Remembering the Golden Voice – PBS

Prativadi Bhayankara Sreenivas, most famously known as P.B. Sreenivas (22 September, 1930 – 14 April, 2013), was a veteran playback singer and India is blessed enough to have had given birth to this legendary figure. Sreenivas had sung around 3000 songs which include languages such as Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam, Tulu and Konkani. He had sung in

all the main languages PBSof the country but it is in Kannada that he has the highest number of songs in his career.

Sreenivas’ career as a singer began at the age of 12, listening to Mohammad Rafi’s songs on the radio made him more inclined towards music. He received a wide fan-followers’ stream all over India. In Karnataka, he is known as the “Voice of Rajkumar” – for most of his songs were adapted in Rajkumar’s movies.

Sreenivas was also a poet. He was fluent in eight languages – Telugu (his mother-tongue), Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, English, Sanskrit and Urdu – and wrote poems in all these languages. Most of his poems did take on the dais in several programmes. His poems “Man to Moon” (a solo by himself) and “Moon to God” (a duet with S. Janaki) were the two English verses where he wrote on praising the landing of man on the moon. The gramophone records of these songs were sent to Neil Armstrong, the man who first landed on the moon; and PB was praised immensely.

There is a tender emotional story in PB’s life. His mother’s demise in 1972 was a huge emotional blow to him. The singer had to travel to Madras the very next day for he had to do a recording of a song. Unable to refuse due to several pressures, he traveled to Madras. Sreenivas usually finished any recording in one-take but this time he had taken half-an-hour to do the recording. However, the emotions and the love that the singer poured into this particular song was immense, the song has outlived its time, and even to this day it remains to steal many hearts. The song is: “Ravi Vermana Kunchada Kale Bale Saakaravo” – this song reveals the intense grief of the singer yet is a masterpiece.

Indeed, the legend’s contribution of his heart and soul in terms of his voice is impeccable! And as long as music lives, PB lives! The golden voice never fades but glows on!

BY Suhasini Srihari..

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