He is Telugu and Tamil composer and also a singer. Ghantasala is a legendry name in popular Telugu music who sang over 10,000 songs in his career, and composed apparently for over 125 films. He was born on 4th December 1923 in Chautapally, GudiwadaTaluk, AP, as the son of a musician. He was orphaned as a child. He acted as a child actor, in near slavery conditions, in plays like Chintamani and Sati Sakkubhai. He was apprenticed to the school of Susurlu Krishna Brahma Sastry and graduated from a music school at Vijayanagaram, while earning a living as an itinerant singer and beggar.
He received the title of Vidhwan in 1941. He was arrested and imprisoned in Alipore jail for singing patriotic songs during Gandhi's Satyagraha agitations (1942). He went to Madras in 1945. He worked with AIR for sometime. He broke through films in 1945 (Swargaseema), singing duets with Bhanumati to Nagaiah's score. He turned into composer in 1949 with Manadesam by LV Prasad. Known mainly for his love duets, he also rendered tragedy related songs for Akkineni Nageswara Rao's roles.
He combined the native idioms with classical Carnatic styles, e.g. in compositions for Chiranjeevulu and Rahasyam, set to the lyrics of Malladi RamaKrishna Sastry. His work in these two films was, to VAK Ranga Rao, his best film work although both films flopped. He did also produce Paropakaram in 1953. Ghantasala made a rare screen appearance in the hit Shri Venkateswara Mahatyam in 1960.
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