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

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Proscenium for litterateurs

The young man with a golden voice approached the inimitable composer M.S. Viswanathan for an opportunity to sing in Tamil cinema. “Your voice is commendable but your Tamil diction has to improve. Learn the language and come back,” MSV advised him. The youngster took almost four years to do it, before he returned to prove his mettle. And how! S.P. Balasubrahmanyam’s grit and perseverance has now taken him to a dais where he was asked to speak on Kannadasan!

“I love the language,” he said, when he began his speech at the 11th anniversary celebrations of the Kannadasan-Viswanathan Trust held this past week at the Kumararaja Muthiah Auditorium, Raja Annamalaipuram.

Initially, the invite for the show was intriguing! Besides well-known speakers was the name of the illustrious singer, S.P. Balasubrahmanyam! The topic was ‘The garland of songs I rendered for Kannadasan’s verses.’

“I will sing some of Kannadasan’s lines that have touched me and yours too,” he explained. The combo of a medley interspersed with interesting inputs was crisp. His emotional one-liners added to the poignancy. It wasn’t just SPB’s numbers. He also brought alive the melodies of P.B. Srinivos and T.M. Soundarrajan.

“This last song wasn’t planned,” he confessed. “But as I conclude, it is as though Kannadasan is telling me, ‘How can you not sing this song. So here it is,” smiled SPB and sang the ever soothing lullaby in Kannadasan’s words and MSV’s music, ‘Aayarpaadi Maaligaiyil. ’ It was the crowning glory of the evening. “I have been unwell for the past week and told director S.P. Muthuraman so. He said, ‘You just come over and Kannadasan will take care of the rest. So here I am,” began SPB earlier. (SPM is the treasurer of the Kannadasan-Viswanathan Trust and AVM Saravanan, its secretary.) SPB wasn’t his usual exuberant self. Indisposition seemed the reason. “Let’s give him a standing ovation,” said

SPM at the end of SPB’s session and the crowd gladly obliged. Later near the door when SPM told Mrs. SPB, “Take care of your husband’s health. He is our treasure,” the veracity of the words was striking.

“‘How do you compose such exquisite melodies,’ I once asked MSV. ‘I only bring out the music in Kannadasan’s lyrics,’ he told me,” SPB recalled. He seemed as much moved by the numbers he sang as he was by his exchanges with their creators. The invitees on the dais included Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetty and M. Murali (Sri Krishna Sweets).

Pa. Lakshmanan of ‘Ilakkiya Sindhanai’ shared several interesting bytes about Kannadasan. His reference to Kannadasan’s wish to have a long life touched an emotional chord in the hearts of the audience.

Dr. Meena Muthiah lighted the ceremonial lamp and Kannadasan devotee Kaviri Maindhan emceed the event. This year’s recipients of the Kannadasan Award were poet Aru. Nagappan and journalist Kayal Dinakaran. Student prize winners, including best speakers Simanjana and Nandini, were feted.

Throughout the evening, S.P. Muthuraman was on his feet literally, making every speaker aware of the need to adhere to the time limit specified. But for such an efficient moderator the evening would have dragged on and made the audience restless.

Courtesy: The Hindu

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Saluri Rajeswara Rao award for S.P.Balu

Rasamayi, which has been presenting awards in the name of the renowned music director Late Saluri Rajeswara Rao for the last 13 years, has selected S.P.Balasubramaniam this year for this award.

This event will be held on Oct 25th at Ravindra Bharathi in Hyderabad. Singers will sing some famous songs composed by Saluri Rajeswara Rao.

High court chief justice L.Narasimha Reddy will attend this event as the chief guest. Shantha Biotechnics owner K.I.Varaprasad Reddy, Saluri Koti, Saluri Vasurao, Saluri Purnachandra Rao etc will attend this event.

Courtesy: India Glitz

Thursday, October 16, 2014

SPB records Rajinikanth's intro song for Lingaa

It is a reign that singer SP Balasubrahmanyam sings the introduction song for Superstar Rajinikanth in his films. Following the tradition, SPB has sung one more song for upcoming film Lingaa. The legendary singer has recorded Rajinikanth's Lingaa introduction song under AR Rahman composition. Vairamuthu has penned the song. Thalaivar fans are very happy with the news and eagerly waiting for Lingaa music album.

Meanwhile, KS Ravikumar has completed all the talkies of Lingaa and three songs were filmed including the introduction song. Anushka, Sonakshi Sinha, Santhanam, Karunakaran and others are part of Rajinikanth's Lingaa cast. Rathnavelu is the cameraman for this Rockline Venkatesh production.

Lingaa audio releases on Diwali day and movie from December 12.

Courtesy: Times of India

Sankarabharanam was an epic journey: SP Balasubrahmanyam

The digitally restored Tamil dubbed version of Telugu cult classic Sankarabharanam is slated for release in October. Playback singer S.P Balasubrahmanyam aka SPB, who had crooned all the songs in the film, says that it's an epic journey of his life.

Directed by K. Vishwanath, Sankarabharanam released in 1980. "The number of hours I have spoken about Sankarabharanam over 30 years would run into infinity and this is an epic journey in my life," SPB said in a statement. Recalling how he got an opportunity to sing in the film, SPB said, "I still remember the time when the film was shot in Telugu; my brother-like filmmaker K. Vishwanath narrated the story to my father at my home. He requested my father to ask me if I could record the songs for this film before other tracks".

"At that time, I was recording for around 4-5 songs a day. When Vishwanath wanted me to croon the numbers, I openly confessed that I'm not expert in classical genre and someone else than me would do complete justice," he added. It was Vishwanath's assistant Pugazhenthi who trained SPB in classical music.

"I used to hear the songs recorded in the voice of Pugazhenthi relentlessly to get used to the track and then recorded the tracks," said SPB. Sankarabharanama is a very special film for the playback singer as it won his first National award. He feels that "the film dubbed in Tamil with digital restoration will be a delightful experience for the present generation of audience". The film features late actor J.V. Somayajulu, Manju Bhargavi and Chandra Mohan in the lead roles.

Courtesy: Times of India