Susie’s Fab Five | Tribute to Dr PB Srinivas

Dr PB Srinivas - Early Years in Playback
Credit : DNA

Songs in my earliest memory consist of my parent’s favourites – KPAC Drama songs, and movie songs by Kamukara, Dr PB Sreenivas and AM Rajah. Though I am a diehard KJ Yesudas fan, I have always had a special place in my heart for the songs of Dr PBS.

1. Mahal Thyaagame from Harischandra (1955).

This was his first Malayalam movie song. I heard this song for the first time only a few days ago. I was amazed at the clarity and almost flawless diction PBS managed to achieve in the song. Lyrics were by Thirunayinarkurichi Madhavan Nair and music by Br Lakshmanan.

2. Inakkuyile from Kaattuthulasi (1964).

Most songs of PBS that I love fall into the serious/philosophical/sad romantic category. Movies like Rebecca, Poochakkanni and Baalyakaalasakhi have many such songs. But the song Inakkuyile from Kaattuthulasi (1964) is the one which haunts me. You can sense the desperation of the lover for his beloved, fearing the worst, right from the initial heart-wrenching plea “Thulasee…Vili Kelkkoo ” and Sathyan‘s presence on screen is a bonus.

3. Maamalakalkkappurathu from Ninamaninja Kaalpaadukal (1963)

Long before KJ Yesudas’s “Naaleekeratthinte Naattilenikkoru” from Thurakkaatha Vaathil (1970)  soothed the homesickness of the Malayali working away from home, there was PBS’s happy, peppy, chirpy “Maamalakalkkappurathu” conjuring up idyllic, nostalgic images of home. This song from Ninamaninja Kaalpaadukal was created by the legendary P BhaskaranMS Baburaj combination. Interestingly, “Naaleekeratthinte” was also written by Bhaskaran Master (tuned by K Raghavan Master).

4. Jheel Kinaare from Thadaakam (1982).

Dr.PBS was known to be a prolific writer in several languages. This Hindi song from the IV Sasi hit Thadaakam (1982) is captivating in the voice of S Janaki wjth music by the talented AT Ummer. The picturisation strongly resembles the song sequence “Ye chaand sa roshan chehraa” from the Shammi Kapoor-Sharmila Tagore megahit Kashmir Ki Kali.

He has also sung a Punjabi folk song along with S Janaki in Prathikaaram (1972). It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the lyricist turned out to be Dr.PBS himself.

5. Raathri Raathri from Ezhu Raathrikal (1968)

The fact that this song has shown up in at least two of my lists earlier is enough proof of how highly I regard this song. It is unsurpassed for its lyrical beauty, atmospheric composition and soulful rendering. A Vayalar – Salil Chowdhury classic.

It was a difficult task for me to choose just five from the hundreds of gems that this great singer has bequeathed to Malayalam Cinema. I will always remember him.

Please do write in with your favourites.

28 thoughts on “Susie’s Fab Five | Tribute to Dr PB Srinivas

  1. Dear Mr.Sajith,thanks a lot for earnest efforts and fervour applied in my case.I feel to be lucky for having got p eople like you. Mr.Viji,a great man of course has promised me to send the songs which I am in search. In fact,he sent some by e mail but I couldn’t listen those today since I have no computer with me and operate internet in m Iobile phone. I have sent a rather long list to him. Expect in near future. Once again I express my thanks to all behind this site. Ravi.C.V. Ambalapara,Ottapalam.

  2. In film AYISHA, 3 male singers were given chance by composer R.K.Sekhar. Yaathrakkara pokuka pokuka by P.B.S, Ekaakiniyay Nee by Jesudas,and Muthane Ente Muthane by A.M.Raja [ with P.Suseela ]. Simply to share some tips. Ravi.C.V. Ambalapara,Ottapalam.

  3. Dear Sajith,Viju,Susie Madam, I hope someone among you can help me in getting one song which I vaguely remember. There was/is a sweet song by S.Janaki in Virunnukari under P.Bhaskaran-Baburaj team. I remember this starts “Muttathe Mullayil…..mullayil”. I have heard this at the time of release twice or thrice. The best of the film was Vaasantha sadanathin of Jayachandran and it was frequently broadcast. If any can guide me by suggesting any site or so. To be honest,I am a zero in operating system,alternative methods are welcome. Ravi.C.V. Ambalapara,Ottapalam.

    1. Dear Ravi
      The Film Virunnukaari was released in VCD. Earlier, this film was telecasted by Soorya TV. I think CM can guide you to the site where you can purchase a copy of the film.

      Sajith

  4. It was painful and at the same time funny also to go through news published in MATHRUBHOOMI that too, in front page about P.B.S. According to them, Karalil Kanneer Niranjajum belongs to BABUMON. This would have amused even M.S.Viswanathan, who kept P.B.S from his Malayalam songs. What a pity! See the role played by dailies regarding music. Ravi.C.V. Ambalapara, Ottapalam.

  5. Dear Sajith,what a coincidence! Today I had also posted YAATHRAKKARA and without noticing your post also.So glad for getting people like yourself,Susie Madam and Mr.Viju. Ravi.C.V Ambalapara, Ottapalam.

  6. Sucy
    There is a song in the film Aishya, written by Vayalar and composed by R K Sekhar sung by PB Sreenivas. Yaatrakkara Povuka Poovuka Jeevitha Yathra KKara. I really missed to include the song among the list i submitted.
    You can hear the voice of DR PB Sreenivas right from the base to higher pitch. The Pallavi and anupallavi maintains the base but as the song progress towards the charanam the singer moves to the higher level. The song still lives not because of the PBS element but also by the quite different treatment in the composition by R K Sekhar. You may be knowing the song.

    Sajith

  7. The most unnoticed song may be perhaps PONNAMBALA METTIL PUTHILANJI KAATTIL of KOTTAYAM KOLA CASE composed by B.A.Chidambaranath, father of composer Rajamani. Even the sweet song of that film AARADHAKARE AARADHAKARE of P.Leela remains ignored for unknown reasons. Ravi.C.V. Ambalapara, Ottapalam.

  8. Dear Madam,in my previous note,I have omitted 2 songs intentionally since they haven’t influenced me. 1-Bhoomi Kuzhichu Kuzhichu Nadakkum of KALANJU KITTIYA THANGAM composed by Devarajan Master. 2-Penninte Kannil Thilakkam of VILAKKAPPETTA BANDHANGAL for Adoor Bhasi along with L.R.Eswari composed by A.T.Ummer.Both there songs didn’t create any impact on me. Best one given is Aadiparasakthi Amrithavarshini of PONNAPURAM KOTTA though a group song. P.B.S and Jesudas dominate the other singers this one being a competition song. Ravi.C.V. Ambalapara, Ottapalam.

  9. Susy Madam, Mr.Sajith, I saw comments by Susy Madam on my tamil songs of P.B.S. I simply posted it since couple of friends expressed surprise over the fact he has sung in Tamil. In Malayalam also some have been omitted I feel. 1- Vaadikkariyunna Poove of ARAPPAVAN. 2-Karivala Tharivala Kuppivala of INAPRAVUKAL a duet.3- Uttavalo nee Pettavalo Nee of KOCHUMON composed by Allepy Usman[ his only film]. 4-Ponnambala mettil of Kottayam Kolacase by B.A.Chidambaranath. 5- Mannin Makal Nee of SEETHA by D. Moorthy. 6-YATHRAKKARA POKUKA POKUKA of AYSHA composed by R.K.Sekhar,father of A.R.Rahman. Well,I don’t understand why I posted this song as the last item being one of great by P.B.S. I can’t help requesting all to listen Tamil song VANITHA MANIYE of Adutha Veettupencomposed by Aadi Narayana Rao,husband of Anjalidevi.This is pure classical -cum-comedy song . I am not that crazy of Tamil but please listen only this one. Then you would realize why. Let’s make such ventures in future. Ravi.C.V. Ambalapara,Ottapalam.

  10. A small trivia. PB Sreenivas’s family was known for their debating skills. The initial PB stands for Prathivadam(Prativadi?) Bhayankaram

  11. Dear unknown friends, I think some more points about P.B.S will be interesting. He seldom sang for M.G.R. since T.M.Soundararajan was the favourite for M.G.R. and Sivaji Ganesan due to resemblance in voice. But 2 duets P.B.S became so popular,both being with P.Suseela 1-Paal vannam paruvam kanden of PAASAM and 2-Ennaruke Neeyirunthal of THIRUDATHE first one by Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy [ who left us yesterday] and the latter by K.V.Mahadevan.P.B.S sang most for Gemini Ganesan. He sung He sang for comedy star Nagesh “Thamarai Kannangal”a sweet duet with Suseela in film ETHIR NEECHAL composed by V.Kumar. Believe or not,I have no Tamil background and still I enjoy the tunes. Music something beyond language.Once again I request all to listen these from available music sites.If you are satisfied,my mission is successful. Awaiting comments and rectification,if any. Ravi.C.V. Ambalapara, Ottapalam.

    1. Hi Ravi
      The main aim of my post is to showcase the significant body of work Shri PB Sreenivas has done in Malayalam movies, and to generate conversations based on them. It would be appreciated if furthur conversations follow that objective.

      Regards
      Susie

  12. Res:Mr.Sajith,Susie Madam,inspired me to put some more. I am not that authority to describe songs o f P.B.S. in Tamil. Anyway a humble request to all music lovers. Without Tamil songs,evaluation of P.B.S. won’t be ideal. 1- Inpam pongum vennila veesuthe of Veerapandya Kattabomman. 2-Kattu Veliyuthe Kannamma of Kappalottiya Tamizhan both are duets with Suseela. 3-Chinna Chinna Kannanukku of VAZHKAI PADAKU. 4-Pon Onru Kanten a super duet with T.M.S. of Padithal Mattum Pothuma 6-The best of P.B.S. song VANITHAMANIYE a pure classical-cum-comedy song of film ADUTHA VEETTU PEN [ Remade as PADOSAN in Hindi ].My list has not reached anywhere but definitely one should listen to these and comment when time permits. Ravi.C.V,Ambalapara, Ottapalam.

  13. I never realised that PBS had sung so many nice songs in malayalam. I am a big fan of his because of the lovely kannada songs sung by him. Sad that he is no more.

    1. Hi Nalini

      Yes, he has sung several beautiful melodies in Malayalam, too numerous to list here. Except for a few, I don’t know much about his other language songs. Definitely a huge loss to the Indian film music world, and to all of us who love his songs.

      Regards,
      Susie

  14. It’s a pity that M.S.V, who along with Ramamoorthy and individually have nectar-like songs such as Kaalangalil Aval Vasantham,Nilave Ennidam the former in Paavamannippu and the latter in RAMU etc.totally ignored P.B.S. in Malayalam. Nilavukku en mel Ennadi kopam of POLICEKARAN MAKAL [Remade as VYAMOHAM in Malayalam etc. are those require introduction for tamil lovers. What happened to M.S.V. in M alayalam? Ravi.C.V. Ambalapara,Ottapalam.

  15. Res:Susie Madam and others who are behind the article about P.B.S,may I suggest couple more by P.B.S? 1- Aadi parasakthi Amruthavarshini a competition song with Jesudas of PONNAPURAM KOTTA 2-Mannavanayalum of SATHYABHAMA 3-Ezhukadalodi of JALAKANYAKA a group song though. 4-Thanneppol than ayalkkarane of SNAPAKAYOHANNAN 5- Azhakil Mikachathethu with S.Janaki of film Atom Bomb. Some more are there not worth mentioning. Thanks for all for giving a chance to note something.Expect more from you. Ravi.C.V.Ambalapara, Ottapalam.

  16. Dear Sucy
    At the right time you presented the usual 5 songs of DR. P B Sreenivas. Thanks. P B Sreenivas was prolific singer who enriched Malayalam songs with so many bhavagaanangal. A song which makes an impression on you is a synthesis of the short but meaningful lyrics, music and the way the singer renders it. P B Sreenivaasan is an artist who delighted all of us with his bhavaam in all the songs he rendered.
    Inakkuyile Inakkuyile from the film Kaattutulasi, Maamalakalkkappurathu from the Film Ninamaninja Kaalpaadukal and Raatri from Ezhu Raatrikal you selected are three very good songs of P B Sreenivas. In the late eighties (Or early nineties) Doordarshan organized a programme anchored by P Bhaskaran. Famous singers like P Leela, K S George, P B Sreenivas, Santha P Nair and others sang their favourite songs. Maamalakalkkappurathu was the song selected by P B Sreenivas for the programme. I also remember P B Sreenivas presenting Inakkuyile Inakkuyile in a stage programme organized just a few days after the recording of the Doordarshan episode. Raatri Raatri, a classic composition from the film ezhu raatrikal was a totally different song written by Vayalar & composed by Salil Chowdhury without percussions and blessed with the rich voice of P B Sreenivas. The song in the film is split into three parts.
    P B Sreenivas sang the compositions of almost all Music Directors such as M S Baburaj, G Devarajan, V Dakshinamoorthy, K Raghavan, Brother Lakshman, M B Sreenivaasan, A T Ummer, K V Mahadevan, Salil Chowdhury etc. However, I feel that the major share of the best of P B Sreenivas was composed by M S Baburaj such as
    1. Maamalakalkkappurathu (Film Ninamaninja Kaalpaadukal Lyrics by P Bhaskaran) – The movie version of this song starts with an elongated humming by P B Sreenivas
    2. Oodi Pokum Kaatte (Film Porter Kunjaali Lyrics by Abhayadev)
    3. Inakkuyile (Film Kaattutulassi Lyrics by Vayalar)
    4. Veedayaal Vilakku Venam – duet with S Janaki (Film Chettathi Written By Vayalar)
    5. Avalude Kannukal – (Film Kaattu Mallika Lyrics by Sreekumaran Thampi)
    6. Geethe Hrudaya Saghi Geethe (Film Poochakanni Lyrics by Vayalar)
    7. Kakka Kondu Kalimannu Kondu (Film Poochakanni Lyrics by Vayalar)
    8. Kaaviyuduppumaai (Film Sandhya Lyrics by Vayalar)
    Devarajan composed a few many good songs for P B Sreenivaas and I prefer to highlight two excellent masterpieces
    1. Niranja Kannukalode (Film School Master Lyrics Vayalar)
    2. Kizhakku Kizhakkoraana (Film Thriveni Lyrics Vayalar)
    The song Swapnangal Swapnangal from the film Kaavyamela was composed in different raagaas by V Dakshinamoorthi in three versions of the song. The song, in different raagaas was sung by Yesudas, P B Sreenivas, P Leela, M B Sreenivas and V Dakshinamoorthi and all these artists appear in the scene. If you got a copy of the film you can see P B Sreenivas singing the song
    Some good compositions of K Raghavan and M B Sreenivaasan sung by P B Sreenivaas I can remember and feel worth to be presented here are
    Vaanile Mani deepam Mangi (Film Neelisaali Lyrics P Bhaskaran Music K Raghavan)
    Iniyoru Jananamundo (Film Rebecca Lyrics Vayalar Music K Raghavan)
    Baliyalla (Film Rebecca Lyrics Vayalar Music K Raghavan)
    Malakale Puzhakale (Film Kalayum Kaaminiyum Written by Tirunayanarkuruchi Madhavan Nair Music by M B Sreenivaasan) – You will be amused by the magical movement of the notes in the pallavi
    Ee Nalla Naattilellam (Film Vimochana Samaram Lyrics Vayalar Music M B Sreenivaasan) – A beautiful song of P B Sreenivaasan which went unnoticed

    Sajith

    1. I was feeling very bad that his passing was barely noticed by the Media in Kerala. Even when he was alive he hardly got any official recognition from Kerala for his talent, even though he gave us such a body of melodious hits. I feel that your reply should have been published in all the major newspapers.

      All the songs from Ezhu Raathrikal are exceptional. The song Makkathu Poy Varum by Latha Raju has no instrumental accompaniments either. I saw the movie again today and saw the three parts of the song Raathri…Raathri…

      That song from Kavyamela “Swapnangal” is historic in that it has many prominent musicians of the time appearing on screen. Here is the clip:

      There is another song that I would include in the list – Karalil Kanneer Mukil Niranjaalum…from Baalyakaalasakhi.

      Thank you for your detailed comments, Sajith.

  17. Thanks Susie for your fab 5 on PBS… I have always felt that PBS had the most most masculine voice in his time. What a clarity… I saw Ravi Menon having posted something written by PBS in Malayalam. It’s then I realized that he was a multilinguist. Amazing… I love the Geethe Hridhaya Sakhi Geethe from the movie Poochakanni… and so many of his Tamil songs….. Thanks again…🙂

    1. I haven’t heard many of his Tamil songs. Geethe…is a beautiful song, PBS brings out the pathos very effectively. He expresses emotions through his voice so well.

      Thanks for your comments. Viju.

      1. Susie
        Hope you saw the reply of Mr Ravi. He rightly mention the song Kaalangalil Aval Vasantham… Kalaikalile Aval Ooviyam composed by Viswanathan -Ramamoorthi team from the film Paavamannippu.This classic is blessed with meaningful lyrics, simple but everlasting music plus interesting BGM and the lively voice of P B Sreenivas.

        Sajith

        1. Sajith

          Yes, I did see Ravi’s valuable comments, and I have thanked him for them. Having not much knowledge about Tamil songs, I could not give a meaningful response.

          Thanks for pointing it out again, I will try to find and listen to it on you tube. No matter what language PBS sang in, he did exceptionally well.

          Regards

          Susie

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