P Susheela: Unforgettable Melody, Mana Susheela Singing?: Who was the first singer to receive the award for the best singer at the national level? Who will be the best female singer in Nandi Awards for the first time? The answer to these two questions is Ganakokila P.Susheela. This Gaakokila, who opened his eyes to Telugu soil, played Kuvakuvala raga for the first time in Vizianagaram. We have got an unforgettable melody in the cinema. Besides her mother tongue Telugu, Sushilamma has spread her songs in Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Sanskrit, Sinhalese, Tulu, and Badaga languages. Sushilamma, who has sung fifty thousand Paichiluku songs, of which seventeen thousand six hundred and ninety-five solo songs, has got a place in the ‘Guinness Book of World Records. Susheela has won the best singer at the national level five times.
Pulapaka Sushila was born on November 13, 1935 in Vizianagaram. Being born in a family of music lovers, Sushila mastered classical music at an early age. Sushila did a diploma course in music at the Maharaja Sangeet College in Vizianagaram when Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu was the Principal. Susheela sang first on All India Radio. As Madras was the capital of our Telugu people at that time, Sushila reached there and demonstrated her singing prowess. Our Telugu music director Pendyala Nageswara Rao first noticed the sweetness of her voice. Pendyala first sang a song with Sushila in the Tamil film ‘Petrathai’, for which he is composing the music. The film was remade in Telugu with the title ‘Kannathalli’. The Tamil movies were released first. In the beginning, music directors Saluru Rajeswara Rao and Pendyala Nageswara Rao encouraged her a lot. In the movie ‘Missamma’, the lead singer Savitri was given background music by old Meti singer P.Leela, while P. Susheela sang playback for Jamunu who played the supporting role. The devotional songs in ‘Chenchulakshmi’ composed by Rajeswara Rao earned P. Sushila a good name. Among them, Prahlad’s character Babji sang “Palakadali Pai Seshatalpamuna Pavalincheva Deva…”, “Narayana Hari Narayana…Srimannarayana…Lakshminarayana…”, “Srinathuni Pada Sarasija Bhajane…” songs got special attention. It is remarkable that these songs continue to entertain devotees even today. After that, the devotional songs sung by P. Sushila in many films are entertaining the newcomers. Many devotional songs, romantic songs, funny songs, and riotous songs in her voice impressed the people. Running with the times, Sushilamma also sang item songs in the following days.
Although Sushilamma was born in Telugu drama, she first got acquainted with Tamil film. In 1969, the film that made her the best singer at the national level was also a Tamil film. Sushila became the first national best singer for the song “Nalai Inda Vellai Parthu.. Pal Polave…” sung by Vanishree in the movie ‘Uyarnada Manidan’. In 1971, Sushila won the National Award for Best Female Singer for the song “Chittuk Kuruvikkenna…” in the Tamil film ‘Sawale Samali’. In 1978, Sushila won her third National Award for the song “Jhummandi Naadam…” in the Telugu film ‘Sirisirimuvva’, and in 1982, she won the National Best Singer again with the song “Aukulo Akunai…” in ‘Meghasandesham’. In 1983, ‘M.L.A. He received the fifth national award for the song “Entha Beedawade…” in the movie Edukondalu.
Telugu Nata won the Andhra Pradesh Government ‘Uttama Gayani’ award when it was introduced. In 1977, Sushila received her first Nandi with the song “Ae Talli Ninu Kannada…” in ‘Danaveerashurakarna’. Sushila has won seven Nandi awards. She also received government awards in Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam. In 1991, the Tamil Nadu government honored her with the ‘Kalaimamani’ award, and in 2004, the Andhra Pradesh government conferred the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award. In the same year the Government of Karnataka honored Sushila as ‘Ganasaraswati’. Awarded ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 2008. Let’s hope this Kokilamma sees many more springs and wins many more awards.