Hariharan: SPB sir had a mind like a computer

Updated: 26 September, 2020 07:28 IST | Sonia Lulla | Mumbai

As a singer, he dominated the South Indian film industry for years. He also had a great stint in Bollywood and often dabbled in spiritual [songs] too.

Hariharan with SP Balasubhramanyam
Hariharan with SP Balasubhramanyam

As a young singer, I had been called to Mehboob Studios by Laxmikant ji [of Laxmikant-Pyarelal] where SPB sir was dubbing a song. I had never met him, but he turned to me and smiled with a sense of familiarity. I was happy, but surprised as well. He asked me, 'Are you the boy who sang at a youth channel in Madras for 45 minutes?' I said yes. He praised me, expressed his love and told Laxmikant ji that he must give me a lot of [songs].

As a person, he was humble, lovable, and caring. As a singer, he dominated the South Indian film industry for years. He also had a great stint in Bollywood and often dabbled in spiritual [songs] too. Tirupati channel features six-hours worth of music [rendered] by him.

We travelled the world while performing in AR Rahman's shows. He would always tell me to be friendly with colleagues and fans. SPB sir had a mind like a computer, and could easily remember tunes. I recall, during a rehearsal, I kept forgetting the tune of a [earlier] song of mine. He would remind me my lines. He was nice to everyone, and that's why he had such a long-running [career].

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First Published: 26 September, 2020 06:26 IST

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