P. Susheela—the name is enough to well up emotions of awe and joy in the minds of millions of South Indian film music lovers. The singer, who breathed life into many songs in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada, turns 84 on November 13th, 2019.
To sum up, P. Susheela is the fountainhead of melodious music in the South Indian film industry. Words fail to describe her voice, its clarity and the music she made for more than 60 years.
We look at the top 5 songs P. Susheela sang for equally legendary heroines.
- Anuragamu Virisena for Jamuna in Donga Ramudu (1955)
This breezy romantic number from Donga Ramudu, picturised on Jamuna, was Susheela’s first breakthrough song in the South. Susheela, a trained classical singer, soared to dizzy heights with this song, under the music direction of her mentor, Pendyala Nageswara Rao.
- Aha Naa Pellanta for Savitri in Mayabazar (1957)
The combination of Susheela and Savitri was always legendary. Susheela shot to fame with this song, which tested her versatility and also displayed Savitri’s great acting skills.
This is a favourite of many till today.
- Pandavulu Pandavulu Tummeda for Sowcar Janaki in Akka Chellelu (1970)
This song is another testimony to Susheela’s malleable voice, with a folksy tune. The song, picturised on the great Sowcar Janaki, gave rise to many remixes and cover versions till date.
- Veenalona Theegaslona for Vanisri in Chakravakam (1974)
This iconic song is Susheela’s personal favourite and was set in one of the toughest classical ragas, Chakravakam. The music director of Chakravakam, K.V. Mahadevan, put forward a challenge to Susheela and she came out with flying colors, as usual. Vanisri’s performance as a musician in the movie was great and this song stood out for its picturisation.
- Vastadu Naaraju for Vijaya Nirmala in Alluri Sitaramaraju (1974)
This great song tested the high pitched voice of Susheela to the hilt and is considered her best romantic solo in Telugu. Picturised on the late Vijaya Nirmala in a well known film, the song brought many awards to Susheela.
Can one describe an ocean of music? Such is the case with P. Susheela and her legendary status. We are grateful to her for making South India her domain and giving us invaluable music.
A happy 84th birthday to P. Susheela and many more musical years to her!
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