Ghantasala was a great musician and singer in Telugu who has rendered songs in Tamil too! For instance, in ‘Devadas’, an A.N.R. starrer, he had rendered soul-stirring numbers in Telugu as well as in Tamil. Even in another Tamil film titled ‘Anbu Sahodarargal’, he has sung some songs in which S.V.Ranga Rao played the eldest brother!
Ghantasala was a film composer and playback singer known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema, and a few Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Tulu and Hindi language films. In 1970, he received the Padma Sri award, India's fourth highest civilian award for his contribution to Indian Cinema. Ghantasala was such a divine talent and with his songs he could move the hearts of the people, it is said! Ghantasala's blending of classical improvisations to the art of light music combined with his virtuosity and sensitivity puts him a class apart, above all others in the field of playback singing!
Film Historian V.A.K.Ranga Rao hailed the voice of Ghatasala as the most majestic voice! Ghantasala helped Telugu film music develop its own distinct character which remains unparalleled". He is referred to as the "Gaana Gandharva" for his mesmerizing voice and musical skills.
The Government music college in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, is named after Ghantasala. Ghantasala Sangeetha Kalasala college in Hyderabad and Vizag offers six-month and one-year diploma courses on Ghantasala's light music, songs and music.
The 95th anniversary of the legendary musician, Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao was celebrated on a grand scale at Chennai recently by way of a musical performance during which occasion his daughter in law, Parvathi who had conceptualized and presented a musical in the form of a ballet!
It is worth mentioning that Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala is the founder of Kala Pradarshini, Centre for Performing Arts1
Having had the opportunity to listen to his magical music through his mesmerizing voice, she took the initiative to translate that music into movement. As the next move she had chosen some of his best songs which were her favorites and had choreographed them into ballets carrying the nomenclature, ‘ Gana Gandharva Ghantasala and Samarpanam!’
These ballets presented in classical Bharathanatyam style have been applauded by art and music lovers alike, across myriad locations!
As a part of the ongoing 95th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Gantasala, Parvathi has presented a new production called Ghatasala 95, a mammoth effort in presenting the confluence of the historic melodies of the great musician and singer! Interestingly, 95 dancers showcased their talents performing to some beautiful compositions!
Besides being a musician par excellence, it is well known that Ghantasala was also a philanthropist and hence, 95 saplings were distributed as a part of the objective of making Chennai green!
In additional to being an exceptional musician, Ghantasala never ever missed an opportunity to honor the deserving people from the music fraternity and as a part of fulfilling that endeavor, Kalapradarshini Ghantasala Puraskar award was given to three stalwarts-S.P.Balasubramaniyam, Padma Subramaniam and Nalli Kuppusami, all of whom having carved a niche for themselves in their respective fields!
Students who learn dance from yesteryear as well as the current year were also honored on the occasion!
The event was more significant by the presence of Malladi Krishna Rao, Minister for Arts and Culture, Puducherry, Gune Mahesan, Vice-Chancellor, University and Institute of Advanced Research, Gujarat and of course, Ravi Ghantasala, Ghantasala’s son!