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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Telugu Music Concert :Feb 16th 2007: A Report

Ye Divilo Virisina Paarijaathamo …..
A Telugu Musical Concert by SPB & Troupe

Venue : Kamaranjar Arangam, Chennai
Date : 16th February 2007
Time : 6:30 pm (started at 7:00 pm)
Presented by : PLAZA
Event Managers : Ramana, Sharan Incorporation
Purpose : Partially in aid of a Social Organisation “SMILE” run for AIDS affected children

Dear SPB Fans,

I am glad that I have got one more chance of detailing a SPB event. It is always an honour to talk and write about an oasis like our SPB. You never get bored with it and one tends to get more enthusiastic and rejuvenated discussing about him at great lengths. I will be doing my best to capture all the details of the event so that this post more or less gives a complete picture to those who could not attend the program. I have tried noting down the song name, film and Music Director but for some of the songs i have missed out.

The Webmaster, Venkat, Ashok, Madhumita, Priya, Vijayakrishnan, Balaji, Anand and myself were the SPB Fan Group Members who were fortunate to attend this concert.

The first impression that one got when entering the premises of the auditorium was that “this could not be a SPB event”. The reason being the “not-so” busy entrance area and the half-filled auditorium. This partial attendance had its reasons that the day being a “Maha Siva Rathri” and also a working day. So, it was felt that the crowd would trickle in as time went by (which happened eventually). Even our SPB made this observation at the start of the program and he said even a small audience was enough for him to sing.

The program started off at 7:00pm with an introductory speech by Ramana. He mentioned that it was indeed a rare occasion to see so many Telugu people assembled under one roof. The aim was to bring quality Telugu programs to Chennai and this was one such effort towards it. He also mentioned about the organization “SMILE” which was doing noble work for AIDS affected children taking care of all their needs and that part of the fund generated from the program would go to this organization. He then requested our SPB & his wife along with two other elderly persons (our SPB’s in-laws ?) to light the Kuthuvilakku.

Our SPB was dressed in normal pant & shirt. During the program, his co-singers were SP Shailaja (SPS), Gopika Poornima (GP), Mallikarjun and SPB Charan. Our SPB straightaway started off with the following song

1) Om Kaara Naadhaanu (SPB + SPS) from Sankarabharanum (MD : KV Mahadevan)
The song was completed to a rousing applause and then our SPB started his introductory speech. He expressed happiness on singing this song on a Maha Siva Raathri which was appropriate for the occasion. On behalf of all artists and musicians he expressed his thanks to the gathering and mentioned about the completion of 40 years of singing. He then mentioned that to do justice he should be visiting each and every house and fall at everyone’s feet for bringing him to such a stature. He thanked his parents, Kothandapani (for debut in telugu), MSV (in Tamil), Devarajan or Sekar (?) (in Malayalam), LV Prasad & K Balachander (in Hindi), RD Burman (in Bengali), RangaRao (in Kannada) and all the intrumentalists, Music Directors, Recordists and finally the Actors who had ably presented his songs (and also to those actors who did not do so). It has been due to total team work that has made him climb the steps to this podium, he said. He also outlined that the agenda for the day’s program would be to cover as many Music Directors as possible among the 13,000~14,000 Telugu songs he had rendered and begged to be pardoned if some of the MDs were missed which would not be intentional.

The next number was

2) Lalitha Kala Raagalulo (SPB) from Kalyani (MD : Ramesh Naidu)
After completing the song, once again, to good applause he mentioned that he was laoding himself with lot of antibiotics and that he may go off track here and there and requested one and all to accommodate him. He then proceeded to give a brief about the next song

3) Aadavae Mayuri Natanam Aadave (SPB)
He said that in the year 1970, this song was originally planned for Ghantasala but due to ill-health he could not make it and in his place our SPB was called upon to record the song with a clear indication that the same song may be recorded with Ghantasala once he regained health. Our SPB mentioned that he went ahead with a possible consolation that even if his song did not make it he would have had at least the fortune of having sung track for the great singer Ghantasala which by itself would be a honour. However, Ghantasala never recorded the song and the SPB song itself was used for the film which he felt happy. He also pondered that maybe he had tried to do too much in the song at the time and had gone overboard and he was happy that he could make amendments now by singing it properly.

Then he came out with his opinion that actors should never interfere in the creation of a song and that it should be left to the experts namely the Music Director and the directors to mould it into a beautiful one. With this, the next song was started

4) Manasaa Thulli Padakkae (SPS) from Sri Variki Prema Lekha (MD : Ramesh Naidu)
Before starting this song, our SPB jokingly mentioned that his sister used to sing this song a lot before her marriage and he patted her on the head affectionately. SPS response was a quiet smile.

5) Suvvi Suvvi Suvvaalamma (SPB + SPS) from Swathi Muthyam (MD : IlayaRaja)
He had a lot of praise for IR’s composition for this song and also felt that it was good to be associated with an actor like Kamalahaasan who had good music sense which helped in creating a very good song. He then embarked on the song in his normal style by singing the starting aalapana and asking SPS how was it and SPS replying that it was beautiful and then he went to the lower most octave and slowly raised his voice to higher octaves accompanied by thunderous applause. During this song there was a background rendition by one of the accompanying musicians. At this time our SPB went up to the musician and held his microphone up to him so that the voice could be more prominent.!!!

He next dwelled on the period of 1970s which he said was a golden period for him as he had the fortune of being associated with very senior singers and lyricists and Music Directors from whom he could learn a lot. At this point, he made a special mention of Kothandapani once again for the initiative that the latter had taken in referring our SPB to all the MDs till he had settled down without detaching himself and never stopping with getting him his first chance. He wondered whether Kothandapani would have put in so much effort for his own chances for music direction. He said that during the music competition attended by Kothandapani when the MD had approached him and asked him whether he would sing for films, it seems our SPB had replied in the negative assuming that it was some sort of a joke at that time as he had no idea who this person was and also he was hardly 17 or 18 years at that time. However Kothandapani had told SPB that he had presented good sangadhis while singing in the competition and that if disciplined he would rule the roost for 40 years to come. He wondered again what Kothandapani had seen him in him to have so much faith in his ability. He felt sorry at this juncture that his mentor was not with him but he would always be in his heart forever. As a tribute, he next sang his mentor’s composition

6) Tanivi Teeralede (SPB + SPS) from Goodu Puttani (MD : Kothandapani)
After this song SPB talked about PBS who was present there at the concert. He praised his multi-faceted personality and this humanitarian attributes. It seems PBS used to call SPB as LGB or something like that (when he happened to meet SPB at a bus stop while he was travelling by car) meaning Lucky Balu since he was fortunate to sing with all great MDs at such a young age

7) Venu Maadhavaa (Gopika Poornima) from Nenunnanu (MD : Keeravani)
After this song, he introduced Gopika Poornima who sang this song originally rendered by Chitra. He mentioned that she was the output of the competition “Paadathaa Theeyaga” which he had compered some years back on ETV. He requested everyone to give a big round of applause for her good rendition of the song and also to encourage her to sing better.

8) Ravi Varmakkae Andani Oke Oka Andhanivo (SPB + GP) from RavaNude Ramudaithe (MD : GK Venkatesh)
As a prelude to this song which is a Nageswara Rao number, he mentioned that singing for the stalwarts ANR & NTR was a dream come true. Even though he could not sing like Ghantasala who was a good match for these two stalwarts, through mimicking he was able to match them and had the opportunity of singing lot of songs for them. He in fact talked a few words in ANR’s tone before starting off this song. He also revealed that this was a Kannada song originally sung by PBS and that he was fortunate to render the same song in Telugu. He then introduced all the accompanying musicians one by one. Some of them had come from Bangalore and some from Hyderabad. He said they were part of his team which accompanied him for his own programs. The total number was only “12” and they really gave an impressive performance providing adequate support to the singers. (Normally for SPB programs we are used to big orchestra)

After this there was a break to carry out the felicitations for the event. PBS was asked to garland SPB. SPB got PBS’s blessings by touching his feet. Before this our SPB & his wife Savithri were greatly honoured with some sastrigals chanting Mantras for his well-being, a thoughtful gesture by the event organisers. PBS as usual was enthusiastic in reading out poems on our SPB in all the languages (Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi & English) which he had written the previous night. Seeing PBS, you come to a conclusion that his enthusiasm is directly proportional to his age. Even at post 80s he makes it a point to attend all musical concerts and read out self-prepared poems for the occasion. A versatile personality indeed and a great human being too. Many at this age would be happy to have a quiet life at home. Some cheques were also presented by some donors to the SMILE organization. Even in between the songs there was a constant receipt of donation cheques from some persons which our SPB announced and handed over to the SMILE in-charge and our SPB was happy at the good inflow of cheques (around Rs. 40,000 was collected in this manner and presented by SPB on the behalf of the donors to the SMILE organisation). All the other singers & musicians were also presented mementos. At this juncture, SPB’s PA Mr.Vittal who has been associated with him for the past 30 years was also introduced to the gathering.

I am happy to inform our Fans at this point that our SPB also made a special mention of our Fan Group and he took effort to locate our group in the crowd and identified our group to all others present for a good round of applause. He mentioned that he was happy to be associated with us. We all stood up when he made this announcement. It was really thoughtful of him to have our group always in consideration. We all felt happy and it made our day. Our SPB also requested us to extend any help possible from our foundation to the SMILE organisation.

Next song was

9) Ye Divilo Virisina Paarijaathamo (SPB) from Kanne Vayasu (MD : Satyam)
This was in fact the title of the event and he mentioned it before starting off. This song was also originally a Kannada song rendered by PBS.

10) Mellaga Karagani (SP Charan – he was the original singer also for this song + GP) from Varsham (MD : Devi Sri Prasad)
For this song SPB Charan was called on to the stage and our SPB mentioned that Charan was not much oriented towards singing and was more interested in film production. HE also said this was one of the very good compositions of Devi Sri Prasad

11) Urikkae Chilakkaa (Mallikarjun + GP) from Bombay (MD : AR Rehman)
SPB introduced another singer of the concert, Mallikarjun, who was also a product of the Paadatha Theeyaga program. Mallikarjun besides active singing is also working as an assistant to the MD Mani Sharma. The pair rendered the song well and received a good round of applause. After this song our SPB came on stage and praised the two singers for singing a tough song quite well and earned one more applause for them. He also had a few words for AR Rehman whom he knew from the age of 3 and mentioned that nothing had changed ARR and he is still a good human being now even after having attained international recognition.

12) E Vela Theeyadhi (SPB +SPS) from Chitti Chinni (MD : Rajeswara Rao)

13) Kusalamaa Neeku Kusalamena (SPB + SPS) from BaliPeetam (MD : Chakravarthy)
He brought an aspect of the Telugu language here in this song. There is a word Kammalu in this song which normally would mislead other to think of the jewellery item. Actually in Telugu “Kamma” means letter which many would have forgotten, he said. He stressed on the importance of appreciating a language and not forgetting its characteristics and root.

14) Rama Rama Raghu Rama (Mallikarjun – he has sung this song himself in the film also) from Sri Anjineyam (MD : Mani Sharma)
SPB mentioned that this song was composed by Mani Sharma. He also informed that earlier Mani Sharma used to play the keyboard in his troupe.
After the song, Mallikarjun had a few words about our SPB. He said that he once received a phone call from SPB appreciating him for rendering the song well and that it was the best song of his career. Mallikarjun felt happy about it. He also informed that on occasions where he had given a bad performance SPB used to call him to his house and scold him left & right. He expressed his thanks to SPB for nurturing him. When SPB came on to the stage later he told Mallikarjun on a lighter vein that such facts should not be revealed to the public

15) Ennenno Janmala Bandham Needhi Naadhi (SPB + GP) from Puja (MD : Rajan Nagendra)
SPB thought this song would bring nostalgic feelings to many as they would identify themselves with this song one way or the other based on their own experiences

16) Nigama Nigamaanta (SPB + GP) from Annamayya (MD : Keeravani)
SPB had a few words of praise for the MD Keeravaani

17) Sari Koththa Cheera (SPB Charan) from Pelli Pusthakam (MD : KVM)

18) chitram.. bhaLArE vichitram (SPB + SPS) from Dhaana Veera Soora Karna (MD : Pendyala Nageswara Rao)
This was a NTR song and SPB mentioned that at those times he used to sing parallelly for Krishna and NTR and each actor used to be curious and ask SPB about what song was recorded for the other actor which made SPB’s life difficult. Such was the intention of the artistes to perform better. This song it seems was picturised as a duet song on the character Dhuriyodhana (NTR) and it happened that the counterparts (I am not sure if it is the music directors or the actors themselves) met once at the airport and enquired how come a duet song was picturised for Dhuriyodhana. Here again, our SPB mimicked a few words in NTR’s voice before rendering the song.

19) Eduta Neeve (SPB + SPS + GP) from Abhinandhana (MD : IlayaRaja)
He introduced this song as IR’s composition and a beautiful one and mentioned that his musicians enjoyed very much playing this song. He also mentioned that lyrics for this song was by Atreya. It seems that Atreya usually writes lyrics first and then his lyrics are tuned by MDs. In this case, Athreya had to write the lyrics to IR's tune.

20) A song by Malli + GP (I am not clear about the song details)

21) Tere Mere Beechume (Hindi) Only the Pallavi was sung by SPB based on request from a Fan who promised to donate Rs.1000 if SPB rendered this song. He was magnanimous in rendering it in order to earn Rs.1000 for the SMILE organization and did not want to let go this opportunity to get some money for a good cause. Ths donor was called on to the stage to present the money and he told SPB that long time back he was a neighbour of our SPB living in the same apartment complex.

22) Chuttu Chirugaali Cheera Kattaaliamma (SPB)

23) Ninu Choodakalekha Neenu (SPB + GP) from Neeranjanam (MD : OP Nayyar)

24) Chandamaama Andhala maama (SPS) from Thene Manasulu (MD : KVM)

25) Raasaadu Premalekha (SPB + SPS) from SriDevi (MD : GKV)
He said that this GK Venkatesh composed song was recorded in one take after the rehearsals. He advised upcoming singers to practice rendering the full song in one go rather than splitting into few lines and then joining together to make up the song. This would help in building lung power.

26) Kougililo Nannu Dhaasi

27) Anthaa Ramamayam (SPB + chorus (SPS + Malli + GP)) from Sri Ramadasu (MD : Keeravani)
Finally the event came to an end with this bhakthi song which was very pleasant to hear & a closing note by our SPB & team. He thanked one and all in coming together for a noble cause. He also said that the event was being recorded by MAA TV. He praised the sound system and the organisors for a wonderful show and completed the event by singing the song. He also thanked the audience for staying till the end which showed the love they had for him.

He finally concluded the event by joining hands with all the other singers and bowing to the audience three times. This by now has become a regular feature of his shows and which he never misses out. The time was 10:20pm.

Even though I am familiar with only 7 to 8 of the songs rendered, I had the opportunity of listening to other golden melodies as well. The selection of songs were purely based on melody and the entire crowd was appreciative of the selection as interpreted from their responses. It was also a pleasure to listen to our SPB talking only in Telugu. English words were sparsely used in the entire program.

One more RED lettered day indeed.



krishnamurthy said...

Dear Sir,
I dont have words to express the happiness after reading your write up.

Actually i had also attended the concert, but i was just admiring our Guruji with his expressions shown while singing the songs ( as bcoz its his mother tongue) he had enjoyed the concert very much.

Sir, really its a gift for all the members of this group for having you in this PRESTIGIOUS GROUP.

Thanks a lot for making it. Keep up the good work.

Gurujis blessing is always there for you.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your experience

கோவை ரவீ said...

Great Work Dasarathi sir,

I feel through your writeup attend the concert. Thanks a lot for posting. Go Ahead.


I was wondering what are the benefits of joining a Group like Yahoo.Now I know what I have missed all these days.
Staying in Pune, I now feel I will never miss anything by reading these Blogs.
A great job done. God Bless you

Anonymous said...

This is very good coverage of the SP Balu Garu's Programe.Iam also Balu Garu's fan,Living in USA.When ever he comes here (Chicago)we go and see his concert.May god bless him with good health and peace.
Thank you so much for the details.

Anuradha Pam

radhika said...

thanks for the great info.i like balu voice.