Tamil Nadu

‘MSV ticked him off for Telugu accent’

“I sing the notes as they are written but it is the Almighty who comes out as my voice,” was a frequent statement made by S.P. Balasubrahmanyam. His first recorded song was from the film Shanti Nilayam, produced by Gemini Vasan, and the script work was done by me. Englishman Marcus Bartley was the cameraman.

M.S. Viswanathan had tuned a song Iyarkaii Ennum Ilaiyya Kanni and a few months earlier, SPB had frequented his house seeking an opportunity to sing in films. “Get rid of your Telugu accent and improve your Tamil!” MSV told him, and within months, SPB’s Tamil improved. MSV made him sing Iyarkaii Ennum Ilaiyya Kanni and it was an instant hit. He received ₹150 as remuneration for the song.

Meanwhile, MGR had an issue with T.M. Soundararajan, and SPB had the opportunity to sing for him — the song Ayiram Nilave Vaa in Adimai Penn. Though Adimai Penn released first, SPB’s first recorded song was from Shanti Nilayam.

SPB loved working with our Chithralaya Unit and before singing Panivizhum Malarvanam, he prostrated in front of Sridhar and me, and said, “Gopu sir, Chithralayaa is my mother’s home.”

His divine voice and singing talent apart, Baalu, as we fondly called him, was a perfect gentleman who respected the seniors and encouraged youngsters. His death is a personal loss to me, and the film industry will not be the same again.

The void SPB has left behind will remain empty for long.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 10:29:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/msv-ticked-him-off-for-telugu-accent/article32700121.ece

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