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  20. a musical walk-through post his one was & such a delight to read

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    1. Thank you, Sujatha for having liked it!

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  21. Music is therapeutic and it makes so much of difference to our mundane life,,I am happy to see your knowledge for music:-)
    Check out www.uhooroo.com when you get time,thanks!

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  22. Thanks a lot, Padmaja and also for sending the lovely link! In fact, I do like classical Indian recitals and devotional songs Pt DV Paluskar, Juthika Roy and S P Balasubramanium too:)

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  23. Music is so much a part of my life. But, these days it is all digital. I rarely play any CDs these days.

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    1. Thanks Rachna! Music makes our life complete:)

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  24. I love music and some of my favourites are Bee Gees, Madonna, and Kenny Rogers.

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  25. Wow Eden! You too love the same singers as I do:)

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  26. Great look back into the one of the most soothing entertainment... Nostalgic buddy! Thanks for sharing.

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  27. The problem today is we hear less of music and more of trashy gibberish/obnoxious raps/meaningless lyrics. Like the Beatles, where there was so much emphasis on the musician's voice, the whole scene has degraded and technology has come up to masquerade the singer's voice and make hoarse and shrill pitches appear soft and melodious.
    I miss that era! But good music still exists. John Mayer, Coldplay, Lifehouse. My kind of music :)

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    1. I fully empatize with what you wrote, Aayushi!Good music will always exist but the ratio of good vs bad/mediocre is now reversed:)

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  28. Music is a huge part of my life. I listen to it while working out, sometimes while writing. But always on my cell phone. Have not played a C.D from years :(

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    1. The changes in our life styles have brought these lovely changes , Rachna! So enjoy:)

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  29. It is always fun to go back in time and listen to old songs :)
    I don't know what is up with the music that is out nowadays. I totally agree with Crystal :)

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    1. Get less time to listen but enjoy oldies like you, Juhi:)

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  30. Times have changed and so have we... But still I admire old songs and groups... old classic.. Abba , boney-m..eurythmics n all
    ..then our singers... in indian bollywood ..their compositions ..still haunts me..love those days and memories..
    every part brings out wonderful days spent in India with parents!

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    1. Thanks a lot , Harman that this post evoked some happy memories of your childhood in India:)

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  31. Many find it outdated but I have a stereo and I love listening to songs on it. Though, I can't listen to new songs as cassettes are not available these days. There was nothing more beautiful to me then listening to Jagit and Chitra Singh on my stereo.

    Music has evolved and so are the means but the old charming ways are far more entertaining.

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  32. I am in the same league as you, Saru and still listen to music on stereo:) I too love all the Indian songs and gazals by Jagjit and Chitra besides many more! May be this post gives an impression of liking for only western music!

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  33. The days of buying a cassette .. you know each week there use to be two weeklies the SUN and Jetset .. I bought both of them for two reasons .. they both had a poster of someone famous.. and the second was it had a list of TOP 10 weekly songs USA/UK and then on monday morning i would buy a empty cassette and get those 20 songs recorded ..

    and each time Jagjit sing had a album and a couple of punjabi singers my favourites gurdas mann ..

    brought back some memories this post ..

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  34. Bikram, I feel so happy reading your comments as it gives me a feel that there were many like me engaged in similar pursuits! A big thanks :)

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