Filed under: Sri Lanka
This record is a bit of a mystery to me. Is it a movie soundtrack? A compilation? On each side, it has songs from a different movie, except for one song which has the heading “Ceylon Pop Song”. It seems as if it was just randomly slapped together. Even the picture of the movie poster on the cover appears to be a last minute addition, with the crease being quite visible and the text running off the edge of the frame.
Believe it or not, this is not the only pressing of this record that I have seen. It was originally released on the Sooriya label of Columbo, Sri Lanka and the cover was electric pink instead of light blue on the right hand side. But this version is from Malaysia on the mysterious unnamed “Gazelle” label that also released the S. Hazarasigh album. And the back cover is the same as the front, with no real information other than the song listings. But I have been able to find plenty of information about A. E. Manoharan and L. R. Eswar.
A. E. Manoharan, or as he is more well known as – Ceylon Manohar, is one of the legends of Tamil Baila. Originally called Pop Isai Padalgal, Baila had been a popular folk tradition that was introduced to Sri Lanka’s mainstream during the early 1960s when singer Wally Bastian began adapting the 6/8 ‘kaffirhina’ rhythms to accommodate the Sinhala language. Vernon Corea is credited with having helped to spread baila music to the world via English language programmes that aired on Radio Ceylon and BBC Radio London during the late 1960s and 1970s. Manoharan is also a Tamil film actor, having acted in over 150 films – including “Pasa Nilain” 1963, which was the first movie to be made in Sri Lanka. He recently launched a comeback, after having spent the last two decades in London as an announcer for the Tamil Osai Radio Channel.
L. R. Eswar is a famous playback singer of Tamil movie industry. Besides Tamil, she has recorded devotional, Filmi and pop songs in the Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and Tulu languages. She recently started her comeback with the Telugu film production “Thejam“.
Catalog number RSLP 2175. No other information available.