SUSIL PREMARATNE PRODIGIOUS ARTIST, VOCALIST,COMPOSER ,TEACHER PLAYBACK SINGER AT APEX OF GLORY – by Sunil Thenabadu   Susil Premaratne prodigious artist vocalist., composer of music,teacher ,film playback singer with variety of talents was born as Malgawage Susil Premaratne in ‘’Andagoda, Ambalangoda. Susil Premaratne was a great performer skilled with varieties of talents rarely found in the field of Arts. The vacuum left by the demise of an artiste of his caliber in 2010 February can never be replaced.    This veteran artist not only entertained the public by his deep melodious voice singing in his own unique style but also enthralled the people with his fascinating paintings of natural beauty and comic stories (Chithra Katha).”Ru rese andina lese”, “Somnasa ho santhapaya hamuwe” and many of his songs recorded in 40s, 50s, 60s & 70s are still spellbound household favorites in Sri Lanka. Susil Premaratne had acquired painting instincts through hereditary affiliations from father with ...

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Singing alongside Victor – by GEORGE BRAINE I spent Christmas 2017 with Victor Ratnayake and a few friends at Nuwara Eliya, and, on our return to Colombo, he drove me to my home near Lunuwila. I sat in the front seat, and his wife sat in the back. As we were passing Rukmani Devi’s statute at Tudella, Victor began to reminisce about the Rukmani he knew and respected. He has a phenomenal memory, and he brings in numerous anecdotes, usually funny, to his stories. But, on Rukmani, his memories were tender and tinged with sadness. Then, I related my own story. While schooling in Negombo in the early 1960s, I was boarded at a house on Temple Road, only a few hundred meters from “Jaya-Ruk”, the home of Rukmani and Eddie Jayamanne. They were at the height of their popularity.  The boarding house owner was the sister of Bertram Fernando, ...

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RUKMANI DEVI – by Des Kelly She was undoutedly one of the most beautiful, PLUS beautifully talented women, that Sri Lanka ever produced. She was an actress of repute, a singer, better known as the first Nightingale of Ceylon, and, as a dancer, well, I had the ultimate pleasure of waltzing around the dance floor with her, many moons ago, at a private “house-warming” party in Wattala, and believe me folks, she was a superb dancer, as well, giving me a few minutes of my life that I’ll never forget. ...

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Versatile heartthrob amiable gifted actress Jeevarani in the decades of sixties and seventies reminisced by Sunil Thenabadu Jeevarani Kurukulasuriya  after her marriage to Dr Lanka Wijesena, Jeevarani Wijesena  a gorgeous ,versatile actress particularly in the decades of the sixties and seventies in stage, theatre and television medias. . Undoubtedly Jeevarani along with Vijitha Mallika and Sandhya Kumari was one of the most popular actresses in early Sinhala cinema. She portrayed her first pivotal character in Sri Lanka’s first Sinhala color film “Ranmuthu Duwa”.] Jeevarani was born on 2nd December 1941 in  Aluthgama-Kalutara as the eldest of the family. Her father was Kurukulasuriyage Venus Anthony Fernando.As still a toddler, just three years old, Jeevarani had displayed innate talent, used to dance, sing lullabies, poems and do various mimics in front of parents and relatives. She finalized her education at the Good Shepherd Convent Kotahena.Her younger siblings Shirani,Janaki and Manik all reputed ...

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“THE MOON RISES” – By Des Kelly   Many years have now slipped past since one of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful Women and one of their most famous male Vocalists of the era, recorded a most beautiful love song entitled “Sandak-nage’, as my English title indicates.             Rukmani Devi, also known as the Nightingale of Ceylon, as beautiful as any Beauty Queen our little Island produced, plus a famous Actress, to boot, recorded this song with Neville Fernando, a Vocalist/Guitarist who not only enjoyed the company of Rukmani, but also thoroughly enjoyed singing with her. They recorded more songs together but both have now sadly passed on so here’s my sincere “Rest in Peace” wish for this fabulous duo. ...

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“THE NIGHTINGALE SINGS” by Des Kelly     Photo courtesy of National Film Corporation What a beautiful title, especially for this songbird of Ceylon, Rukmani Devi, born Daisy Rasammah Daniels, a proud combination of Tamil(Rasammah), Daniels(Burgher), & the Colombo-Chetty Christian tradition, on the 15th of January, 1923, in the Central Province Village of Ramboda, Nuwara Eliya.       She was the second child in a family of six, loved music and singing from a very early age, spending most of her time standing by the family gramaphone and singing along with the songs that emanated from it. The very first song that she sang, in the presence of (Master) Rupasinghe, her music teacher, I suppose, was titled “Siri Buddha-gaya Vihare”, a classical Sinhala-song, when she was just 13 years old. He, the master, had a keen eye for talent, and before her professional singing career was launched, it was decided ...

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