I owe it all to my lyricists : Balu

I owe it all to my lyricists : Balu

Melody king S P Balasubrahmanyam was feted in a memorable way at a glittering function organized here on Friday marking the 48th year of his musical...

sp2Melody king S P Balasubrahmanyam was feted in a memorable way at a glittering function organized here on Friday marking the 48th year of his musical journey. A The felicitation was organized by the Hyderabad Media House, promoter of HMTV and The Hans India, as part of the "Jai Telugu and Jai Jai Telugu" a weekly show being telecast by the HMTV highlighting the glory and richness of the Telugu language. Former Union Minister and director, Dasarai Narayana Rao presided over the function and Mandali Budha Prasad, chairman of the Official Languages Commission was the chief Guest. Well -known dialogue writer, Paruchuri Gopala Krishna was the special guest.

A host of dignitaries including the Chairman of Kapil Group and the Hyderabad Media House, K Vaman Rao, and prominent film personalities were present to honour the celebrated singer amid chanting of Vedic hymns. Overwhelmed by the praise heaped on him by the speakers, the legendary singer attributed his success mainly to the great lyricists of Telugu cinema. "But for their songs, I would not have sustained in the industry for so long. "No music or song would be everlasting without the lyric.

"Several people out of their ignorance say that music gives life to lyric. It's not correct. Poets, writers penned great songs and musicians had only popularized them with the music." A In my personal opinion, language is supreme and everlasting" he felt. Expressing anguish that the present generation has a cynical and lenient view for the language, Balu advised them to understand the lyric and feel it before presenting it.

"I was popular in Kannada for the simple reason that I could understand and feel Kannada language equal or better than any general Kannadiga. Quite impressed by my knowledge and grip over their languages, Kannadigas have adopted me as their son.

That's why I often said if at all there's any rebirth, I would like to be born in Karnataka. Here, I wish to say that every singer and music director shall comprehend the language of the song he is going to sing or compose," he said. Lamenting that melody takes a back seat now, Balu said -" Lyric and music was badly battered in the name of technology. More than 250 tracks are now being used. But what to do with the technology if only sound tracks are audible and the lyric is not heard"? Calling Balu his brother, Dasari Naryana Rao recalled that both of them started their film career almost at the same time. Balu was a great artist than a singer becauseA he mastered every job he did, he quipped.

He observed that it would be a big pity if the singer did not bag the best actor award for his amazing performance in Mithunam movie. Dasari observed that Balu's greatness lies in the fact that he wooed even the Tamil audiences, who were known to be very choosy when it comes to accepting singers from other film industry. He used to modulate his voice and sing with aplomb for both NT Rama Rao and Akkineni Nageshwara Rao. Balu lending his voice for songs in M G Ramachandran's Tamil movies was also well received by the film lovers in that State, he added.

Welcoming the gathering, K Ramachandra Murthy, Editor-in-Chief of HMTV and The Hans India, said that Hyderabad Media House owned news channel was airing various programmes such as 'Vandhella Kathaku Vandanalu and Jai Telugu-Jai Jai Telugu' highlighting the Telugu language for the last few years.A "These programmes presented us with an opportunity to not only interview many Telugu literary greats but also share their rich experiences with our viewers" he said.

Official Language Commission chairman Mandali Buddha Prasad, who was the chief guest said Balu could easily win the hearts of not only the Telugu audiences, but even Tamils and Kannadigas alike. Popular dialogue writer Paruchuri Gopalakrishna, whoi was the special guest of the evening compared Balu's singing to voice of Nightingale, which would be soothing to ears always.




When Balu was a bit embarrassed

Hyderabad: Speaker after speaker exalted Balu to the sky for his magnificent contribution to cine music at a function organised by The Hans India and HMTV for felicitating him on Friday. Overwhelmed by their words, Balu said he was humbled further.

"I remember famous director Bapu once saying that the greatest difficulty in a public meeting is to sit for hours together to hear somebody eulogize you. I felt the same. I thought to pay my respects to many poets who assembled here at one place. But it turned out to be an anti-climax" he remarked. Stating that he did not read classic works of Telugu litterateurs, Balu said he has immense love for Telugu language.

Walking down the memory lane, Balu said: " Gone are the days when recording theatres were like marriage halls. Singers, poets, technicians, directors, all of us, congregate at the studio and used to share many things. If there is any mistake or improvement, it was discussed by one and all. Such a scenario is not seen now. Singers are coming to studios lonely, giving their voice to the track and going off. It is as if they sing in a burial ground," he said.

Lambasting the modern trends, Balu said: "Unfortunately there are producers who evince keen interest in getting erotic poetry. If they are so interested in such a poetry and music, why do they actually need a poet?" he asked. It is hard to get directors like K Vishwanath, Raghavendra Rao," he added.


sp7 Dialogue writer Paruchuri Gopalakrishna likened Balu's singing to that of the nightingale, which is always euphonious. He had sung many super hit songs, which were still fresh in everyone's memory. However, it was not the same with regard to songs of the present times, he said. Balu could easily be compared to Ghantasala, one of the all- time great Telugu singers. "Initially many of us were very apprehensive when he was approached to sing for NTR and ANR movies. However, to our astonishment he did a great job and sang memorable hits," Paruchuri observed. He wished Balu would carry on with the same zeal and sing one lakh songs in the future.
- Paruchuri Gopalakrishna
Palaparthy Shyamalananda Prasad, an 'Avadhani', rendered a poetical tribute to SPB. In verse, the 'avadhani said that Balu's voice was akin to nectar which oozed from all his songs.A Writer Dr Andesri, who also chose to pay a poetic tribute to the singer, said SPB's voice bridged "the world and heaven". "To be present at SPB's felicitation is in itself a big honour. In fact I feel proud. He (Balu) respects every letter and every word in the lyric. He gives feeling to the song," observed lyricist Ananta Sreeram. "This is an unforgettable event. He has had great association with three generations of my family, starting with my uncle Madhavapeddi Satyam. I am honoured that a song that would definitely figure in the list of Top 10 songs of SPB 'Sri Tumbura Narada' is my composition. I worked with him in his troupe for 10 years," said Madhava peddi Suresh, a composer.
-Palaparthy Shyamalananda Prasad
Vanguri Chitten Raju, an NRI from Houston, USA, shared with the audience his experiences with SPB. He recounted the incident when SPB was his guest in Houston on 'Sankarabharam tour' in 1981 and also another incident that took place 15 years later when SPB called him and gave passes for a Bollywood musical night in which he was performing. Chitten Raju recalled that there was a thunderous applause from the 5000-strong audience in Houston when SPB sang.
-Vanguri Chitten Raju
Noted writer Balabhadrapatruni Ramani said that there was anyone who did not like Balu's songs. She said that it was her honour to be at the felicitation function. -Balabhadrapatruni Ramani "I proudly say that I am a product of SPB. He unearthed me via 'Padutha Teeyaga' show. Every budding singer has to learn a lot from SPB's persona, like his humility and the respect he gives. He took me to USA and asked the audience to appreciate my songs more," said noted singer Parthasaradhi. He sung a stanza each from the songs 'Neelalu Karina' and 'Aadi Bhikshuvu'.
Jonnavithula said that a singer like SPB wasn't there in the past and would not be there in future. He lauded SPB, saying that the singer had made Telugus proud by winning the hearts of Tamil and Kannada audiences as well. He dubbed SPB as 'Sangita tapasvi' and 'Nada rishi'. He declared that SPB was a 'Maha gayakudu' -Jonnavithula
Asthakala Narasimha Rama Sharma said that he had a longing to felicitate SPB, but didn't get a chance. He said he was fortunate and honoured to be at the felicitation function. He paid tribute to SPB through five poems. -Asthakala Narasimha Rama Sharma "It was SPB who inspired me and it is a great honour to share the stage with two of my gurus -- SPB and Sitarama Sastry. Every aspect of SPB's life is an inspiration," said noted lyricist Ramajogaiah Sastry. He sang a verse each from the songs 'Sarikotha cheera', 'Nina jeeva ninu' (Kannada song), 'Aja meri jaan' (Hindi).
-Ramajogaiah Sastry
Noted writer Sriramana said that he was a big fan of SPB. He said that SPB gave life to the character 'Appa Dasu' in his story Mithunam through his stellar performance. He also shared a joke cracked by ace painter and director Bapu on the occasion. -Sriramana Composer and lyricist Veenapani said that the function resembled a meeting of friends who were sharing their experiences. He said that he was fortunate to be the music director for two recent films in which SPB acted. He shared a quote of K J Yesudas with the audience: "There are only two individuals who need not have to learn classical music. They are Managalampalli Balamurali Krishna and SPB. They have already learnt it in their previous births".
Noted dialogue writer and director Janardhana Maharshi said that his blood group was 'SPB'. He stated that his ringtone, caller tune and all alert tones on his mobile were SPB's songs. He said that SPB's voice was 'Peda bala siksha'. -Janardhana Maharshi ES Murthy, noted composer and lyricist, said that he had worked under SPB as a guitarist and that felt honoured that SPB had sung 15 of his compositions.
-ES Murthy
Lyricist Vedavyasa Bhattar hailed SPB as 'Sangita Sahitya Himachalam'. He recounted the felicitation function at Tirupati and narrated incidents which epitomize SPB's character. He also gave a poetic tribute to SPB. -Vedavyasa Bhattar Noted lyricist Bhuvana Chandra said: "SPB's voice made my career as a lyricist." -Bhuvana Chandra
'Avadhani' Ayachitam Nateswara Sharma, while giving tribute to SPB through poem, said that SPB learnt music from Goddess Saraswati herself. -Ayachitam Nateswara Sharma "Time and movies never stop for anyone, but they did in fact for SPB which shows his greatness," said ace lyricist Sitarama Sastry. He spoke about SPB's persona and character and called him "a true symbol of humanity". -Sitarama Sastry sp6
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