Tamil Nadu

Ever popular, the devotionals SPB sang

Omni buses still start their day with S.P. Balasubrahmanyam’s Namasivaya Namasivaya, Om Namah Sivaya.

“Like M.S. Amma’s Venkatesa Suprabhatam, his Shiva Sthuthi, consisting of Lingashtakam and Bhilvashtakam, are popular in several houses. These were recorded in the late 1970s,” recalled an old timer in an audio company.

The singer has recorded thousands of devotional songs for audio companies like Vani, Sangeetha Cassettes, HMV (now Saregama), Shubham, Aditya, Anand Audio and Inreco. “Those were the days when if one company recorded an album on, let’s say, Lord Muruga, and if it became a hit, all others would follow suit. All his albums were hits,” he said.

Sangeetha founder and managing partner H.M. Mahesh said their first devotional recording with SPB was in 1983-84, where he sang on Goddess Mookambika. “He would arrive on time for the recording, listen to the song once or twice and sing the track. If the music director was not present, he would himself listen to the recording, okay it, and leave. He would finish around six songs in under two hours,” he said.

He has lent his voice to devotional songs in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu, set to music by M. Rangarao, Vijayabhaskar, Upendrakumar, T.K. Pugazhendhi, Ashok, Manicka Vinayagam and the duo Rajan-Nagendra. “Even if the songs were by someone unknown, he would still sing and encourage them. He was someone who did not have any conditions for singing songs. If they were good, he would sing them,” Mr. Mahesh added.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2020 11:57:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/ever-popular-the-devotionals-spb-sang/article32700138.ece

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