Tuesday, December 30, 2014

SPB gets honoured

Veteran singer SP Balasubrahmanyam has been bestowed with Dr Vishnuvardhan award by the Kannada Sahithya Parishath in Bangalore on December 29. The singer was honoured for his contribution to music and the late Vishnuvardhan's wife, Bharati Vishnuvardhan gave the award to SPB in a glittering ceremony. The event also saw several dignitaries from the Kannada film industry grace the event and SP Balu thanked the awards committee for the honour.

Courtesy: The Times of India

ఎస్పీ బాలుకు విష్ణువర్ధన్ స్మారక పురస్కారం

Thursday, December 25, 2014

SP Balu’s emotional farewell message to the legendary director K. Balachander

SP Balasubrahmanyam has sent his farewell message in an audio format. And this is the entire text of his audio message… in toto.

Dear all, I am saddened to the hilt. I just heard that K Balachander passed away. I am in a town called Ananthapur doing a reality show to the public called Swarabhishekam. I am the main artiste performing there. Tomorrow I have to perform in a place called Kurnool and day after in a place called Mahaboobnagar. And I took a break from the show now. I have to go and sing again and I don’t know how I am going to do that. That is immaterial. I would like to say something from the bottom of my heart. As far as I am… SP Balahsubrahmanyam is concerned he was more than a fatherly figure. And I don’t know how we have become so close. He used to love me, respect me.

Everybody respects Balachander. That’s not a big deal. The amount of affection he has showered upon me is something very very special in my life. He was… the first person in my life to give me a break as an actor in “Manathil Uruthi Vendum” and the first person to give me a break in in a Hindi film which he directed for the first time called “Ek Duje Ke Liye” and there was lot of opposition for my being the playback singing voice to Kamala Haasan from the music directors, and from the lyricists. But Balachander said, ‘Balu should sing otherwise there’s no question of my doing this film’, to that extent he has gone. And that’s how he gave me the first break for which I got my national award also. And he gave me such a beautiful break as a hero in… in the film he produced Shikharam and gave me a break as a music director to do wonderful songs in Shikharam.

And the entire world knows about Kamala Haasan, Rajinikanth, Prakash Raj so… so on and so forth who are blessed by him and given such beautiful breaks in his films. And let us not forget… my dear all that nobody would have ventured into making films with such, with such daring subjects and nobody could have dreamt to bring them to celluloid. And it was only K Balachander and the way he treated a a a a a lady character in a film in his… so much of respect, so much of love, so much of affection, and is he venturing into making a film with a very different and difficult sort of subject is not a big deal. But making it successfully and is is something extraordinary. He dared to do those sort of things and what a loss!

One of the finest moviemakers of the era is no more with us. Yes, he was quite old in the sense; age-wise he was 84 or 85. Who cares about it. He will be Balu, Balachander always. He was very young in his thoughts. He was very young in his mind. Very romantic in his heart and what sort of gauntlets he used to throw to lyricists and music directors challenging them to come out with extraordinary compositions and how blessed I should be sir. And ladies… to get the majority of such compositions to be sung. I am ever grateful Balachander sir… and I am ever grateful to you. You are another god… in my prayers everyday when I get up in the morning to receive blessings. You will certainly rest in peace sir. There is no doubt about that. But we all miss you Balu sir. We all miss you Balu sir. I don’t know whether I come to see you… to your last rites or not. But my soul… my heart… I am there with you sir.

Take care sir. Take care sir. Bye sir.

Courtesy: iluvcinema.in

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

SP Balu pays homage to Nedunuri Krishnamurthy

The demise of veteran Carnatic vocalist Nedunuri Krishnamurthy came as a big jolt to the music fraternity across the country and several singers and musicians offered their condolences to the veteran singer's family. SP Balu was one of the several stalwarts to paid homage to the great singer, whose contribution, particularly to the emergence of Annamayya Sankeerthanulu to mainstream, to music is unparalleled. "Sangeetha Kalanidhi, Mahaa Gaayaka, Dr. Nedunoori Krishnamurthy (87), left us all to reach the abode of Maa Saraswathi, in the early hours. His service to Sampradaaya Sangeetha, particularly his efforts to bring Annamayya Sankeerthanas to the main stream of classical Music is exemplary. I, along with his millions of Bhakthaas, bow my head in reverence," SP Balu said.

Courtesy: Times of India

Friday, December 5, 2014

SP Balu's concert in Chittoor gets phenomenal response

Veteran singer, SP Balasubramaniam's fundraising concert, to help the Hudhud cyclone victims, in Chittoor got a phenomenal response from the audience recently. More than 15 thousand people came to attend the concert and even more staggering is the fact that nearly Rs 2 crores was collected at the event. SP Balu was invited by Telugu Desam Party's MLA, Smt.Satyaprabha Aadikesavulu Naidu and along with SPB, several other singers like his sisters - Sailaja and Vasantha, his son Charan and singers from Paaduthaa Theeyaga, a reality show hosted by SPB - Sai Charan, Rohith, Tejaswini, and Harini Ivaturi performed on stage. Incidentally, on the same date (November 30), the Telugu film industry's Memu Saitam, a 12 hour Telethon, generated Rs 11.5 crores for the Hudhud cyclone victims.

Courtesy: Times of India

Monday, December 1, 2014

Of a missing car and Dalda tins

S.P. Balasubrahmanyam shares some interesting anecdotes about his life as a veteran musician.

Much has been read, written and heard about the veteran that your first thought could be ‘What don’t we know about him?’ S.P. Balasubrahmanyam himself felt so. “I’ve said it all,” was his initial refrain. But once I list my queries which accented on little known details of his career, he zestfully settled down to field them.

First rendezvous with the microphone

“It was in the mid-1950s,” he ruminates with a smile, “at a marriage in my mother’s native village of Konetammapeta in Nellore. ‘Why don’t you sing on the mike,’ a friend suggested. It was ‘Krishna Mukundha Murarey’ from the N.T. Rama Rao film, ‘Jaisimha,’ and everybody around enjoyed it.”

“December 15, 1966.” SPB is thorough with dates. “It was an eventful day. The film was ‘Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna’ in Telugu and the recording was at Vijaya Gardens. The composer was Kothandapani. Those were the days when I was a student living in a small room for a monthly rent of Rs.10.”

“The car, which was supposed to pick me up, did not arrive till 3.30. It was my friend Murali who insisted we go to the studio and find out. When the security at the entrance stopped us and sarcastically said, ‘So they are waiting for you inside because you are a hero?’ I was pained. ‘Let’s leave Murali,’ I said. But he wouldn’t budge. ‘I will wait outside with his cycle. Just allow him to go inside,’ he pleaded, and the guard gave a reluctant nod. As I entered drenched in sweat, the composer hollered, “So you are already famous that you can’t be punctual for the recording!” And I was called inside with the warning, ‘See, if we are not happy with your voice, we may replace it with Ghantasala’s.’ It dampened my spirit further. It was the first time I put on a headphone. It was a duet with Suseela. Once it was over the team came out and congratulated me.”

P.S.: The car that had gone to fetch SPB to the studio had met with a minor accident.

“Dad was a Harikatha artist. I used some of his instruments and formed my troupe in 1960. We had a pair of empty ‘Dalda’ tins welded and it was our ‘bongos.’ Nagaraja, a friend, was the male singer while mine was the female voice. The first VIP to listen to my music was actor P. Banumathi,” SPB smiles.

“Much earlier, my father wrote a lyric, which I set to music. It won me a prize at the AIR competition. Cut to 1975 when I got to compose for Dasari Narayana Rao’s ‘Ganya- Kumari.’ M.S. Viswanathan came over to bless me. ‘You should go according to the texture of the song. Why a 40-piece orchestra for this number,’ he asked. The words still ring in my ears.

“The film was Cho’s ‘Mohammad Bin Thuglak’ in Telugu. I remember wearing a pink suit for the sequence. I played a singer and had to do dance movements. Frankly, I wasn’t comfortable at all, because, though good looking, I was camera-shy,” he chuckles self-consciously.

Courtesy: The Hindu