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Ghantasala Venkateswararao Biography

Ghantasala Venkateswararao Biography


Ghantasala Venkateswararao (4 December 1922 – 11 February 1974) was an Indian film composer, Playback Singer known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema and Kannada cinema and also in Tamil, Malayalam, Tulu and Hindi language films. In 1970, he received the Padma Shri award, India's fourth highest civilian award for his contribution to Indian cinema. He is referred to as the "Gaana Gandharva" for his mesmerising voice and musical skills. Ghantasala performed in the United States, England and Germany, and for the United Nations Organisation.
Early life
Ghantasala was born in 1922 into a Telugu speaking Brahmin family of Soorayya Ghantasala, a professional singer in Chowtapalli, a village in Gudivada taluk of Krishna District.During his childhood, Ghantasala used to dance to his father's Tarangams. His father died when Ghantasala was a child, and he was brought up by his maternal uncle. He took formal music training from Patrayani Sitarama Sastry, and joined Maharajah's Government College of Music and Dance in Vijayanagram.
Career
Ghantasala participated in the Quit India Movement of 1942, for which he was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months at the Alipore (Allipura) Jail, Bellary. Ghantasala married Savitri, who lived in a village called Pedapulivarru. In that village, Ghantasala met lyricist Samudrala Raghavacharya, who was impressed with his voice and inducted him into the Madras film industry. Before Ghantasala found fame, he was already an accomplished Carnatic music singer.
Ghantasala's first break as a singer came from All India Radio. Later on, Peketi Siva Ram from HMV studios recorded Ghantasala's private songs. Ghantasala debuted as a chorus singer and for a character role in Seeta Rama Jananam by Pratibha Films. After this, he worked with well-known music directors Gali Penchala and C. R. Subbaraman. Ghantasala's first film as a music director was Laxmamma.
Producer Krishnaveni gave Ghantasala his first job as full-time music director for her film Mana Desam, which was N. T. Rama Rao's first film. It established Ghantasala as a music composer-cum-playback singer. He was the most prolific film composer and playback singer in Telugu cinema until the mid-1970s. He composed music for many popular Telugu movies, including Patala Bhairavi, Mayabazaar, Lava Kusa, Pandava Vanavasam, Rahasyam, Gundamma Katha, Paramanandayya Shishyula Katha and Pelli Chesi Chudu, and also for popular Tamil and Kannada films in the 1950s and 1960s. The song "Siva Sankari" from the film Jagadeka Veeruni Katha (1961) believed to be one of the most challenging songs from classical hindusthani and carnatic style was sung by Ghantasala in a single take.
Private recordings and Bhagavad Gita
Ghantasala served as the Aaasthana Gaayaka (court musician) for the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. He recorded private albums, including Bhagawad Gita, Patriotic Songs, Padyalu—a unique genre of Telugu, singing the verses in dramatic style—Pushpa Vilapam, Devotional and folk songs. His recording of "Bhagawad Gita", which he directed and sang, can now be heard daily in the Tirumala temple.


Personal life
Ghantasala Venkateswararao was married to Savitri and ( Late ) Saraladevi. He was blessed with 8 children : 4 Daughters ( Shyamala, Suguna, Shanthi, Meera ) and 4 Sons ( Vijaya Kumar, Ratna Kumar, Ravi Kumar, Sankar Kumar ).
It is said that Ghantasala named his eldest son “Vijaya” Kumar after Vijaya Productions out of gratitude towards the organization being employed as a permanent artist. Sri Chakrapani, one of then producers of Vijaya Productions, presented Ghantasala a purse with Rs. 25,000 realizing such faith towards the organization.
Death
Ghantasala died on 11 February 1974, two months after his 51st birthday, due to cardiac arrest at a hospital in Chennai. The last song he recorded was for a documentary – Bhadrachala Ramadasu Vaibhavam ( music by Master Venu ) from the hospital bed the day before his death.
Legacy
The Indian government released a postage stamp and first day cover to celebrate Ghantasala's work on 11 February 2003. He is the first movie singer-composer of the south to be accorded this honour.The US Postal Department has released a postal stamp on Ghantasala on 6 October 2014. The postal stamp was jointly released by the North American Telugu Society (NATS) in collaboration with Telugu Literary and Cultural Association (TLCA) in New York.Various awards named after Ghantasala are given every year, including the "Ghantasala melody king award". Recipients of this award include playback singers K J Yesudas and P Suseela, and Indian Idol Sri Ramachandra.Ghantasala Arts Academy has instituted the "Ghantasala National Award"; the first winner was playback singer S. P. Balasubrahmanyam.
Awards
Ghantasala was honoured with the "Padmashri" by the Government of India.He won the best playback singer award in Andhra Pradesh every year for nearly 30 years, a feat unachieved by any other playback singer.After the saint poet Annamacharya in the 15th century, Ghantasala has been the only singer to perform devotional songs inside the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple near the Lord Moola Virat.
popular movies
Playback singer and music director
shavukaaru,Patalabhairavi,mayabajaar,Gundamma katha,Lavakusha,rahasyam,Gudigantalu
As a background singer
devadasu,Kanyasulkam,Dongaramudu,thodikodallu,Dr. Chakravarti, iddaru mithrulu, appuchesi pappu koodu, jagadekaveeruni katha, mooga manasu,manchi manasu,Bhakta Jayadeva, Mahakavi Kalidasu, Bhakta Tukaram, Panduranga Mahathyam, aaradhana, Atmabalam, Premanagar, bangaaru baabu
Private albums
Kuntivilapam,pushpa vilapam,Patriotic songs/desabhakthi geethalu,Gita(Bhagavath gita),Devotional songs


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