Yesteryear singer P.G. Krishnaveni, popularly known as Jikki, passed away on August 17 in Chennai. She had been suffering from breast cancer and had surgery, but the cancer soon spread to her kidneys and eventually the brain. Several attempts were made to save her life which were supported by donations through musical nites, medical/financial support from the Governments of Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh (TDP rule).
Jikki, thrilled the entire world of music with her rare variety of voice and her special touch of vocal chords would be ringing in the ears of everybody. At the outset she won the hearts of Telugus with only one song "Eruvaka saagalo rannao chinnanna" from the film "Rojulu Marai".
Born in a middle class family as PG Krishanveni in Chandragiri, Chittoor district, she was introduced in Pantulamma (1943) as a child artist, singing ee teerani ninnerigi palukagaa, naa taramaa jagadEka kaaraNaa. She continued to exhibit her talents of acting and singing in Gollabhama (1947) and Mangalasutram (1946). She got her break with mana dESam (1949) and stree saahasam (1951), after which she took up singing as full fledged profession (at the age of 16! and stopped acting. She is said to have sung around ten thousand songs in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi.
The songs in the film Devadas (1953) sung by her became very popular with music lovers and still they feel afresh. Rajkapoor's "Ah" was reproduced as "Premalekhalu" and Shankar Jaikishan composed the music in which Jikki's songs thrilled each and everyone.
During the filming of "Maheshwari" AM Raja and Jikki became intimate and married subsequently.
Her songs like Eruvaaka saagaarO... (rOjulu maaraayi), O dEvadaa... (dEvadaas), chiguraakulalO chilakammaa... (donga raamuDu), cheTTulekkagalavaa... (chenchulakshmi), virisindi vinta haayi... (baalanaagamma), haayi haayigaa aamani saage... (suvarNa sundari), OhO bastI dorasaanI... (abhimaanam), raajaSEkharaa... (anaarkali), pulakinchani madi pulakinchu... (peLLi kaanuka), ChaangurE bangaaru raajaa... (SreekRshNa paanDaveeyam), pandiTlO peLLautunnaadi... (prEmalEkhalu) etched a permanent place for her in Telugu Cinema. Music composers used to treat her a little bit higher than LataMangeshkar in those days. She used to sing any song to suit to the voice of the particular artist and Anjali Devi's was a best example in this context.
She toured London, Germany, France and Switzerland to entertain with her sweet and rare voice.
She was honoured by Madras Kala Sagar with "Ugadi Puraskaram" and Govt. of Tamilnadu awarded her "Kalai Ma Mani".
After a long recess Andhras were blessed to hear her voice again in "Aditya 369" with the song "Janavule Nerajanavule"
May her soul rest in peace.
(Sources: niharonline.com and telugucinema.com)
The following is an appreciation that appeared in Eenaadu.