Its a radio time again for us. An FM radio war has begun now. Bangalore saw the rise of its first private radio channel Radio city in the year 2000. It first played very good Hindi and English music, occasionally Telugu and Tamil movie songs for its listeners. Some Kannada organizations objected, hence a Kannadiga RJ was inducted and Kannada was given a weekly slate on its calendar. However, it was only restricted to movie songs.
Thus started a journey which later got warring colours… Radio Mirchi was the next channel to be started. It gave a fitting competition to the lone Badshah Radio city. Here the Kannada connection was limited to RJs speaking distorted local language…. However, there was no much difference in terms of the music it played.
Later Akashavani came up with a unique FM station Rainbow. It played for a limited number of hours in a day and played Kannada, English, Hindi music, old, new alike. It gave importance to ghazals, folk music and Bhavageete too…
Then started Radio One, they innovated music playing concept by playing one Kannada song back to back with a Hindi song… It didn’t see any market in playing international songs…
Later started the warring channels…Big FM, S FM…
Some frequency all of a sudden started playing the stotras and Vedic chanting.. few days later that frequency was occupied by a new FM channel that played only international music. Radio Indigo, another colourful channel.
A new Channel Fever 104 is giving fitting competition to Indigo, only difference is Fever plays some popular Hindi and Bhangra music as well.
Realising that the Kannada songs were doing extremely good, all the channels started playing Kannada songs in abundance…and each claimed that they were the players of highest number of Kannada songs…. And all the channels employed mental manjas, jakkhas meenakshis to host their shows….
What they call ‘fun’ has now become madness. They are not doing any good to Kannada with their kind of accent, vocabulary or style. Pathetic….
Meanwhile, Rainbow gave proper slots to news updates and classical music too. Buoyed with the response, AIR started a new channel that played only classical music, very recently, named aptly “Amruthavarshini”. AIR has to its credit other variety channels like Gnana Vani that featured educative programmes with students and knowledge hunters as intended audience. It’s a hit with limited set of audience. AIR upgraded their vivid bharati to FM and played soulful music, as always. One great feature of Kannada Rainbow is that the hosts here speak a proper Kannada, though in a dull tone.
All in all, the radio war has given us some good music, and this has to its credit, helped in the success of movies like Mungaru maLe and others. These channels played the maLe songs non-stop and made the audience check that out….
Now some details about Amruthavarshini channel. It plies in the evenings between 6 and 10. First three hours being dedicated for Karnataka Shastriya Sangeetha and the last hour reserved for Hindustani classical music. They also play tracks from the legendary musicians of yester years, taken out from their treasure some plates. A wonderful daily dose of classical music without any intermission of news, advertisements, nor any announcements. A great channel to tune in to when you are tired and seek some solacing graceful moments.
There are 11 channels in Bengalooru as of today. List of them with the frequency to tune into is here :
Radio City 91.1
Radio Indigo 91.9
Big FM 92.7
S FM 93.5
Radio One 94.3
Radio Mirchi 98.3
AIR Rainbow 101.3
Vivid Bharati 102.9
Gyan Vani 105.6