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Renowned playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam (SPB) was shocked with the untimely death of well-known mandolin player U Srinivas, who died on Friday following liver-related problems in Chennai. He was 45. Going down memory lane, the singer shared how he first met the late musician, who had come to him to learn music.
Shocked and saddened SP Balasubrahmanyam took to his Facebook to share his grief with his fans. SPB wrote: "I am in Hyderabad. Heard the shocking news about Mandolin Srinivas's demise. Vasu Rao, music director, then bass Guitar player, brought a 11-year-old-boy from Andhra Pradesh to Gemini studios in 1980, where I was doing the background score for 'Hum Paanch', the Hindi film, produced by Boney Kapoor and directed by Late Bapu."
Balasubrahmanyam continued, "(He) Introduced him as Srinivas, who played cinema songs on Mandolin. On my request, the boy played a song from (Telugu film) Sankarabharanam. I was amazed at the perfection with which he played all the gamakas on the tiny instrument. (Srinivas) never learnt music theoretically and could not read and write notation and the purpose of coming to Chennai was to learn classical music."
He posted, "I sang the theme song of Hum Paanch couple of times, he heard and played it perfectly. We recorded that piece and used it in the film. Rs.75 was the remuneration for a mandolin player at that time. Boney paid him Rs.175." Srinivas performed at SPB's sister's wedding by taking "only the incidental expenses". SPB concluded by saying Srinivas was a "great soul who elevated Indian classical music to universal level".