PB Sreenivas,The Golden Voice Stilled.Tribute

The mellifluous voice that enthralled the music lovers of Tamil,Kannada,and Telugu people is no more.

A simple man who could sing effortlessly in all the  languages of India with perfect local accent and linguist  passed away in Chennai on 14 , the Tamil New Year‘s Day yesterday .

I met him in Hotel Woodlands Drive in Restaurant, Chennai,which is his favorite haunt, when I was studying my Degree between 1967-70.

He used to sit in the Drive in , with a cloth shoulder bag, about a dozen pens, and a thick ruled note book-with a plate of Rava Kitchdi in front of him.

I approached him and started talking to him as if I knew him about his various songs.

I asked him why he had so many pens with him(can you think of any thing more silly to ask of a legend? )

He replied that he could write well in about 12 languages, including Sanskrit , pen poems and lyrics and used a different pen for each language.

He added that he had written about one lakh poems, this he expressed as a matter of fact, no airs!

He was so humble that he spent nearly 20 minutes with a green horn with out any airs.

PBS would pronounce words as he is afraid that he might hurt the words.

Effortless unique voice, totally of a different timbre, say like a Mukesh, his voice suited a vastly underrated actor of yore, who stood tall against the giants like Sivaji and MGR,Gemini Ganesan.

Initially SP Balasubramanian‘s voice reminded one of PBS, though SPB‘s voice a little bit thick to the years.

Later SPB has chartered a course for himself.

Some of his songs in Tamil and Kannada are simply great and can never be matched.


He was the voice was of the a Kannada legend Dr.Rajkumar, till he started singing himself.

Rajkumar observed  PBS’s Voice suited him more than his own voice.

The late actor Rajkumar once described P.B. Sreenivas as his shaareera (voice) while he himself was a mere shareera (body), summing up how some of the best-known films of the thespian are unthinkable without the legendary singer lending his voice.

Sreenivas, who passed away in Chennai on Sunday, ruled the Kannada film industry for over two decades as a playback singer and was the voice of many stars, including Rajkumar, Uday Kumar and Kalyan Kumar.

Evergreen numbers

Songs such as Aadisi noduOlave jeevana sakshatkaraPanchama veda premada nadaVittala VittalaIvalu yaaru balleyanuAakashave beelali meleBaare baare, Ravivarmana kunchada kaleand Maanava dehavu moole mamsada tadike are still loved by thousands of people in Karnataka. Songs he sang in praise of Kannada language, including the famous Naavaaduva nudiye Kannada nudifrom Gandhada Gudi, are among the most popular.


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