Early Morning Radio and MS Subbulakshmi

Early Morning Radio and MS Subbulakshmi

Gone are those days when we had an “Early Morning Radio and MS Subbulakshmi”…… Sounds pretty dismal and depressing, doesn’t it? But no, probably better times have come (as my children claim).  Moreover the good times are here to stay and I’m (actually the children are) sure it will get better and better. This article is also a tribute to the Great Musician MS Subbulakshmi.

Early Morning Radio and MS Subbulakshmi

Hey, Happy Music folks!

“Gone are those days”…

When I said, “gone are those days…” I was referring to the way we used to listen to music. It was so very different from how we go about it in the present day.

Early Morning Radio

As I remember my childhood, there was a Radio at home. I’m talking about the late 1970’s and 1980’s. It used to be in my parents’ bedroom. It was a huge piece of equipment, really big as compared to today’s iPods’ and the numerous devices available in the market.

Types of Radios

But it was a possession nevertheless. And a priced one too. It required an antenna which was in the shape of a V or victory sign. Some models had a telescoping single antenna. There were other models with more unsightly antennas. There used to be something like a net (which was, in fact, an antenna I learned later). It would span across the entire length of the wall of a house (from wall to wall) and I saw such radios in houses I visited with my parents. My father was bound by the programs that came on the radio and didn’t really have a choice of what to listen to, other than probably the genre.

Early Morning Radio and MS Subbulakshmi

Carnatic Classical Music

However, he needed no more genre’s as all he wanted to listen to was Carnatic Classical Music. The timings were limited too. Radio used to start in the morning if I remember well at 0530 AM or 0600 AM with a news in Sanskrit and the followed by some programs in classical music. My Dad used to tune into the Carnatic Classical channel and would listen to it for hours. Consequently, I was exposed to a lot of Carnatic Classical music. For those unfamiliar with this term, I shall talk about it in another blog subsequently, but it is a classical form of Indian music more prevalent in southern India.

Early morning radio and MS Subbulakshmi and the early morning chants

If one happened to wake up early and go out for a walk, one would hear Bhajans or Chants of Sanskrit shlokas resonating from households on the way. These used to be played through either radios or small tape recorders. “Venkateshwara Suprabhatam” rendered beautifully by the immensely popular Late Indian Classical Maestro Smt MS Subbulakshmi. It meant good morning in general but specifically good morning god. It was a song or chant if you may call it so, that was very commonly heard. I could hear it every day through the window of my room early in the morning. The other commonly heard chants included the “Vishnu Sahasranamam” which is a prayer to the 1000 forms of Lord Vishnu an Indian god. “Bhajagovingam” was yet another famous devotional song. Both of these were sung and popularised by MS Subbulakshmi. So when someone said early morning radio, it almost meant Early morning radio and MS Subbulakshmi.


Early morning radio and MS Subbulakshmi


Television was not yet a popular means of entertainment or music back then. I remember that the first TV came home only in 1984. Thus, getting up to the Sanskrit news on the radio and thereafter hearing the lovely soothing prayers and chants was a way of life and only people who lived those times would relate to it.

The days of Hip-hop and Bollywood

These days I wake up to a loud hip-hop Indie pop music or some Bollywood (India’s Hollywood) song which has made it to the top 10 because that’s what my teenage daughter loves to listen to.

Dear folks do keep visiting this blog as the entire story is yet to unfold. I’ll tell you about how we got to listen to the famous ABBA and BONEY M groups but that’s all for the next blog. In the meanwhile…

I request you to sign up and enjoy the story as it evolves. Have an awesome musical day!

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