05 September 2010

Off the beaten track: Indian Film Music on Radia Australia .. nearly 40 years back!

This afternoon, the airwaves around our apartment, carried something exceptional: sound of a melodious song `Naan pesa ninaithadellaam nee pesa vendum ..' from one of the Tamil films released way back in '60s. [Although I am not particularly keen in films or film music, I do relish the sounds from the TV of my neighbour.  He could be about 10 years older than me and seems to like old film songs, almost all which were nonvulgar and full of good meaning].  My memory took me to 1969 when I used to listen to this very song and others, on Radio Australia in a programme known as Indian Film Music.  This radio programme used to be presented by Mr V M Chakrapani, who was a newsreader (on All India Radio) and a popular cricket commentator.  The programme used to air contemporary film songs in many Indian languages.  However, the programme did not last long.

I liked Radio Australia for its music content (They had excellent softrock programs). BBC World Service aired its own programmes, one of which was, `A Date with a Disc'. This was a 5 minute program before (or after?) their news bulletins.  VOA used to come out with `Now Music USA' with a lot of Afro-American, Blues and Country and Western songs (I prefer to call them `songs' not `numbers').  SLBC and Radio Malaysia  were also popular for their softrock content.  Back home in Madras, there were two channels of the Madras station of All India Radio on the medium wave: Madras 1 and Madras 2.  Western Music used to be broadcast on Madras 2 every evening from 5.30 to 6 PM.

More recently in the '80s, if I remember correctly, BBC World Service used to transmit a weekly programme known as `Vintage Chart Show' which contained songs of the '60s, '70s and '80s. 

While there were several other radio stations which used to broadcast western music, there were not many print based publications, except occassional articles and write ups in `Life' Magazine as far as I knew. In India, The Statesman of Calcutta introduced its `Junior Statesman' somewhere around 1968.  The magazine contained popmusic reviews, lyrics of famous songs, posters of pop musicians and of course articles.  We used to enjoy reading the magazine.  Those were the days.   

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About Me

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Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
I am a K-12 Education Management Professional turned freelance Education writer. I have worked at different levels in K-12 school systems, textbook publishing, elearning and Education NGOs. I have held memberships in The Association for Science Education (UK), American Association of Physics Teachers and The Malaysian Institute of Physics. I hold a 1st class B Sc Degree in Physics followed by B Ed [English and Physical Science] and M A [Childcare and Education] degrees. My published works include 59 articles in teacher development magazines in India and the US and a book entitled `Creative Classrooms and Child Friendly Schools' (listed in Amazon). This book is almost an anecdotal account of my professional experience in six countries (including Cambodia where I worked as Technical Adviser to the Ministry of Education, Youth And Sports). I served as mentor in the Certificate of Teaching Mastery Program offered by Teachers Without Borders.