The melody queen of South India film music S.Janaki turns 72 today. The long lasting cheerful Janaki Amma is one of the most enthralling voices of film music which can reach high octaves with consummate ease. She has apprecitions from all spheres. Lyricist Vairamuthu believes that Telugu-born S. Janaki is one of the few singers who can bring out the best in his Tamil verse. What a compliment!
Janaki Amma born on April 23, 1938, at Palapatla, in Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, Janaki, began her career as a singer when she was 19, sang in 17 languages and has won many national and state awards.
S. Janaki’s first break in Tamil came with the song “Singara Velene” from `Konjum Salangai’. From then on the queen ruled the music waves for over 50 years. Just like P. Susheela made a perfect companion for TMS, S. Janaki was a perfect companion to SPB. The 80s film duets music was virtually ruled buy the duo. The variety these two showed us is unmatched.
Another unique capability of Janaki is the range of voices she can deliver. S. Janaki can sing in any voice be it that of a child, an adolescent or an old lady. Her song as a little child “Daddy Daddy Oh My Daddy” in ‘Mounageetangal’ was a striker then. Her “Nila Kayuthu Neram Nalla Neram” from ‘Sakalakala Vallavan’ is the best seductive song ever in Tamil cinema. Changing trends and culture did not diminish her stature. Listen to “Indha Mantathil Odi Varu” from ‘Policekaran Magal’ or “Thene Thenpandi Meene” from ‘Udhaya Geetham’. S. Janaki’s mellifluous voice influences you for ever.
Even with the younger music directors S. Janaki has lived up to the expectations. The Vidyasagar masterpiece “Malare Mounama” from ‘Karna’ or AR Rahman’s unforgettable “Nenjinilae Nenjinilae” from ‘Uyire’ Janaki Amma remains as alluring as ever.
She may have reduced her activity now but she has not faded out and will never go.