Veteran playback singer, the famous P.B Sreenivas passed away on Sunday at his residence in Chennai, Tamil Nadu after a brief illness. He was 82.
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 Rajkumar 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 M. G. Ramachandran and 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 Veettuppenof 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.