Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Vinyl records and the joy of old Hindi songs.

Listening to your favourite song in the time before the iPod, the boom boxes on music channels, in my generation was restricted to whatever came on Chitrahaar on a single monopoly (Remember DD?), in some cases the radio (Vividh Bharathi) and in other cases tape players if you had enough cassettes and they survived the tropical weather.

For today's instant generation of getting everything on youtube or the variety of stores that proliferate the smart phone market depending on which vendor you want to pay, this is a reminder that there existed something known as the LP record or the gramophone record where you had a needle run on top of a vinyl record (yeah something like that round thin circular disc that you saw Dr. Lode hand to King George VI in the King's speech) . Yes, one can listen to Mukesh, Rafi, Kishore, Manna Dey on a CD that's been digitally reproduced with whatever bit of computing power can be thrown at removing extraneous noises and enhancing certain chords. However there is a certain joy in listening to that needle scratch through an old record and when it manages to get it right as it does right now , the nostalgia evoked with the days of listening to the songs is quite a nice feeling. It getting stuck on a particular track as it does once in a while is another bit of nostalgia. It wasn't just the Hindi film songs that one enjoyed, it was also classical music - having one of the few LP's where the 3 violinist brothers (L Shankar, L Subrahmanyan and L Vaidyanathan) play together, or listening to the MS performance at Carnegie Hall or listening to music from the slightly forgotten figures today ( ChittiBabu on the veena, Lalgudi on the violin). It wasn't just that - waking up on a Saturday morning at 6 a.m. to listen to the Venkatesa Suprabhatam or even the Vishnu Sahasranamam and Bhaja Govindam was a nice thing to listen to even before one got a cup of the truly Tamilian beverage ( filter kaapi).

One of the ways in which one caught some decent music (before the age of the tape recorder) was essentially Vinyl. This was the mode in which yours truly listened to old songs till the time the gramophone at home conked off at which point there was a hiatus of nearly 8 years till a new one was procured in one of the trips abroad. Of-course by then Dad had moved on to listening to tapes and then on to CDs, having supplemented his collection into tapes and later CDs with the result that one inherited the LP collection.

There are a few folks one has to give thanks to here, one is an aunt who instilled the joy of listening to old songs rather than watch TV and of-course the other is Dad for having carefully and meticulously collected, catalogued and maintained a large number of old LPs and 45 rpm records which I've inherited now (some of which are older than yours truly). It would not be right not to thank the cousin S who held on to a large number of these records when there was that long hiatus .

So if anyone is looking to get rid of some old Vinyl Hindi LP records, STOP !! Think twice about it  - we are happy to find a way of accepting such records and giving them a home . Give me a shout !!

1 comment:

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