Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Rediffusion: There Yesterday, Gone Today...

Rediffusion Office at Clemenceau Avenue, Singapore
With transistor radios, music became portable early but there was one special station which broadcast 24 hours a day. It was cheap to invest in one and the subscription didn't deter anyone from getting 'the box.

REDIFFUSION became the craze then and the box was seen everywhere. By the 60s Larry Lai, Tan Swee Leong, Tan Hock Lye and Eric Lim became household names.

My Memories by Phil Tay:

"I started listening to Rediffusion in the 50s when I was staying at Race Course Road.  The 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 Rediffusion 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."

Image from Google.
Article with permission from:


Anonymous said...

Hi handsome Andy,Lucy here again. Wow, you can still remember a lot about those days. My girlfriends and I use your blogs as talking points when we get together for high tea. (Lucy)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucy,
It's a compliment. Thank you so much. Hope you will write and tell us about your experience too.
There has been some suggestions that tea dances should make a come back.

What do you think?

JAMES KWOK said...

Good morning Andy.

When I was a primary school kid back in the 1950s, the Chinese communist-minded elders in my family condemned pop music as decadent. Since forbidden fruit tastes sweetest, everytime I got the chance I would sneak into Rediffusion Silver Network to listen to 'Request Programs' such as POBox608.

And when I was sent on errands to the provision shops and Chinese medicine shop along Balestier Road in front of the old Ruby Cinema, I would linger as long as I could outside the jukebox saloon. That was before it was closed down in the anti-yellow culture drive by the new post-colonial government.

Recalling the frequent gang fights over the jukeboxes, I now think that the closing-down was the right move, though I didn't think so then. Those were the days.