Bata & ChimataMusic “Sathyam Live Music కన్సుర్ట్

Bata & ChimataMusic “Sathyam Live Music ConcertSathyam’s Swaranjali in Silicon Valley

– Ramana Idury, Sunnyvale


A Pleasant Musical Concert with exclusive songs of the Music director, Sathyam


5: 30 PM – 10: 00 PM June 6, 2009


Sunnyvale Hindu Temple Auditorium, Sunnyvale, Silicon Valley, California


To pay a commemorational nostalgic tribute to the talent of the great music director.

In the evening of a day before the Fullmoon, there was moonlight, not only outside but inside the auditorium of the Hindu Temple in Sunnyvale, California! A musical nite was conducted as a tribute to the great erstwhile music director, Late Sri Sathyam a.k.a Chellapilla Sathyanarayana Sastry, who composed melodious music for several Telugu movies for two decades. The auditorium was nearly filled with close to one thousand people, who were spellbound by the music for three hours.

This program, which was organized by a joint collaboration from the Bay Area Telugu Association ( and Chimata Music (, was special in many ways. The long forgotten Telugu music director Sri Sathyam was honored by NRI organizations perhaps for the very first time with all local singers singing solely the songs composed by him. Music has no boundaries and this was once again proved by the orchestra members who are all Tamils with no prior knowledge of Sathyam songs!

Sannidhi Restaurant of Pleasanton, CA were the grand sponsors for this event with co-sponsorship from Ravi Taxes, Shree Travels, and Channel Real Estate. Prasad Mangina (President, BATA), Veeru Vuppala (BATA Board), Srini Chimata (Chimata Music), and several others from BATA and Chimata Music made all arrangements for the event. Smt. Vijaya Aasuri (BATA Board and Cultural Chair) chaired the event on the stage.

The program ran from 6:30 PM until 10:00 PM and included 26 gems of songs composed by Sri Sathyam. A special event of the program was screening of two recorded videos: one by the great singer, Sri S. P. Balasubrahmanyam (Balu) and the other by the eminent guitarist, Sri Saluri Vasu Rao (son of another great music director, Late Sri S. Rajeswara Rao), who both kindly prepared these video exclusively for this show in appreciation of the efforts put forth by the organizers. They both shared with us their invaluable memories with Sri Sathyam. A special surprise outside the auditorium is the display of old and rare black-and-white photo stills featuring Sri Sathyam with other music directors and singers of that era (including some from the Hindi field). I wonder where Srini Chimata managed to get all these pictures but they were indeed a treat to the eyes!

The program started with Smt Vijaya Aasuri taking the stage. She briefly talked about the life of Sri Sathyam and his musical career. She said that even though Sri Sathyam provided so many melodious and memorable songs to us, he did not get the official recognition that he deserved. She congratulated Srini for his efforts to honor such a legendary musician and bring his music to limelight again. She then invited the lead singer and conductor Sri Ravi Gudipati to the stage.

I must say a few words about Ravi G. I have heard about him before but this is the first time that I got a chance to listen to his songs. He has a perfect voice for singing melodies and at times during the program I felt like I was listening to the great Balu himself! It must also be noted that all orchestra members (Satya Vaidyanathan, Venky Subramaniam, Krishnamurthy Kalvai, Balaji Mahadevan, Ashwin Kumar, and Srinath Viswanathan) are Tamil. Sri Sathyam had composed for sevaral films in Kannada and as such he is well-known there but Tamils hardly know him and it is commendable that these members were able to practice in a month so many songs that they never knew before.

Following the tradition, Ravi G. and Smt Yamini Potti started with the devotional song “srichakra subhanivasa, swami jagamelu chidvilasa” (శ్రీచక్ర శుభనివాసా, స్వామి జగమేలు చిద్విలాసా) from the movie, Allari Pillalu. The other female singers Smt. Hema Kota, Smt. Sudha Sastry, and Smt. Padmini Saripella provided the background chorus for the song. Ravi G. followed it with a wonderful rendetion of the solo “ankitham neeke ankitham” (అంకితం నీకే అంకితం) from the movie, Swapna. The song contains several poetic lines like “kalidasu kalamandu chindu apurupa divyakavitha” (కాళిదాసు కలమందు చిందు అపురూప దివ్యకవితా) and he sang them to perfection and to wide applause from the audience. Sri Prasad Durvasula then sang the duet “E ragamo idi E thalamo” (ఏ రాగమో ఇది ఏ తాళమో) from Amara Deepam along with Yamini.

The great history of the city Rajamahendri on the banks of River Godavari is beyond words but not beyond this song from the movie, Andhra Kesari! The song “vedamla ghoshinche godavari, amaradhamamla sobhille rajamahendri” (వేదంలా ఘోషించే గోదావరి, అమరధామంలా శోభిల్లే రాజమహేంద్రి) was brought to life by Sri Murali Sambara and it certainly took me to my childhood memories of watching majestic Godavari along the banks of Rajamundry. Ravi G. started “wondering” whether the audience was enjoying the show so he decided to cheer them up with a mesmarizing song. He and Sudha sang the song “kurisindi vana na gundelona” (కురిసింది వానా నా గుండెలోనా) and they certainly succeeded! The orchestra also provided good drumbeat for this song.  

Ravi G. decided to go classical this time and sang “tolisandhya velalo tolipoddu podupulo” (తొలిసంధ్య వేళలో తొలి పొద్దు పొడుపులో) from Seetharamulu, which was based on the Bhoopala Ragam. Hema and Padmini accompanied him in the background. Ashwin Kumar from the orchestra provided the Flute which is vital to this song. Ravi G. recalled the original song and admired Sri Balu who sang that to perfection.

All songs sung so far were originally sung by Balu. The next one was originally sung by Sri Ramakrishna along with Smt P. Susheela. The melodious duet “aakasam dinchaala nelavanks tunchaala” (ఆకాశం దించాలా, నెలవంకా తుంచాలా) from Bhakta Kannappa was sung by Sri Ravi Tata (the other Ravi) and Hema. Ravi T’s voice suited very well for Ramakrishna. The orchestra did a commendable job for this music oriented song.

When Prasad and Sudha started singing the banner song “idi teeyani vennela reyi” (ఇది తీయని వెన్నెల రేయి) from the movie, Prema Lekhalu, it felt like moonlight even though there was still daylight outside (7:15PM). Sri Vijay Vemuri, the last singer of the program to be introduced, and Yamini sang the classic duet “pranayaraga vahini cheli vasanthamohini” (ప్రణయరాగ వాహినీ.. చెలీ వసంతమోహినీ) from Mayamaschindra which ended with applause from the audience.

The next song in the sequence an all time melody that brought name and fame to Balu, in his own words. Ravi G. brought forth the song “Ae divilo virisina parijatamo” (ఏ దివిలో విరిసిన పారిజాతమో) from Kanne Vayasu. Apart from the mesmarizing voice of Balu, this song is also known for its haunting Base Guitar which was played by none other than Vasu Rao. This soft melody was immediately followed with a racy song “O hamsa bale ramachiluka olammi” (ఓ.. హంస బలె రామచిలుకా ఓలమ్మీ) from Agent Gopi by Hema and Murali. Murali also enthralled the audience with his trademark steps and the audience responsed to him with rhythmic hand beats! Ravi T. brought back melody with the song “ide pata prati chota ilage padukuntanu” (ఇదే పాటా ప్రతీచోటా ఇలాగే పాడుకుంటా) from Puttinillu-Mettinillu which has a speciality. In the movie, Shobhan Babu sings this song on the stage and the conductor of the orchestra is none other than Sathyam himself! This is the only movie, as far as I know, where Sathyam appears on the screen.

Ravi G. was back on the stage with Yamini for another popular duet “O bangaru rangula chiluka palakave” (ఓ బంగరు రంగుల చిలుకా పలుకవే) from the film, Thota Ramudu. He talked briefly after this song. First he introduced the members of the orchestra and appreciated their efforts in spite of having less than a month to prepare and not being familiar with the language or songs. He then commended Srini Chimata for the service he has been providing to the Telugu film music lovers through his popular web site, and also for the effort he has put in to make this event successful. He remarked “చిమట వారు చెమటోడ్చి కష్టపడ్డారు”!

The next song by Ravi G. was a solo “ide na modati premalekha” (ఇదే నా మొదటి ప్రేమలేఖ), again from the movie Swapna, which was a remake of Raj Kapoor’s hit movie Sangam. This song is the counterpart for the all time hit “Yeh Mera Prempatr Padhkar” (यह मेरा प्रेमपत्र पढकर) sung by the legendary singer Mohd. Rafi and composed by the legendary duo Shankar-Jaikishen. Sathyam, according to Balu, had had a longstanding friendship with Shankar-Jaikishen and he definitely took up the challenge of composing this Telugu number on par with its Hindi counterpart.

Vijaya Aasuri took the stage to signal the intermission and introduced Srini Chimata to the audience. Srini informed everyone that the inspiration behind his music web site is his deep passion for old Telugu songs and melodies. He proudly announced that nearly 1000 people were attending the event beyond his estimation and that this was indeed an incoronation for old songs (పాతపాటలకు పట్టాభిషేకమే).

The videos by Balu and Vasu Rao were screened just before and after the intermission respectively. They both shared their longtime relationship with Sathyam (both videos are available on the Chimata Music web site and I recommend everyone to watch them). The audience were also introduced to Sri Akkiraju Ramakrishna Rao, who is a lecturer by profession and actor and poet by passion, who was also attending the event. He took the stage and praised Sathyam with the following Telugu poem that he composed in the meter “thetageethi” (తేటగీతి):

అరయ స్వర్గంగతూగు సత్యంబుగాదొ

అర్థి అలసొంపు నడక సత్యంబుగాదొ

అరయ జీమూత గర్జ సత్యంబుగాదొ

అర్థి భ్రమరంబు రుతియు సత్యంబుగాదొ

The second session after the intermission started with a soft melody from the movie Seetharamulu “palikinadi pilichinadi paravasamai navamohana ragam” (పలికినది పిలిచినదీ.. పరవశమై నవమోహనరాగం) by Sudha and Murali. In a contrasting style, Ravi G. and Hema came back with a fast paced “okate korika ninnu cheralani” (ఒకటే కోరిక నిన్ను చేరాలని) from Dongalaku Donga. The orchestra also matched the pace with fastbeat drums. Yamini and Ravi T. took the stage with the song “tolivalape teeyanidi madilo ennadu mayanidi” (తొలివలపే తీయనిది) from Needaleni Aadadi. Ravi G. followed it up with one of all time Yesudas hits “galivanalo vananeetilo padava prayanam” (గాలివానలో వాననీటిలో పడవ ప్రయాణం) from Swayamvaram.

Hema sang “gunnamamidi kommameeda” (గున్నమామిడి కొమ్మమీద) from Balyamithrula Katha and her voice in this song reminded us of Smt. S. Janaki who sang the original song. Matching with this performance, Yamini came up next with her own rendering of “radhaku neevera pranam” (రాధకు నీవేరా ప్రాణం) from Tulabharam. Murali came back to the stage with Hema and sang “sannajajiki gunnamaviki pelli kudirindi” (సన్నాజాజికి, గున్నామామికి పెళ్లి కుదిరింది) from the movie Muthyala Pallaki. Balaji Mahadevan from the orchestra specially played the “Dholak” drum necessary for this song.

“Are you all enjoying the songs? How come we are hearing any applause?”, joked Ravi G. He invited Sudha and Ravi T. to sing “kalise kallalona kurise poolavana” (కలిసే కళ్లలోనా మెరిసే పూలవానా) from movie Nomu. Sudha in particular sang this song well. Yamini and Ravi G. sang the next song “nee kougililo taladachi” (నీ కౌగిలిలో తలదాచి) from Karthika Deepam. Both sang it to perfection and reminded us of original pair Janaki and Balu. Vijay came back to the stage with the solo “madhumasa velalo maru malle thotalo” (మధుమాస వేళలో మరుమల్లె తోటలో) from Andame Anandam. Ravi G. and Sudha followed it up the last duet of the show “tolisari muddivvamandi chelibugga chemanthimogga” (తొలిసారి ముద్దివ్వమంది చెలిబుగ్గ చేమంతిమొగ్గ) from Edureetha.

As the last piece of the show, Ravi G. jolted the audience with the fastbeat and racy song “naakosame neevunnadee.. dee..dee” (నా కోసమే నీవున్నది ది ది) from the movie Annadammula Saval. He even “dared” (సవాల్) the fans of Krishna among the audience to raise their hands!

The show came to a conclusion with a few words from Vijaya Aasuri. Srini also thanked the audience for making it a grand success and promised to return in six months with another show, this time a tribute to the legendary K. V. “Maama” Mahadevan.

Srilu Veligeti (Vice-President, BATA) distributed the prizes to the winners from the “Sathyam Songs Competition” program held right before the main concert started (in between 2: 00 -5: 00 PM). Sannidhi Restaurant folks gave away the gift vouchers to the competition winners. Prasad Mangina (President, BATA) concluded the program by thanking all the BATA Committee members and the volunteers of ChimataMusic for working so hard on the event arrangmements.

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