இல்லம் > Uncategorized > "EVERGREEN SPB" – A Musical Nite : 17 Dec 2006

"EVERGREEN SPB" – A Musical Nite : 17 Dec 2006

Dear SPB Fans,

I take this opportunity of bringing to you all, the events of the Musical Concert of our SPB which took place at Kamarajar Arangam, Chennai on 17th Dec 2006. It indeed turned out to be a great day to be cherished forever in our life.

As ever, this concert too had lots of improvisations in songs and playfulness by our beloved SPB.

He turned up for the event in a very youthful appearance which belied his age of 60 years. He looked very much lesser in age on stage, both in appearance and in singing.

Scheduled to start at 6:00pm, it began at 6:45pm only (already 45 minutes of our SPB time lost for us – translating to at least 5 songs). By that time, the auditorium had filled up to its brim and you could see many more fans lined up along the sides of the auditorium “standing” to watch his performance. Lakshman of Laksman Sruthi Orchestra kept mentioning that the size of the gathering was “3000” (during the program). Let us accept it as such as he should know better due to his vast experience. So, it was a packed house ready to get treated to a memorable SPB night.

Well, entered our SPB in a pleasant lavander coloured Kurta and white pyjama, neatly made up and at his youthful best.

He started off by saying that he was happy to see the filled up auditorium which showed the love and affection that the gathering had for him. He then wished everyone and mentioned that 15th Dec 2006 was the completion of 40 years of singing. He went back in history recollecting the incidents of that day 15th Dec 1966 when his mentor Mr.SP Kothandapani had summoned him for audition and had then predicted that he would shine in the field for the next 40 years if he was disciplined. Our SPB wondered what made his mentor say that and on what basis. But true, it happened, as evident from his presence in front of us fans 40 years later. Even though he was happy about it, he felt sad that his mentor was not there to see his achievements.

Lakshman started off saying that they had a unique collection of many songs which had not been performed by SPB earlier on stage and our SPB said that he had been under tension to render them properly because he himself had forgotten those songs and he had rehearsed that day from 10am to 4pm non-stop by listening to the songs so that he did not make mistakes while rendering. (DEDICATION TO THE CORE EVEN AT THIS AGE – HE NEED NOT HAVE. THAT’S THE DIFFERENCE THAT SEPARATES OUR SPB FROM THE REST)

With that, our SPB started off with the song “Pachhamala Poovu Nee Uchhi Mala Thenu” (Film : Kizhakku Vaasal) and completed it to a rousing applause. Who said he is ageing? Not at all, his voice was at its youthful best rising comfortably to high octaves and transcending all levels of the octaves comfortably as ever.

Next, he rolled on to a number related to GOD and sang the song “Athindhom” (Chandramukhi) Unfortunately this song had interruptions due to power cut and a few valuable minutes were lost here. During this song, SPB sang an additional saranam which was not in the film but was sung at the time of recording. A small girl joined him to sing the small bit that comes in a young girl’s voice. At the end of the song, our SPB started off his humorous quest by commenting on the girl’s hairdo. “Ennamma idhu “wig”ga illa originala, Enadhu original” and started caressing his hair (in English -is it a wig or original, mine is original).
Next he had a break for some breathing space and a song was filled by the Orchestra’s own singers. This pattern was continued in the entire program, that is, 2 songs by SPB, one song by Orchestra, again 2 songs by SPB and so on. This was to give breathing space to SPB. Our SPB mentioned that even though he had done a non-stop one man show some years earlier, he had become older and needed the break in between. At this time, Lakshman chirped in by saying “Sir, unga Paatta Kekkumbothu ungalukku vaisu aana madhiriyae theriyillae”. SPB countered saying “Enakku dhan vaisu aayidichu en paattukillae” (English – Sir, listening to your song, we do not see as aged, SPB replies “Only I am old not my song”).

At this juncture, he appreciated the audience for their patience shown during power failure and requested them to continue the sportive and gentlemanly behavior

The series of other songs that followed are as follows:

Bharadhi Kannamma Neeyadi Chinnamma (Ninathalae Inikkum)
Lakshman introduced the first of nine upcoming female singers to join SPB in singing the songs. When he introduced the singer as the one who has entered into singing with the film “Kuthhu”, SPB had a strange expression for her (jokingly) and wondered about the funny names of the films. SPB was all praise for MSV composition for this song and he wondered and expressed his views to the young female singer(s) that they were not fortunate enough to sing for such compositions. They had to sing meaningless songs and of course mentioned that it was not their fault as they could sing only what they are offered.

Sandhana Kaatre Senthamizh Ootrae Sandhosha Paattae (Thani Kaattu Raaja)
Here he talked about “Isaignani” Ilayaraja’s composition and wondered to the younger female singers that they were not fortunate enough to get to sing such melodious numbers.

Raathiriyil Poothirukkum Thaamarai Than Penno (Thanga Magan)

Oh, Butterfly, Butterfly, En Virithai Siragai (Meera)
The female singer who accompanied him in this song was Madhumitha, a slim and tall girl. Our SPB introduced humor before start of this song by commenting on her. He said “ennamma nee en pakkathula ninna theriya maattaengariya. Enna maadhiri Olliya irukka venaamaa. Namba Rendu Peru Nikkumbothu “18” maadhiri irukku” (English  you become unnoticeable when you stand beside me. Should you not be slim like me? We together look like “18”)

Ilakkanam Maarudho Ilakkiyam Aanadho (Nizhalgal Nijamaagirathu)
At the start of this song SPB continued his above comment in a different way. The female singer this time was on the heavier side like our SPB and he said “Ippo Ilakkanam Sariya Irukkudhu” (Now the grammar is OK) and started off with this song which made up a humorous prelude to the song. This is a unique way of starting of a song because none of the songs was announced upfront. After the song SPB narrated an incident on MSV. He said that MSV usually addressed him as “SPB Sir” and never called him “da” till then. But on the day of recording the song, SPB had gone back home and late that night he received a call from MSV who said “Dei Kanna, En Paattukku ennamma uyir kuduthuttae da” (Hey son, what a life you had given to my song). SPB felt this was equivalent to many awards and once again sang that bit which ends “Maarudho o o o ….” ending that only if it is sung like that it has beauty and jeevan. He requested the audience to start off a signature campaign in order to represent to the Indian government for awarding MSV with at least a “Padma Vibhushan” if not Bharat Ratna. This is for a man who really deserved it, he said.
After this, he sang again the specific line of the song “dheivangal ellaam unakaagappaadum paadaamal poanaal edhu dheivamaagum” (he changed the word unakaagappaadum to umakaagapaadum). While singing this line, he referred Dheivangal as “the singers performing on the stage including himself” and “umakaagapaadum” to the audience & fans. WHAT AN IMPROVISATION AND PRESENCE OF MIND. THIS CLEARLY SHOWS THAT HE ALWAYS HAS THE MASSES AT THE BACK OF HIS MIND

Dhevuda Dhevuda Ezhumala Dhevuda (ChandraMukhi)
Our SPB had a comment for this song also. He said that film makers nowadays do not give much scope for meaningful songs due to whatever reasons they only know. He was musing who was dictating this trend of meaningless music. He added in saying that there were only few actors like MGR & Rajinikanth who had made it a habit to give at least one meaningful song in their movies.

Thoda Thoda Malardhadhenna Poova (Indhra)
Here, SPB was all praise for ARR’s composition. He mentioned that this was one of his most liked songs of ARR’s. He also revealed a secret regarding the composition. There was a flute play towards the end of the song. SPB informed that in the original, this sound was not produced by flute but Rehman’s own whistling. This was a surprise indeed because one would clearly take it for a flute play.

Sippi Irukkudhu Muthum Irukkudhu (Varumaiyin Niram Sigappu)
Our SPB had a comment or two on the young girl (less than 15 years of age) who sang with him for this song. When she came on to the stage, SPB looked at her as if in a frightened manner and said that he had to be careful with this girl as she was a dangerous preposition and he was indeed afraid of singing with her (maybe based on some previous experience). He requested the girl (jokingly) to be kind to him and not to over perform him. It was a pleasant incidence and SPB came out with lot of improvisations for this song like – when the girl started the song “Thandana Thathanna…” SPB asked “Naan idhukku enna pannanum, aadanuma, paadanuma…” (What do you want me to do, dance or sing)

O Maanae Maanae Maanae Unnaithaanae (Vellai Roja)

Maalai Soodum Velai Andhi Malai (Naan Mahaan Alla)

Thulli Thulli Nee Paadamma Seethaiamma (Sippikkul Muthu)
There was a lighter part to the song here. When the female singer Reshma came on to the stage to sing in a glamorous attire, the crowd started whistling on seeing her. SPB chipped in by saying “Partheengala, idhanae venaamgarudhu”

Ponnondru Kandaen Pennangu Illai (Padithal Mattum Podhuma)
Actually, our SPB had gone off the stage for the break as he had done two songs. At this time, Lakshman called SPB Charan on to the stage and requested him to sing a song. Charan seemed not comfortable as he was not prepared and he tried refusing politely. But Lakshman insisted to fill in the breathing space. SPB came to Charan’s rescue. He came on to the stage and said that Charan would end up singing only his song if forced. Instead, he came forward to sing along with Charan a song which they had not sung before. And the song happened to be this song. SPB was great in this song. However Charan was tentative and uncomfortable. Maybe, the imposing presence of his Father had an effect on him. When they sang the line “Nee Indri Naanillai, Naanindri Nee Illaiyae” they gestured at each other and embraced shoulders.

En kanmani en kaadhali ila maangani (ChittuK Kurivi)
The method of recording was explained by our SPB for this song since the Pallavi is of a different type with a second trailing voice in between each word. He explained that this was recorded twice. First the song was recorded with gaps (to fill in the trailing bits) and then the intermediate bits were recorded separately on a 35mm tape and merged together to give a unique effect to the song. He also mentioned about Ilayaraja’s elder brother “Bhaskar” (no more) who had participated in the song by adding in the dialogue bits in the song.

A presentation ceremony for the various sponsors followed with momentos and shawls being presented to SPB and by SPB. Before proceeding with the next song, he also stopped for a while to talk about our “SPB Fan Group” on the net. He said that although he did not have any fan associations as such and nor he needed one (because all are his fans) unlike the actors where there is segmentation, he was appreciative about this fan group which he mentioned was created and run by well educated persons mainly having good jobs with most of them from IT. He also mentioned that Giridhar Raja (who also happens to be his son-in-law as mentioned by him) was instrumental in creating the website. He also commended the various social activities carried out by the group. He accepted momentos from Venkat & Team. He said it was worthwhile to allocate a few minutes for this team in presenting momentos

Povoma Oorgolam, engengum engengum (Chinna Thambi)
This was a new experiment with all the nine female singers joining in and each rendering a few lines of the song thus all of them participating in the song. This was the final song.
Then SPB joined hands with all the nine female singers and bowed before the audience thrice as a mark of respect for our love and affection towards him.

He then thanked the various sponsors without whom this program would not have been possible. He also thanked the Press, Media…. for being kind to him and projecting him as a non-controversial personality, due to whatever reasons best known to them. His thanks were also for the musicians who had tirelessly worked throughout the month to practice and get everything right as most of the songs would have been new for them. He said that they had done rehearsals up to 4pm that day without sleep the previous day and had come straight for the program.

SPB then wished everyone a Merry & Happy Christmas and also a “Happy, Prosperous, Musical, Harmonious ……New Year”. He was worried about the influence of Western culture on the Indian Youth and pleaded that they take only the positives of that culture. Our Indian Culture by itself is a great one and we should be proud to be an Indian, especially a South Indian. Let us set aside all differences due to caste & creed and lead a united and harmonious life, he said.

That ended the eventful and happy night for the fans.

The program was filled with many other small instances which I am not able to recollect and link it to exactly where in the program it happened. However, I am listing them down below just for a reading.

1) Laxman was frequently saying “Check, Check” into the mike for testing. SPB countered saying “Eppavum Cheque-dhaana, Cash-ae Vaangamaatiya yaa”

2) When the clock struck “nine”, Lakshman was saying, how to keep the audience attention intact. He mentioned about the Radio Jockeys who conduct night programs to lure the audiences. SPB followed this up with “Where are the horses”.

3) When one of the female singers Ganga came on stage, he invited here by singing a small Telugu song bit which starts with “Ganga….” This he did twice to her when she came on stage. He also quizzed here about the relationship between Ganga and Lord Shiva which she shyly denied. He then said that most have forgotten about Ganga since she was on the head of Shiva and remembered only Paarvati. He then enquired Ganga “Ennamma, nee un husband thala melae dhanae irukkae” (Is it not that you are on your husband’s head)

4) SPB thanked all the nine female singers for giving him the opportunity to sing with them – WHAT A GREAT GESTURE THAT WAS. He also mentioned this individually to some of the singers after completing a song and they replied that it was their fortune to sing with him. He also apologised to some of the female singers that even though he had heard some of their songs, he was not aware of who had sung the song due to lot of new entrants into the field. He suggested to the TV media to display the names of the singers also when the songs are played. He also said that even though he did not have the opportunity of singing with them in films, he was happy that he could sing with them on stage.

5) SPB had something good to say about the singer “Gopal Sharma” (a part of Laksham troupe). He was appreciative of his high pitched voice and said that in one of the programs he was confused as to what to sing after hearing this singer sing a high pitched song from the Hindi Film “Hero”. SPB indeed requested Gopal Sharma to sing the same song which was his favourite even though he would planned some other sang. SPB also explained the type of singing for this song which is known as “SUFI” style of singing which is high pitch in nature and sung in the evenings & nights It is really a wonder that Gopal Sharma’ voice matched the requirements of this song, our SPB said. The original was sung by a Pakistani Femal singer he told us. He also requested Lakshman to encourage singers like him to select similar songs and present them WHAT MAGNANITY ON THE PART OF OUR SPB.

6) There were many songs requested by the many fans present. Due to practical constraints like lack of practice of the musicians and of himself and lack of time he could not oblige. However, he satisfied the requirements to some extent by singing a medley of songs (two to three lines each) requested by the audience like
a. Kamban yemanthan
b. ilamaienum poongatru
c. vedam anuvinil oru nadham (salangai oli)
d. aaiyiram nilavae vaa
e. dhorakkunaa ituvanti seva (sankara bharanam)
f. unakenna melae nindrai etc………………….

7) When many fans started requesting lot of songs which he could not oblige, SPB started a discussion on stage with Lakshman (during a brief break when his assistant wassearching for his song book) on the concept of making a program by singing only the Pallavis of all his songs. Lakshman replied “Sir, adhuvae oru maasam melae odumae”. Then Lakshman chipped in by saying if SPB agreed then they could do a full week program titled “SPB Vaaram”. SPB suggested that each day could be dedicated to a music director. Lakshman said “next year”. Why not “next month” replied SPB. There it ended. LET US ALL HOPE THAT THIS CONCEPT TAKES SHAPE AS THIS WOULD BE A UNIQUE TREAT TO ALL OF US

8) During the program, Lakshman requested feedback from the audience if they were enjoying the selection of songs so that he could adopt the same pattern of presenting forgotten or not performed SPB songs on stage for the future SPB concerts. Everyone acknowledged in the positive. He also said that the selection of songs was based on his being a very great fan of SPB. He indeed reflected most of our minds also by selecting a list of melodious songs.

9) SPB also garlanded the nine female singers towards the end of the program. Some one reminded him of the young girl of less than 15 years of age (not in the list of nine) who had sung the song “Sippi Irukkudhu” with him. He also called her to the stage. And when someone asked if she is to be garlanded, his reply was “andha ponnum oru artist dhaanaeya” (that girl is also an artist) and garlanded her. GREAT SPB

There were many improvisations by SPB in almost all the songs and it would be impossible to mention everything. Anyway he does this every time and it can be felt only when one listens to the songs. SPB fans have to keep their ears and eyes open to find out when this will be telecast by Vijay TV so that they can experience all that happened from their living room.



  1. 8:29 முப இல் திசெம்பர் 19, 2006

    Dasarathi sir,Great8 viw about 17 Prog. Mr.Lakshman sir and musicians (Troup Owner) told to me on 18.12.2006 in my college (Mr.Hariharan sir programme on that day starting from 9.30 pm in connection with our CIT Colllege Golden Jubilee Function). SuPerB Concert and Newly song lists Performance gave our Baluji held on 17th at Chennai. It was 100% true read your report. I am very happy your Gr8 effort. ALL THE BEST DASARATHI SIR — Covai Ravee

  2. 8:52 முப இல் திசெம்பர் 19, 2006

    Hi DasardhiSuperb Narration … It ws just rewinding the Media Player in my mind … I was not able to meet u , hope v all vl a gettogether in the next group meet … It’s true indeed that A RED LETTER DAY INDEED IN OUR LIFE … Well done …Luv and Live with MusicPrasan

  3. 9:36 முப இல் திசெம்பர் 19, 2006

    Its really a superb narration. Live Concert paatha maadhiriye irunduchu…. Great Work!!!!!

  4. 1:16 பிப இல் திசெம்பர் 19, 2006

    Dear Mr.Covai Ravi, Prasanna & Sudhakar,Thanks for the compliments.It was indeed a great opportunity to attend our SPB program. I am waiting for the day when we can all meet in person and havea live discussion on our SPB.Thanks & Regards

  5. 11:19 முப இல் திசெம்பர் 22, 2006

    Excellent Narration. I think you wud’ve spent a lot of time for this. Keep up ur work.

  6. 2:14 முப இல் மே 12, 2010


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