December 15th 1966. There is no Andhrite on earth who does not know the significance of this date, if he indeed is a music lover. I am not going to pay any tributes to Balu garu here. That would be plain stupid, because whatever I write now will fall way short of what his singing means to me, and indeed to crores of his other fans.
I was born in the same year, a few months before he started singing. That meant that in an era when radio was the only means of entertainment, my entire childhood and adolescence was spent hearing to his songs. Even today majority of the songs in my iPod ( some 2000 songs in all) are the ones sung by Balu. The effect of his voice on my sub-conscious mind is so strong that as the number of songs sung by him went down, so have the number of new songs that I bothered to listen.
While there are thousands of songs sung by him which can be rated as very best, let me just connect the readers to his very first song, from where his journey began. The song is from a movie Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna as is already well known. It is “Emi ee vintha moham” which opens with P.Suseela in her fantastic evergreen voice. Balu comes in between with the lyrics ” Raave kavya suma baala” for Sobhan Babu.
It is heartening to note that Keeravani sang a song paying tributes to Balu on his 50 years inimitable singing feat. The following is the video link of that too. Balu garu, hats off to you sir. These words may sound so simple, but no language has grown to an extent where it can capture my feelings for your singing !! Life would not have been the same without you.
“It was 25 years ago on a sultry evening at Savera Hotel in Madras. I remember the day not for its weather but for the pleasantness that overshadowed it. It was the silver jubilee function where Balu Garu was felicitated by the Journalist Fraternity on his successful completion of 25 years as an undisputed king of the singers from South India.
25 years have lapsed from that day.
Balu Garu’s unflinching journey has continued and continuing quenching the thirst of music lovers.
Balu Garu’s dedication towards his profession and his unrelenting effort to mesmerize his fans fill me with awe even today, the same way I felt when I first met him long long ago.
To this great man with a humble soul and my most favorite singer I dedicate this song with utmost reverence…
Written and sung by MM Keeravaani
For the tune of Sri K V Mahadevan
Female voice – Sahithi Komanduri”