Lollywood

Player utilities

Listen to the story.

Music from 1970's Lahore, Pakistan is the focus of our Global Hit today. It's music originally recorded for Lahore's film industry that's fondly dubbed ?Lollywood.? Music critic Tom Schnabel tells us more.

MARCO WERMAN: Well I'll let Neil hang out there in Alberta while the snow flies while I head to Pakistan. Lollywood is name for Pakistan's film industry, and I think it's fair to say not many Americans are familiar with it. Music critic Tom Schnabel hadn't given Lollywood much thought until he got hold of a new CD called, ?The Sound of Wonder.? It's a compilation of music from Lollywood soundtracks of the 1970's. Now that he's given the CD a listen, Tom is a fan.

TOM SCHNABEL: (?The Sound of Wonder? playing in background.) This is a completely record, and since I got it, the more I listen to it, the more I love it and have fun with it, and realize that it is really a crazy, mixed-up, and wonderful record. This is the first record that I have that has music from Pakistani films. These are films from the 1970's. Of course, the Pakistani film industry, long overshadowed by its neighbor, and based in Lahore, Pakistan?so this is stuff that really, I'd never heard before. (Music continues in background.) The first cut that I want to listen to together is from 1976, recorded in Lahore. It's music by [SOUNDS LIKE] Tallo, featuring a singer named Naheed Akhtar. This is a song that, basically, completely caught me as I drove around Los Angeles in my car. And I was just having the time of my life, in traffic?in terrible traffic?people probably thought I was insane, but I was having a good time. They used American and European synthesizers?state of the art?from the 70's--they used space echo machines, fuzz guitars, etc. So it's kind of like a time capsule of, you know. It sounds familiar from anybody who's listened to Frank Zappa records or some of the Prague Rock stuff from the 1970's, you know, Emerson, Lake & Palmer?whatever?it's all there. (Music playing in background.) Here is another track that I really liked called Dilbar Dilbara, from 1977. This is from a film called [PH] Yudef Bivian Volume II, and it's a totally fun experience listening to this. (Music playing in background.) One other track that really made me laugh and enjoy it was [PH] Mei Hun Playboy. This is M. Ashraf, featuring a guy named A. Nayyar. This is from a 1978 film called Playboy. It was a huge hit throughout Pakistan, and A. Nayyar was himself a very popular playback singer?probably the most popular male singer of the day. (Music playing in background.) It's always fun to discover a new kind of music, and after thirty years in the radio business it doesn't happen all that often to me. This is one of the most fun records that I've come across lately. (Music playing in background.)

WERMAN: Tom Schnabel is a music programmer for Public Radio Station KCRW in Southern California. The CD is called, ?The Sound of Wonder,? the first wave of plugged-in pop at the Pakistani Picture House. From the Nan and Bill Harris studios at WGBH, I'm Marco Werman. Thank you for listening. (Music playing in background.)