The reason we listen to radio is the music. It’s been that way ever since the day the medium was plugged in to the masses. When you go back to the 70s or the 80s, music—both regional and western—had a particular charm. The compositions made during that time still make their presence felt on the airwaves now.
In the late 70s, when Ameen Sayani was pioneering the idea of radio presenting—with his personal signature style—it caught the listeners’ imaginations. Now there was potential and a successful product, which was ‘man/woman with music on-air’. It was just not a boring announcement, but something that engaged the listener and the host.
Back in the 70s, pioneers on radio had a great advantage when it came to building their listener database: the music that they played. The tunes were timeless and from the stables of RD Burman, Kalyanji Anandji, Ilayaraja and the like. On the western front too, classics were being handmade around the same era. These composers were ahead of their time and that’s why we still love their tunes.
I’m pretty old school myself when it comes to music and I can’t imagine how greats like an Ameen Sayani would have felt to talk about a Flo Rida or a Miley Cyrus. The music from the 60s to the 90s had a soothing feel to it. It wasn’t noisy and was devoid of the numerous special effects and plug-ins that’s slapped on to all the new music we hear today.
A retro radio station will always be a hit with the listener. It’s the memory that you associate with that particular song that makes you want to revisit it and listen to it time and again. One question though: where will artistes like Flo Rida and Miley Cyrus go in 20 years? Retro Zone or the Recycle Bin—that will be left to the listener. See you next week!
The writer’s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.