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Thread: Artist of the Month: P. Susheela (Thiru)

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    Artist of the Month: P. Susheela (Thiru)

    Artist of the Month: P. Susheela

    By Thiru

    (Note: This is not meant to be a comphrehensive biography, but just a glimpse at the artistic brilliance. And also an effort to recollect some of their best music... Your inputs welcome, Thanks!)

    It is truly fitting that we start this sequence of Artist of the Month with melody Queen ‘P. Susheela’ on the eve of her 70th birthday. Arguably the best female singer the South Indian film industry has ever produced, Susheela was the voice of the south for almost 3 decades and still continues her service to the Music Industry.

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    Susheela was born on November 13th 1935 in Vijayanagaram, AP. Having hailed from a musical family, Susheela learnt Carnatic music from a young age. She went to Maharaja Music College in Vijayanagaram and did her diploma. Her magical voice and perfect rendition got her accolades during her pre-film years. She had participated in various musical competitions at a young age. It was early in 1950 that her talent was noticed and she made her entry into the movie industry. She later joined the Sangeetha academy in Chennai under the guidance of Subramanya iyer and completed her graduation in music.

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    The year was 1950 and music director Pendala Nageswara Rao was looking for new talent and approached the AIR to refer good singers from their programmes. Susheela was one among those singers referred and she was selected soon enough. In 1952, the movie Kanna Thalli (Telugu) was being remade in Tamil as ‘Petra Thaai’, and that rendered TFM, the ‘Thaai’ of Tamil film music. Susheela’s first song was a duet with A.M. Raja ‘Edhukku Azhaithaai’. At a time when there was an abundance of singers established well like P. Leela, Jikki, Jamunarani, Bhanumathi etc, Susheela burst into the scene and outshone the rest of the group. She almost ruled the industry the next 3 decades with 60’s and 70’s as her best. The combination of TMS (T.M. Soundarrajan) and P.Susheela was probably the best in TFM industry and it started out back in 1952 in the move Chellapillai. The rest is History…

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    She shot to fame with performances in movies like ‘kanavane kan kanda dheivam’ , ‘missiamma’ and ‘kalyana parisu’ and there was a period in Tamil film industry when it was rare to see a movie without Susheela singing. She has given numerous melodies under famous Music Directors like K.V. Mahadevan, Vishwanathan-Ramamurthy, Illayaraja, and most recently A.R. Rahman. That her name is well known and is remembered with feelings of joy for more than 50 years now goes to her credit. She continues to rule supreme in the hearts of her fans through the thousands of numbers she has rendered in a very long and enviable career.



    Links to P. Susheela’s Songs: Psusheela.Org, MIO, Smashits 1, Smashits 2, Raaga

    Credits: PSusheela.Org and some net sources.

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    What a great choice of the artist to start the series!!
    No words can aptly describe the sweetness of the voice, the perfect pronunciation of thamizh, and the bhaavam with which PS renders the songs. Inspite of being such a talented singer, her humble personality makes us adore her even more
    Short and sweet write up, Thiru

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    Senior Member Veteran Hubber rajeshkrv's Avatar
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    A brilliant Start with the melody queen's article

    Keep it up

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    Senior Member Devoted Hubber gragavan's Avatar
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    It is always pleasure to speak about and liten P.Susheela. Good show Thiru.

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    It is a great honor to PS saying that she is "thaai" of TFM.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

    Of course, a few lines mentioned about her association with the great legend Kannadasan. He mentioned in one of his write-up that the places of Himself, MGR, Sivaji, MSV, KVM, TMS and PS will not be filled again by anybody. It will be always their's. The speciality here is KD mentioned only one lady's name. That is P.Suseela's.

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    Good narration Thiru. Best wishes for this new thread. Let this bring out the glory of many forgotten artists.

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    Thanks a lot..

    Very good work...
    Behalf os all PS fans, we are thanking U for Choosing her as a artist of this month.
    The fans group & website are grown because of TFM forum. we could meet lots of likeminded people in tfmpage. we are fans of PS as well as tfmpage..

    One request:
    In the tfm picture gallery, can U add some of her photoes?


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    Dear Thiru

    Thank you very much for honouring PS the legend…Known for modesty for all the achievements …a niraikudam… a complete singer ….displayed variety …well known for matching her tone to meet with the actress… Sarojadevi, Savithri, Devika, Vanishree, Sridevi, K.R.Vijaya, Barathi, Sowcar Janaki, Padmini, jamuna, Jayasudha , JJ , Latha, Manjula ….she had a unique voice modulation and one can identify the actress just through her style of singing ! and that was her greatness…

    An uncrowned queen of the yesteryears…. Stood the test of times….a true great

    To identify the best song of PS is like searching for pearl in an ocean !

    When it comes to variety :

    1.Yenna yenna vaarthaigalo , Kannan ennum mannan perai – a western type melody
    2.Ammamaa kaatru vandhu – full of gamakam and sangadhi
    3.Nenjathilay nee netru vandhaai , anubavam pudhumai , thoodhu solla oru thozi – Mild melody
    4.Aalayamaniyin osaiyai naan ketten , Velli kizamai vidiyum velai – Divine
    5.Saravana poigayil neeraadee , nalamthaana – glorious
    6.Maraindhirundhu paarkum – Gambeeramaana oru kural - An classical display of Shamugapriya …
    7.Mannavan vandhaanadee , yen uyir thozee kel oru seidhi – Rajagambeeram…demonstrated her carnatic base through swarajathi
    8.Naan nandri solven yen kangalukku, Kaatru vandhaal thalai saayum naanal – for rhythm
    9.Unnai ondru ketpen, Paartha nyabagam illayo – a party special…
    10.Love birds – refreshing beauty
    11.Maalai pozudhin mayakathilay – a classic competition between the golden voice of PS and Veena
    12.Oru naal yaaro yenna paadal solli thandhaaro , netrayapozudhu unnodu indraya pozudhu kayyodu – Melody queen
    13.Oruthi oruvanai ninaithuvitaal , naalaindha velai paarthu poi vaa nilaa , kaatru veliyidai kannamaa – An evergreen number
    14.Kannan oru kai kuzandhai , Chella pillai saravanan , Sindhiya venmani sippiyil , – another divine melody for IR
    15.Thanga padhakathin melay , Aadaludan paadalai kettu – Oru thullal
    16.Kunguma pottin mangalam , ulagamengum oray mozi , Thamizukkum amudhendru per , Kangal ingay nenjamum ingay – classic
    17.Kayyodu kai serkum kaalangalay and oru naal iravu pagal pol nilavu – Superb
    18.Kaathirundha kangalay , Thedinen vandhadhu – refreshingly youthful
    19.Vaaraadhirupaalo vannamalar kanniaval – a mild classic
    20.Kadhal siragai kaatrinil viduthu – No words to describe the beauty of this number
    21.Yaarukku maapillai yaaro – Another thullum inimai and ilamai !
    22.Aayiram iravugal varuvadhundu – splendid
    23.Kodiasaindhadhum kaatru vandhadhaa – Any second thoughts to this great number ?
    24.Ponazagu penmai sindhum punnagaienna , malara edhu un kangal thaan endru solvenadee , unnai kaanadha kannum kann alla – a pleasant surprise
    25.Deebangal yetrum idhu kaarthigai maadham , yen nenjathottu sollu yen raasa – the old voice still intact !

    The list goes on and on endless……

    PS is God’s precious gift to South Indian film music …

    PS’s name should appear gold plated in the history of South Indian film music

    Thank you Thiru once again….

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  11. #9
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    p suseela

    Hi Balaji,

    I agree with all the songs you have mentioned but would like to add some more PS specials.

    Un azhagai kanniyargal kandathinale, en vaazhvil puthu pathai kanden, ore raagam ore taalam ore paadal paaduthamma, athan en athan for their lilt and sweetness

    ninaikka therinda maname, sonnathu neethana, enna ninaithu ennnai azhaithayo, varuven naan unathu maaligayin vaasulukke, Ithayavaanin uthaya nilave enge pogirai - for their soulful yearnings

    Vannakkili sona mozhi enna mozhiyo, pesuvathu kiliya, parakkum panthu parakkum, yaarathu yaarathu thangamam - cheefulness and naughtiness combined to a nicety

    PS is a legend, simply put, easily on par with Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle.

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