Re: your mail

Sreenivas Paruchuri (
Mon, 21 Apr 1997 09:43:58 +0200 (MDT)

> program that he was watching which summarized the five greatest hits of
> each decade, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s of some of the old classic
> Hindi playback singers which gave me an idea.  Of all of G's great hits,
> which five of each decade does anybody think is especially popular, or a
> truly great set of hits.  Off the top of my head I can name a few, Lahiri
> Lahiri of 1950s, I'm sure there are almost a 100 such for the 1960s, but

Thats an interesting topic, Sridhar. Yes, such recordings exists in Hindi,
classifying all-time hits of 30s, 40s, ..... and 80s. This compilation was
visualised in 1986 on the eve of Golden Jubillee of play-back singing in
India. There it was assumed that the film: achyut kanya (1936, Bombay
Talkies, *ing: Ashok Kumar and Devika Rani, Music by Sarsawati) was the first
to have introduced play-back technique.

[This is controversial though! The Calcutta based New Theatres pioneered this
techinque much before and used in their films, but the play-back singers
weren't acknowledged.]

As far as first play-back in Telugu is concerned, I posted a long message a
while ago on net. To sumarize; its M.S. ramarao (of sundarakaanDa fame!) who
got the credit, also on records, in vaahini's _dEvata_ (1941) and
bezawaaDa raajaratnam for her songs in _bhakta pOtana_ (1942). But theres a
(play-back) song even before that; of Master saabu (singing for Master
Viswam) in Vaahini's _vandEmaataram_ (1939).

Now coming back to the hits of each decade, there were plans to do a similar
compilation in Telugu too, by V.A.K.Rangarao, but that couldn't be realised
due to financial reasons. In first line HMV wasn't very keen. Also no
sponsors could be found.

HMV won't bring out any old songs on its own. You have to do some kind of
compilation job and approach them hoping that they would accept (after all
they have the copyrights!). And thats not the end of it! Then you have to
pump in some money for the production of the tape(s). You don't get
financially anything in return, only HMV does. So disgusting!

Whatever gems came out in early/mid-80s; malleeSwari, vipra naaraayaNa,
missamma, alanaaTi andaalu (series of 4 tapes), 
manamE nandana vanamE & rati chEti raachiluka ( a compilation of songs from
Gutta Raminidu's films, set of 2 tapes), etc. were sponsored by Chandamama

In early 90s HMV released a series of film song tracks. But these are so badly
done that some songs from a film were missing and even from the given ones
part of the song was edited. Its no where mentioned on the tape! Only when
you hear to the song, you wonder 'where is the middle/last stanza'? The basic
problem is there are no knowledgable people in HMV bureaus who pay attention
to such things.

Since you talked only about G's hits, lets concentrate on this topic.
30s are ruled out. Even 40s can be skipped, as he recorded very few songs 
(~30 songs) in that decade. Now you have to pick only songs from 50s and 60s
(and 70-74). I personally would try to bring out such numbers which are
'difficult to get', instead of presenting the same and known popular songs
from: maya bazar, gundamma katha etc.

Seems a couple of interesting G's song compilations came in to market in the
past one year. Sridhar mentioned about vesres/poems from NTR starrers (mostly
sung by G). Earlier songs from two 2-cassette volumes; both from NTR
starrers were listed and reviewd here. I hear about two more tapes these 
days. Will furnish the details in my next message. So, theres some movement
these days (?).

Till then,