ANIL BHARATHI UNCONQUERED EFFERVESCENT VOYAGE IN CELEBRITY FOR OVER FIVE DECADES-By SUNIL THENABADU
Anil Bharathi’s signature song equally popular “ Bethlehempure” still remains the “evergreen” Christmas song for half a century.The lyrics were by a Buddhist legendary celebrated Karunaratne Abeysekera which still remains as the most popular Christmas song in the century perhaps centuries to come. Even if Anil sang this song only his name would still be etched in the hearts of all Sri Lankans not only Christians.The music of this song was by the POP music maestro Clarence and his Golden Chimes band recorded under the ‘Lotus” label one of the pioneers in records and cassettes.
Anil the lanky vocalist had innate skills but not known to have hereditary affiliations to music was the lead singer which added the requisite spice to the Golden Chimes bank in the early decade of the seventies. Anil, had skill in singing English songs too which was dire inevitability for a band to become popular
Anil Bharathi, the singer with n appropriate bass voice, begun as a vocalist to the Golden Chimes pop group, Anil was invited to join the band as their English vocalist as the band wanted a talented singer in English vernacular. In fact, he is the cousin brother of Chanaka Perera, the ace bass guitarist and leader of Beacons dance band of the 60s and founder member and present leader of Golden Chimes band. Clarence Wijewardena wrote and arranged music for the highly popular ‘Ada Wai Hiru Dina’, Anil’s first original Sinhala pop song, which he recorded with the Golden Chimes on the Lotus recording label. ‘ Adare Nnangi’ is another memorable jumbo hit song Anil recorded with Clarence and the Golden Chimes, which incidentally was penned by Karunaratne Abeysekara , where Clarence Wijewardena is accountable for the melody and toe-banging music compositions.
In the late seventies two songs Anil sang with Clarence and Super Golden Chimes became enormously trendy. These two songs were ‘Tikirimalee ‘and ‘Maa Mulin Lliyu Pempatha’ and they were written by prolific musician Vernon Perera, while the musical count was by Clarence Wijewardena. Songs were recorded on another highly admired recording label of yesteryear ‘Gemtone’ of Wijepala Hettiarachchi fame.. In the good old 70s there were Hit Parade programmes in all three languages over SLBC’s Sinhala, English, and Tamil services. E.H.Geetha Dahara (Sponsored by E.H.Cooray Furnitures, Moratuwa), Velona Geetha Dahara ( Sponsored by Velona Group of Companies, Moratuwa) were two popular radio programmes (Sinhala Song Hit Parades) broadcasted every Sunday afternoons from 1.15 pm to 1.45 pm Anil’s Tikirimalee and Maa Mulin Lliyu Pempatha were familiarised in these programmes and they reached no. ONE spot in no time due to the immense assistance of passionate music fans. In the late 70s Anil teamed up with Dr.Ranjith Bolonne in the Sunshines band having performed for a while culminating in producing a EP record which incidentally contained the popular song Dasa Vimala.
Anil and Ronnie Leitch had a short stin togethert with the legendary Super Golden Chimes before their disbanded.Anil had sung many other songs which had become instant hits and are heard today too over our air waves.Anil had sung a duet with Indrani Perera for film “Damayanthi in the late 1970 decade to the lyrics of Karunaratne Abeysekera.
Over his musical career a number of song-writers and music directors had aided Anil were Clarence Wijewardena, Karunaratna Abeysekara, Premakeerthi de Alwis, Lakpriya de Silva, K.D.K. Dharmawardana, Vernon Perera, H.S.Perera and Rev. Fr. Marcelline Jayakody. Clarence Wijewardena, Chanaka Perera, Lakpriya de Silva, Mike Gunasekara, Lal Thenabadu, Dr. Ranjith Bolenne, Stanley Peiris, Ernest Soyza, Sarath de Alwis, Rookantha Gunathilaka P.L.A.Somapala and Rohana Weerasinghe have directed music for his songs. He has sung duets with Priyanthi Senarathna, Lankika Perera, Indrani Perera, Geetharani Perera, Priyani Jayasinghe and Chandralekha Perera..
Anil has recorded songs on Sri Lanka’s top recording labels such as Lotus, Sooriya, Gemtone, Singlanka, New Sound, Tharanga, Torana and Nilwala. Top-notch beat aggregations of the island such as The Golden Chimes, The Super Golden Chimes, SEAC Orchestra, Super Stars, Fortunes, Sunflowers, and many more have provided the music for his original recordings.
Anil Bharathi a resident of Panadura was an old boy of Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa in the 50s where he pursued his studies. He has sung for the choir at the Holy Emmanuel Church, Moratuwa in his younger days. He is a self-taught self made musician able to play the guitar and the piano. He has performed in many foreign countries including Australia. Further he has functioned as a compere for many musical events.All fans of Anil will no doubt wish him good health and longevity..May God Bless him
SUNIL THENABADU IN BRISBANE