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Home > Trend Setters > S Janaki

 

  • Life & Times
  • Personality
  • Singing Career
  • Famous Songs
  • Awards
  • Contact

 

CouchJanaki was born on April 23, 1938 in Palapatla, Repalle Taluk, in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh. She was a child prodigy who took to singing at a tender age of three, kindled by music programs on radio. She was taught her early music lessons by Sree Paidiswamy at Rajamundhry, until she was ten.

Her father-in-law, a music artiste, who was nicknamed “fun doctor” Chandrasekharam, recognized her penchant for music and nurtured it. She learned to modulate her voice on a wide range from a three year-old to an eighty year old! She acquired a second prize from the former President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad in 1956, at a competition held by All India Radio. Mr. Chandrasekharam later took her to Chennai and introduced her to AVM Studios in 1957. Singer P. Suseela's contract with AVM was over and the company was looking for a new voice. At the audition test at AVM, music directors R. Sundarsanam and Govardhanam heard the young singer from Andhra Pradesh sing Lata Mangeshkar's "Rasik Balma," and was impressed. Janaki started her career as a staff singer at AVM, and got instantaneous appreciation for her charismatic voice.

Her voice is so captivating that during one of her performances, people gathered to watch a nearby film shooting joined her program. This got her the first break as a playback singer after which, she never looked back. Through the first year of her career she sang almost 100 songs in six languages, without much effort, which was a record in those days. Thereafter she kept on climbing up her career ladder.

 

Janaki is married to Sri. V. Rama Prasad. Her son Mr. V. Murali Krishna, who has an audio business of his own, has acted in a couple of movies, one being Sruthilayalu. He is now acting in some T.V. serials. Her father-in-law is the famous mono actor, Fun Dr. V. Chandrasekharam. Her daughter-in-law, Uma Murali Krishna, is a classical dancer, adept at both Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi and is a recipient of the title "Yuva Kala Bharathi." Janaki is blessed with two lovely granddaughters, Amruthavarshini and Apsara.

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S. Janaki, the gifted singer is no doubt, the undisputed melody queen of the South. For years, we have been listening to her sweet voice convey the beauty of the birds and the flowers. Her magical and stimulating voice airs our joys and sorrows, dreams and aspirations. She sways the hearts of music lovers - soothing and stirring them or bringing tears to their eyes, with her mellifluous voice.

Janaki is not only a musician but also a magician. She does wonders with her voice and changes her tone to match each and every stage of human life. Her range of singing is very wide while it encompasses the songs that are worshipful, mellisonant, off-colored, rebellious and imitative. She walks mutely and pleasingly into the hearts of audience with her soulful and stirring voice. Janaki has a sweet voice that can reach high pitches with consummate ease.

Janaki has been lilting the south Indian film music lovers with her uninterrupted singing for several decades. At sixty plus, and after 15,000 songs in various Indian languages including over a hundred in Hindi, the evergreen singer is uncontaminated by age, going strong and still sweet as honey. She is a strong believer in self-learning, and has come up with sheer hard work and commitment to music.

A devotee of Lord Krishna and Shirdi Sai Baba, she spends a lot of time praying. “Do you know how I perform?” she asks. “The truth is that I don't sing at all. It is Krishna, the dweller of my heart, who sings,” says Janaki. Apart from singing, she also likes to draw pictures, sew and paint a little bit.

 

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Janaki, apart from being a prolific singer, is also a good lyricist and a very good music composer. Seeing her caliber, producer Ramoji Rao chose her as music director for his Telugu film Mouna Poraatam, in the year 1988. She is the third lady music director in Telugu Cinema field, after Bhanumati and P. Leela. She has also written lyrics for a number of songs in Tamil and Telugu. Janaki sang a sensational Tamil song for a small girl of 3 or 4 years old in a child's voice that paved the way for a variety of “child songs” in different languages in her voice. Her voice did wonders when she sang for a sixteen-year-old boy, a grown up lady, a very old woman, and some rustic songs. Her magical voice represents that of a baby, an adolescent, and even of a man's. She let her voice strolled to get consorted with great instrumentalists like

Bismillah Khan (on Shehnai for a Kannada film),
M.S. Gopalakrishnan (on Violin for a Kannada film),
Karaikuruchi Arunachalam (on Nadaswaram for a Tamil film),
Naamagiri Pettai Krishnan (on Nadaswaram for a Malayalam film) and
Hari Prasad Chaurasia (on Flute for Malayalam & Telugu films).

She moulds her voice according to the artiste for whom she renders a song. Sometimes she even adds certain breathtaking special effects into her songs. In the Malayalam song “Nadha Nee Varum…,” for the film Chamaram, she included a soft laughter that leaves the listener with goosebumps. She laughs melodiously for the Telugu song “Sirimalle Puvvalle Navvu…” in the film Jyothi, which was released in 1976 under the music direction of Chakravarthi. She brought out a typical child's voice for the Telugu songs “Gunnamaamidi Komma Meeda…” in the film Baalamithrula Katha, in 1973, and “Govullu Thellana Gopayya Nallana…” in the film Saptapadi, in 1981. Her Malayalam song, “Kokkaamandi Konanirachi…,” with the voice of a baby girl, left listeners awestruck. She even imitated a drunkard's voice in the song “Paapa Peru Malli… Ooru Kotta Dhilli…” in the film Mouna Geetham.

According to Janaki, her voice is God's gift. She neither practices nor does anything to maintain or improve her voice. She believes that God maintains it for her. All she does is avoid ice cream and cold drinks. She just goes to the recording room or the stage and sings, leaving everything to God. Janaki normally gets not much of a notice before she has to sing at a recording. The music directors usually call her up on the phone and ask her to go for recording of the song the next day.

Compared to singing at a studio recording, Janaki likes to perform live on stage. She opines that the enjoyment of the audience is what makes any singer happy. She thanks God for whatever she is and whatever she has been able to do. Janaki says that she will keep singing as long as her fans want her to. She thanks all her fans for supporting her.

Janaki’s favorite singers are Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, and Asha Bhonsle. One of Janaki’s most memorable moments was her meeting with Lata Mangeshkar in Hyderabad at a function to honor Ghantasala. They met each other on the stage, and spontaneously hugged each other. Janaki recalls that as a very memorable event in her life.

Janaki has also released quite a few albums of her songs on various subjects, including one with love songs. She has also brought out an album with patriotic songs, in which her son has sung the title song with her.

Thousands of songs that Janaki has rendered as a playback singer have left a lasting impression in the hearts of her fans, with hardly anyone who could match her pitch and talent.

 

 

 

 

 

The Telugu songs

Nee Aasaa Adiasaa Lambodolla Ramadasa…
Nenoka Poola Mokka Kada Nilichi…
Nee Leela Paadedha deva…” (Muripinche Muvvalu)
Pagale Vennela…” and
Ye Divilo Virisina Parijathamo…

are still as captivating as they were when they first came out.

She gave her voice to dance numbers like "Naravaraa O Kuruvaraa" (NartanaSaala, 1963 – Susarla Dakshinamurthy),
"O VannekaaDaa Ninnu ChooDa" (PaanDava Vanavaasamu, 1965 - Ghantasala),
"NaruDa O NaruDa Emi KOrika" (award winner) (Bhairava Dweepam, 1994 – Madhavapeddi Suresh),
"AaDadaani Ora ChoopulO" (Aaradhana, 1962 – S. Rajeswara Rao),
"MuttemanTi Chinadaanni MogalirEkupoovu Danni" (AakaSaraamanna, 1965 – Rajan-Nagendra)
are some of the popular ones.

She sang for five generations of heroines:
Jamuna   – PagalE Vennela JagamE Ooyala (Poojaaphalam, 1964 – S.Rajeswara Rao),
Janaki   – OhO OhO Paavuramaa,
Vanisree – PagalaitE DoravEraa Raatiri Naa Raajuvura (Bangaaru Panjaram, 1968 – S. Rajeswara Rao),
Vijayashanthi – Bujji PiTTa Bulli PiTTa GooTilOni GuvvapiTTa (ChinaraayuDu, 1992 – Ilayaraja),
Amala    – Sarasaalu Chaalu Sreevaaru VELa Kaadu (Shiva, 1990 – Ilayaraja),
Rambha   – NaruDa O NaruDa Emi KOrika (Bhairava Dweepam, 1994 – Madhavapeddi Suresh).

She always sang so very naturally that one feels that the heroine is singing the song herself. She excelled in all type of combinations:
with Ghanatasala – NaDi REyi E JaamulO (Rangula RaaTnam, 1967 – S. Rajeswara Rao–Gopalam),
with Balamurali Krishna - Vasanta Gaaliki Valapulu REga (KarNa - Pendyala Nageswara Rao),
with Susheela – SarilEru Neekevvaru Narapaala Sudhaakara (KanchukOTa, 1967 – K.V. Mahadevan)
are only some of the many examples.

In Malayalam, among her evergreen songs are

Thaliritta Kinaakkal…
Sooryakanti…
Sandhye Kannerithenthe…
Mathalappoo Poloru…” and
Anjana Kannezhuthi…

 

Recycle BagMajor Awards

     

  • 1. In 1956, second prize in competitions held by AIR (All India Radio) from the former Indian President Dr. Rajendra Prasad.
  • 2. In 1986, Kalai Mamani by Government of Tamil Nadu
  • 3. In 1987, Sur singar award
  • 4. In 2002 , Cinema 'Achiever Award' by the government of Kerala
  • 5. In 2005, Special Jury Swaralaya Yesudas Award for outstanding performance in music.
  • 6. National Film Awards Five times for the best Playback singer by Government of India
  • 7. State Film awards fourteen times for the best Playback singer by Government of Kerala
  • 8. State Film awards seven times for the best Playback singer by Government of Tamil Nadu
  • 9. State Film awards ten times for the best Playback singer by Government of Andra Pradesh
  • 10. State Film awards four times for the best Playback singer by Government of Karnataka
  • 11. 2009, Honorary doctarate by Mysore university for her tremendous contribution to Kannada Film songs background singing.

 

National Awards

     

  • 1. 1976, Film Name: 16 vayadhinile, Language: Tamil, First line of the song: "Senthoora Poove"
  • 2. 1980,Film Name: "Manjil Virinja Pookkal",Language: Malayalam, First line of the song: "Manjani kombil"
  • 3. 1981, Film Name: Oppol, Language: Malayalam , First line of the song: "Ettumanoorambalathil"
  • 4. 1984, Film Name: Sithara, Language: Telugu , First line of the song: "Vennello godari andham"
  • 5. 1992, Film Name: devar Magan, Language: Tamil, First line of song: "Inji Idippazagha"

 

Recycle Bag

Contact Address

S. Janaki
96, 4th St.
Abiramapuram
Chennai-18
Ph: 044-4997785 

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