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Remembering SPB’s maiden song

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Tamil filmmaker and screenwriter Chithralaya Gopu recollects when the legendary singer acquired an opportunity to sing for M. S. Viswanathan within the movie ‘Shanthi Nilayam’

“I sing the notes as they are written, but its the Almighty who comes out as my voice,” was the frequent statment made by S.P. Balasubrahmanyam. His first song recorded was from the movie, Shanthi Nilayam produced by Gemini Vasan, and the scriptwork was finished by me. Englishman Marcus Baatley was the cameraman.

M. S. Viswanathan had tuned a song, Iyarkaii Ennum Ilaiyya Kanni and some months earlier, SPB had frequented his home in search of a possibility to sing in films.

 

“Get rid of your Telugu accent and improve your Tamil!” MSV had instructed him, and inside months SPB’s Tamil had improved. MSV made him sing the song, Iyarakai… and it was an immediate hit. He acquired Rs 150/- as remuneration for the song again within the day.

Meanwhile, MGR had a problem with T. M.Soundarajan, and SPB had the chance to sing for him: the song Ayiram Nilave Vaa from the movie, Adimaipen.

Though Adimaipen launched first, SPB’s first recorded song was from Shanthi Nilayam.

SPB beloved working with our Chithralaya Unit and earlier than singing Panivizhum Malarvanam, he prostrated in entrance of Sridhar and me and stated, “Gopu Sir, Chithralayaa is my mother’s home.”

His divine voice and singing abilities aside, Baalu, as we fondly known as him, was an ideal gentleman to the core, who revered the seniors and inspired children. His loss of life is a private loss to me and the movie business gained;t be the identical once more.

The void SPB has left behind will stay empty for lengthy.



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