P B Sreenivas (Prathivadi Bhayankara Sreenivas)
Prathivadi Bhayankara Sreenivas (22 September 1930 – 16 April 2013), was a veteran playback singer from India. He was born in Gollaprolu near Kakinada in East Godavri District of Andhra Pradesh. He had sung around 3000 songs in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam and Tulu films. He was known for his playback singing in the Kannada, Telugu and Tamil film industries. He had sung in all the main languages of the country but it is in Kannada that he has the highest number of songs in his career.
Born Prathivadhi Bhayankara Sreenivas to the couple Phanindra Swamy and Sesha Giriamma, in Kakinada, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, Sreenivas completed college with a B.Com(Bachelor of Commerce) degree.His ancestors belong to Pasalapudi village. He was fluent in eight languages (Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Urdu, English and Sanskrit) and had penned several ghazals in Telugu. Sreenivas sang duets and triplets with Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum and Jikki apart from leading a chorus song. He was introduced in Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu simultaneously in the movie Jathaka Phala (Jathakam) by R. Nagendra Rao.
Sreenivas made his début in 1952 in Gemini’s Hindi film Mr Sampat, where his song “Aji hum Bharat ki naari”, a duet with Geeta Dutt, became popular. He entered the Kannada film industry in 1953 through the movie Jathaka Phala, which was later made in Tamil and Telugu also. In Kannada, he achieved great success through Bhakta Kanakadasa starring Super Star Dr.Rajkumar. The song Baagilanu teredu of the film was a very big hit. Later he went on to sing greatest numbers for Super Star Dr.Vishnuvardhan, Srinath, Kalyan Kumar, Udaya Kumar and others. In 1955 he also sang in the Malayalam film Harishcandra. His first solo hit came in the movie Prema Pasam in which he also sang a duet with P. Susheela. His first song for the Kannada legendary super star Dr.Raj Kumar was in 1956 film Ohileshwara. Later he sang for the Super Star for a long time and the association was highly appreciated by critics, fans and the industry. In the Tamil industry, his maximum number of songs are for Gemini Ganesan. The most memorable hit of this duo was ‘Nilave ennidam nerungathe’. He had sung for other actors as well but incidentally, he had sung very few songs for Dr.M G Ramachandran and Dr.Sivaji Ganesan.He sang the popular duet in Hindi Chanda Se Hoga Wo Pyaara (with Lata Mangeshkar) in the film Main Bhi Ladki Hoon in 1964. In Tamil his voice was more used for actors Gemini Ganeshan, Muthuraman, Ravichandran, Jaishankar.
In Pava Mannippu, Sreenivas sang “Kalangalil Aval Vasantham” written by Kannadasan and set to music by the music duo M. S. Viswanathan – T. K. Ramamoorthy. The film Adutha Veettuppen of Anjali Pictures carried some of his songs. Sreenivas has also sung with P.Susheela, S. Janaki, P. Bhanumathi, K. Jamuna Rani, L. R. Easwari and Lata Mangeshkar for the movie Main Bhi Ladki Hoon and some North Indian Singers. His devotional songs include “Sharadha Bhujanga Stothram”, “Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatham”, “Mukunda Mala”, “Shri Mallikarjuna Stotram” and Purandaradasa compositions. His “home away from home” was the Woodlands Drive-In restaurant in Chennai where one could frequently spot him sit quietly writing poetry. He had headed many music related organizations such as being the president of Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram.
Though Sreenivas had hit numbers in all the languages that he sang, it was in the Kannada Film Industry that he sang the highest number of songs in his career and it was in the Kannada Industry that he delivered the highest number of hit songs. PB Sreenivas ruled the Kannada Industry for over three decades and was the voice for many Super Stars though his combination with Dr.Rajkumar created history. He was instrumental in shaping the Kannada identity like Dr.Rajkumar and Dr.Vishnuvardhan. He has sung thousands of songs and most of his songs were big hits. He has the credit of lending his voice for the most popular ever green songs of the Kannada Cinema like Nee bandu Ninthaaga, Ravivarmana, Akashave Beelali mele, Baare Baare Chandada Cheluvina, Olave Jeevana Sakshathkara, Panchama Veda, Kannadada Kuladevi, Binkada Singari, Olavina Priyalathe, Ivalu Yaaru Balleyenu, Baa Thaayi Bharathiye, Naavaduva Nudiye, Gaganavu Ello, Apaara keerthi, Malenaada Henna, Indu Enage, Neera Mele Aleya Ungura, Uthara Druvadhim, Kannada Naadina Veera Ramaniya, Endendu Ninnanu Marethu, Endu Ninna Noduve, Thookadisi Thookadisi Beeladiru Thamma and many more.
Voice Of Dr.Rajkumar
Dr.P B Sreenivas had sung for almost all the superstars of South India, but it was his combination with Padmabhushan, Dada Saheb Phalke Award Winner, Kannada Matinee Idol Super Star Dr.Rajkumar that struck a chord with the audience. He has sung at least 300 super hit numbers for the star. In 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, if it was Dr.Rajkumar, then there had to be songs sung by Dr.PBS. Rajkumar himself had said that his true identity was Sreenivas and his voice would never die but only grow. The late actor once described P.B. Sreenivas as his shaareera (voice in Kannada) while he himself was a mere shareera (body in Kannada), summing up how some of the best-known films of the thespian are unimaginable without Sreenivas lending his voice. When Rajkumar was honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1995, Sreenivas rejoiced as though he had got an award himself. Sreenivas said he was honoured because his “voice” had won a great honour. Recalling his association with matinee idol, Rajkumar, Sreenivas in his recent interview had mentioned that ‘Rajkumar had a golden voice and all his songs are hugely popular. He excelled in singing all types of songs from romantic to heavily classical. But I was his voice for nearly three decades. PBS was the voice of Rajkumar, and Rajkumar was the face of PBS is how he would describe Rajumar and himself. Sreenivas was hence known as the ‘VOICE OF RAJKUMAR’ in South India.
Until 1974, Dr. P B Sreenivas was Rajkumar’s most frequent singing voice in films. However, once when P.B. Sreenivas was not available to sing for the movie Sampattige Sawaal, Composer G K Venkatesh encouraged Rajkumar to sing th song Yaare Koogadali that was supposed to be sung by Sreenivas. With that song, Rajkumar restarted his singing career, which had stopped after the movie Ohileshwara. Thus began his journey as the most famous actor-singer that the Kannada film industry has ever seen. But the best 100 songs in their combination is also a tough job to mention as they have greatest of greatest compositions in their combination like Nagu Nagutha Nali Nali, Halliyadarenu Shiva, Aadisi Nodu Beelisi Nodu, Aagadu Endu Kai Katti Kulithare, Nee Bandu Ninthaaga, Olave Jeevana Sakshathkara, Preethine Aa Dyaavru Thanda, Naavaaduva Nudiye, Vitala Panduranga, Baadi Hoda, Endendu Ninnanu Marethu, Ninna Kanna Notadalli, Yaaru Thiliyaru and many more.
- The highest award of Karnataka State, the prestigious Kannada Rajyothsava Award awarded by the Chief Minister of the state.
- The Tamil Nadu state’s honorary Kalaimamani Award.
- Dr Rajkumar Souhardha award given by the super star’s family.
He passed away on 16 April 2013 at Chennai at 1.00 am due to a heart attack. He was 83.Sandalwood actors and people from the music industry expressed their grief over the death of the legend. Music composer GV Prakash, who had worked with the legend in Tamil film Aayirathil Oruvan has quoted in his Twitter saying that PB Sreenivas sir, was one of his most favourite evergreen singers. P B Sreenivas, famously known as PBS was not keeping a good health for the past few days, said family sources.
Expressing condolence to the celebrity, chief minister J Jayalalithaa said PBS had sung in twelve different languages and his voice added colour to Tamil songs. Jayalalithaa also said that the legend’s death is a personal loss to her and to the cinema world as well.