Thursday, April 12, 2012

End of the road for  Redifusion

Here is the news from ST. For more please refer to
"After more than six decades on the air, the iconic radio service Rediffusion will go silent from April 30.
The death knell came in the form of a simple two-paragraph statement delivered by hand to The Straits Times in an envelope on Sunday.
In it, Rediffusion Singapore's management said: 'We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all our listeners for their support throughout 63 years.'
Opened in 1949, Singapore's only subscription-based radio broadcaster currently has 15 channels. But it is most popular among older listeners here for its Cantonese, Teochew and Hokkien talk shows and music."

A reader Mr Yeo Hock Yew also wrote this to ST Forum about his memories ......

So long Rediffusion, thanks for the memories

"REDIFFUSION is an old family friend ('Rediffusion to close at month's end'; Monday). My family still associates it with our golden years in the old Queenstown. Throughout the day, its programming brought music that enriched our family life in a less sophisticated time. It came with no battery change or electricity consumption - and all for a princely price of $5 per month.
Deejays like Peggy Ross, Noreen Sales, Mike Ellery, Larry Lai and Eric Lim were familiar voices and literally household names, though we never got to meet them.
From that brown box came songs of flawless sound quality that remain in our hearts to this day. That was when we heard Jim Reeves sing posthumously, This World Is Not My Home, and who left us with the poignant message, I Won't Forget You, in his velvet voice.
In that pre-YouTube period, we fell in love with the voices of Judith Durham and The Seekers, long before we knew what they looked like.
There was entertainment even before the songs were played in the fanciful names of song requesters like Ricardo Manfred Tan.
Our highlights each day were the request programmes: Here's To The Ladies (for female requesters only) and Where The Boys Are (male requesters only), introduced by their epony-mous theme songs rendered by Frankie Avalon and Connie Francis respective-ly.
The programme, Top Tunes Of The Week, would feature the most requested songs of the week. At the end of the day, soothing songs in Sing Something Simple lulled us to sleep.
This has been a passage of life in Singapore. From the landscape of the 1960s, we have lost the Indian rojak stalls in Waterloo Street; the bookshop row in Bras Basah Road; some iconic cinemas in town; the proud historical town schools; and the red-brick National Library in Stamford Road. In Queenstown, we have lost Forfar Building, the bowling alley and the cinemas; the canal is gone from sight; and the itinerant hawkers and barbers no more do their rounds.
And now a sound of the 1960s will soon be silenced. Sure, a new technological world has arrived, but we have lost the world we knew and grew up in.
Rediffusion, you were practically the first sound at the crack of dawn - even before the nasi lemak boy's cry - and the last one at the stroke of midnight. Goodbye old friend. And thank you for the music."

My memories: I started listening to Redifusion in the 50s when I was staying at Race Course Road.Early morning Chinese Evergreens was my favourite. Then I was attracted to the evening stories of the Monkey God in Teochew, Water Margin etc. I stayed in Balestier , Bukit Merah, Ang Mo Kio and few other places on and off. Mother and wife liked stories on this box so we had Redifusion too.. In subsequent years we turned to RTS Radio Channels as it was more convenient and easily accessible.
The death of this iconic media company has to come as new media technologies bring in new demands making the delivery and content obsolete. There were attempts to introduce digital radio using the DAB technology but it was too few channels too late. When MediaCorp decided to switch off DAB I knew  its death is near. Thanks for the memories.
PS: I have some of the stories in Cantonese aired in the old days. Not good quality but ok. Email me if you need a copy.

1 comment:

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