Video killed the radio Star

This song was made popular by The Buggles in 1979. Some songs, movies, even personalities are much ahead of our times. This song was made at a time when television viewership was growing. When radio was THE source of entertainment, radio jockeys had the best soothing voices and the morning radio shows were looked out for, to brighten any dull day. Then came the advent of television, where the same songs could be seen and heard; nothing was left to the imagination.

When you pictured a song after hearing it on the radio, you gave it characters without color or gender. Now when you listen to the songs on radio you wait for the video. We have killed our own imagination.

One of my favorite songs is Take on Me by AHA. If you hear the song and then see the video, you know that this is one of those videos which could easily be a hit even in today’s time of animated videos. The videos today are louder and quite a few of them don’t even have a good soundtrack. That is the beauty of modern technology, to make something sound good through visual appeal.


Radio conveyed news from faraway lands. Also, cricket commentary, symphonies of a distinct orchestra sometimes even plays with different characters. What an imagination the generation that grew up with radio would have had.

Today if you need to know the latest news you don’t have to wait for a particular hour or a particular channel. There are at least fifty news channels claiming to have the ‘breaking news’ every hour. Even cricket has several channels devoted to it.

I am all for modern technology, because that is the way forward. But I ask myself what does a blind person feel and hear. Do they hear the depth of the singer’s voice, the emotion in every note? For them their world is the sound. They don’t know how the actor in the movies looks, or how well he dances. But a blind person can feel the emotion with which the singer is crooning away to woo his lady love.

Today’s dynamic technology has brought new dimensions to sound. The guitar or the pianos are applications that can be downloaded and learnt in the palm of your hand. I remember in school I used to love to sing and my music teacher Mrs. Wadia used to play the piano. Once my mother, on my insistence, asked her how much the cost of the tuition would be. I do not recall the exact cost, but I remember what Mrs. Wadia said. She said it requires a lot of practice and whether we had a piano at home. She did not believe in the electric ones. Due to financial reasons, we had to drop the idea. But my love for music remained till the time I was in college. Now I just watch my little one bang away on the piano that we have downloaded on the ipad and wonder!

Even today I would rather start my day listening to a song. In keeping with the trend when mobile phones started storing songs, the advertisements also sold products in a similar manner i.e. wake up with your favorite song.  My dad used to switch on the radio when we got dressed for school and while he was getting ready for work. That was one of the things I used to adore about my dad – I was quite proud of a father who used to love Bon Jovi songs as much as I did! Later on I appreciated all genres of music, regional and western probably due to the influence of various family members.

We have come a long way, from radio to television to smartphones with live action. In every new technology our innocence is lost. We slowly are giving up our thoughts to only what we see, and not what we can imagine.


September 14, 2013.


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