H. R. Jothipala
Hettiarachchige Reginald Jothipala (Sinhala: එච්.ආර්. ජෝතිපාල; 12 February 1936 – 7 July 1987), popularly as H. R. Jothipala, was a Sri Lankan playback singer in the Sinhala cinema as well as a film actor. Considered as the best playback singer in Sri Lankan film history, Jothipala lent his voice to all classes of actors ranging from Eddie Jayamanne to Ranjan Ramanayake. He also worked as an opera singer. He died in July 1987 at the age of 51 year from cardiac arrest.
H. R. Jothipala
Hettiarachchige Reginald Jothipala
12 February 1936
|Died||7 July 1987 (aged 51)|
Colombo, Sri Lanka
|Resting place||Borella cemetery|
|Other names||Hadawatha Raththaran Jothi|
|Occupation||Actor, Playback singer|
Jothipala was born on 12 February 1936 in Dematagoda, Colombo, Sri Lanka as the first child in a middle-class family. His father H. R. James was a tailor in Matara and mother Ahaliyagoda H. K. Podinona Perera was a nurse. Their home town is Matara, Sri Lanka & They later moved to Colombo. He attended St. Lawrence College in Maradana and St. John's College in Dematagoda. He has four younger sisters and one younger brother.
Jothipala would visit tea kiosks to hear music as his family didn't own a radio. He cleaned medicine bottles at the Sulaiman Hospital on Armor Street, Colombo. Later he worked as the peon in M. D. Gunasena and the company.
He was married to Blossom Winter, they had four daughters together. He came to be known by his initials "H. R." and was loved as "Hadhavatha Raththaran Jothipala", meaning "golden-hearted Jothipala", due to his kindness to people of all ages, communities, and families.
Nadarajah, one of the best radio tabla players in the country at the time, was living at Kosgas Junction in Grandpass, Colombo. One day he heard Jothipala singing and chose to sing Hindi songs at the weddings of the Colombo aristocracy. B. S. Perera, the famous film music director who was the head of the radio orchestra who first recognized Jothipala's talents. In 1952, there was a program on the radio called 'Adhunika Peya', which showcased the talents of amateur singers, courtesy of the Queen Sweets Company. He competed in this competition and became the winner. From there he went to the radio program "Jayagrahi Pelapaliya" and won first place.
In 1955, he missed three golden opportunities to become a playback singer. At first, he went to meet Wimalaweera master who composed music for the film Podi Putha. During the audition, Wimalaweera informed Jothipala that his voice is not right, where it trembles and not sweet. In February, Jothipala and Chandrasena went Negombo and met B. A. W. Jayamanne and Rukmani Devi. Even though they satisfied about his voice, Jothipala could not go to India for playback as he did not have a passport. In the third time, he met A. B. Raj, director of the film Perakadoru Bena. He refused Jothipala due to having rough voice.
Jothipala made his debut as a playback singer on Cyril P. Abeyratne's Surathalee, singing "Siriyame Sara", in 1956. Jothipala has said that he contemplated taking his life when he went with his friends to watch Podi Putha and found out that his song was not included. Later when Surathalee producer Jabir A. Cader wanted to hear one of his songs to consider him for the film, Jothipala almost passed on the offer as he did not possess enough money to create a record. He was helped out by veteran musician Stanley Omar who financed him for the sum of 35 rupees – a large amount of money at the time. Jothipala's song on the film, "Siriyame Sara," still remains popular in Sri Lanka, having recorded the popular number under the direction of T.R. Papa at Wahini Studio in India.
Jothipala has worked with many reputed directors of Sri Lanka. In the early stages of his prolific career, Jothipala got the chance to work with the prolific filmmaker, Lester James Peries on the movie Sandeshaya. Jothipala sang the song "Puruthugeesi Karaya" for the film, which was composed by the legendary Sunil Santha and written by veteran lyricist Arisen Ahubudu.
Jothipala was the undisputed choice in films that were made in the late sixties and through the seventies, the period during which he also began to act. Though Jothi was criticized for singing to the tunes of popular Hindi songs, particularly of Mohammed Rafi, he also sang under the batons of P.V. Nandasiri, Premasiri Khemadasa, Sarath Dassanayake and Milton Mallawarachchi. Jothipala is considered the backbone of Sri Lankan playback singing. He has voiced a wide array of actors across many decades in his era. Apart from singing, he also acted in 33 films.
He sang in hundreds of films including popular hits like Kasthuri Suwanda, Thushara, Sweeep Ticket, Hitha Honda Minihek, Kawuda Raja, Hondata Hondai, Wasana, Sangeetha and others. The award-winning singer also played some memorable roles in films including Ethulweema Thahanam, Sulalitha Sobani, Sujeewa, Sukiri Kella, Abirahasa, Bonikka, Shanthi and his own production Sumithuro and Obai Mamai. He made his film debut as an actor in 1963 with a lame character in the film Sudu Sande Kalu Wala and later played mostly villain characters.
Although Jothipala was very talented in his own respect, he was criticized for singing to the tunes of popular Hindi songs, particularly of Mohammed Rafi. Jothipala sang many duets with Sujatha Attanayake and Latha Walpola,'but largely with Angeline Gunathilake. Jothipala's best friend was the then popular singer J. A. Milton Perera. In the late 1950s, the duo debated their theme song "Anangaya" cult on the radio commercial service. Jothipala won the Best Singer award for his song "Mee Jeevanaye" from the 1974 film Onna Babo Billo Enawa. At the 1983 Sarasaviya Awards, Jothipala won the Award for Best Singer for the song "Sara Sande" from the film Meedum Sihina and for the song "Paalu Susane" from the 1986 film Obata Divana Kiyannam.
Two days before his death, on 5 July 1987, he participated in "Gam Udaawa", a patriotic project by late President Ranasinghe Premadasa, and sang on his final open stage. But while singing he felt pain but finished the singing successfully. The next day he was admitted to the hospital. Jothipala died on 7 July 1987 at Ratnams Private Hospital. The cause of his death was said to be liver failure. "He came to our hospital very regularly. Ramya Fleming was in charge of the ICU and was at home when she got the call to come in. As soon as news spread of Jothipala's death, people surrounded Ratnams Private Hospital. All of Union Square was filled with fans, and some even jumped over the hospital gate just to get a glimpse of Jothipala.
Numerous activities are still underway throughout the country for his commemorations.
Filmography and Playback singingEdit
|Year||Film||Acting role||Other roles||Ref.|
|1958||Ekamath Eka Rataka||Playback singing|
|1958||Deyyange Rate||Playback singing|
|1958||Daskama||Crowd member||Playback singing|
|1958||Vana Mohini||Playback singing|
|1959||Sri 296||Playback singing|
|1959||Gehenu Geta||Playback singing|
|1961||Suvineetha Lalani||Playback singing|
|1961||Gan Thera||Playback singing|
|1962||Suhada Divi Piduma||Playback singing|
|1963||Sudu Sande Kalu Wala||Jothipala 'Nondi Jothi'||Playback singing|
|1964||Kala Kala De Pala Pala De||Playback singing|
|1964||Sulalitha Sobhani||Soldier||Playback singing|
|1964||Samiya Birindage Deviyaya||Playback singing|
|1964||Samaje Api Okkoma Samanai||Playback singing|
|1964||Sithaka Mahima||Playback singing|
|1965||Hithata Hitha||Playback singing|
|1965||Satha Panaha||Playback singing|
|1965||Sweep Ticket||Playback singing|
|1966||Athulweema Thahanam||Playback singing|
|1966||Kinkini Paada||Playback singing|
|1966||Seegiri Kashyapa||Playback singing|
|1966||Sudu Duva||Playback singing|
|1966||Athulweema Thahanam||Playback singing|
|1967||Hitha Giya Thena||Playback singing|
|1968||Pini Bindu||Playback singing|
|1968||London Hamu||Playback singing|
|1968||Ruhunu Kumari||Playback singing|
|1968||Dehadaka Duka||Playback singing|
|1969||Oba Nathnam||Playback singing|
|1969||Mee Masso||Playback singing|
|1969||Suranyangeth Suraya||Playback singing|
|1969||Uthum Sthriya||Playback singing|
|1970||Sumudu Bharya||Playback singing|
|1970||Dan Mathakada||Playback singing|
|1970||Athma Pooja||Playback singing|
|1970||Ohoma Harida||Playback singing|
|1970||Suli Sulang||Playback singing|
|1971||Davena Pipasa||Playback singing|
|1971||Hathara Denama Soorayo||Playback singing|
|1971||Seeye Nottuwa||Playback singing|
|1972||Adare Hithenawa Dakkama||Playback singing|
|1972||Edath Sooraya Adath Sooraya||Playback singing|
|1972||Ada Mehemai||Playback singing|
|1972||Hithaka Pipunu Mal||Playback singing|
|1972||Lokuma Hindawa||Singer||Playback singing|
|1972||Me Desa Kumatada||Playback singing|
|1972||Ihatha Athmaya||Singer||Playback singing|
|1973||Suhada Pathuma||Playback singing|
|1973||Aparadhaya Ha Danduwama||Playback singing|
|1973||Sadahatama Oba Mage||Playback singing|
|1973||Hathdinnath Tharu||Playback singing|
|1973||Hondama Welawa||Playback singing|
|1973||Sinawai Inawai||Playback singing|
|1973||Hondai Narakai||Playback singing|
|1973||Dahakin Ekek||Playback singing|
|1973||Hondata Hondai||Playback singing|
|1974||Kasthuri Suwanda||Playback singing|
|1974||Dinum Kanuwa||Playback singing|
|1974||Kalyani Ganga||Playback singing|
|1974||Onna Babo Billo Enawa||Playback singing|
|1974||Duppathage Hithawatha||Playback singing|
|1974||Sahayata Danny||Sandun||Playback singing|
|1974||Jeewana Ganga||Playback singing|
|1974||Rodi Gama||Playback singing|
|1975||Hitha Honda Minihek||Playback singing|
|1975||Obai Mamai||Sanath||Playback singing|
|1975||Pem Kurullo||Playback singing|
|1975||Raththaran Amma||Playback singing|
|1975||Awa Soya Adare||Playback singing|
|1975||Sukiri Kella||Sumith||Playback singing|
|1975||Kohoma Kiyannada||Playback singing|
|1975||Cyril Malli||Playback singing|
|1975||Mage Nangi Shyama||Playback singing|
|1975||Lassana Kella||Playback singing|
|1975||Sooraya Soorayamai||Playback singing|
|1975||Ranwan Rekha||Playback singing|
|1975||Lassana Davasak||Playback singing|
|1975||Hadawathaka Wasanthaya||Playback singing|
|1976||Pradeepe Ma Wewa||Playback singing|
|1976||Kawuda Raja||Playback singing|
|1976||Harima Badu Thunak||Playback singing|
|1976||Unnath Dahai Malath Dahai||Playback singing|
|1976||Onna Mame Kella Panapi||Playback singing|
|1976||Saradielge Putha||Playback singing|
|1976||Adarei Man Adarei||Playback singing|
|1976||Ran Thilaka||Playback singing|
|1977||Sudu Paraviyo||Playback singing|
|1977||Sri Madara||Playback singing|
|1977||Hariyanakota Ohama Thama||Playback singing|
|1977||Hithuwoth Hithuwamai||Playback singing|
|1977||Pembara Madhu||Playback singing|
|1977||Chin Chin Nona||Playback singing|
|1977||Honda Hitha||Playback singing|
|1977||Yali Ipade||Playback singing|
|1977||Chandi Putha||Playback singing|
|1977||Aege Adara Kathawa||Playback singing|
|1977||Maruwa Samaga Wase||Playback singing|
|1977||Tom Pachaya||Playback singing|
|1978||Sithaka Suwanda||Playback singing|
|1978||Chandi Shyama||Playback singing|
|1978||Sri Pathula||Playback singing|
|1978||Hitha Mithura||Playback singing|
|1978||Kumara Kumariyo||Playback singing|
|1978||Sandawata Rantharu||Playback singing|
|1979||Minisun Athara Minisek||Playback singing|
|1979||Jeewana Kandulu||Playback singing|
|1979||Amal Biso||Playback singing|
|1979||Hingana Kolla||Playback singing|
|1979||Raja Kurullo||Playback singing|
|1979||Eka Hitha||Playback singing|
|1979||Rosa Mal Thunak||Playback singing|
|1979||Akke Mata Awasara||Playback singing|
|1979||Sawudan Jema||Playback singing|
|1979||Wisihathara Peya||Playback singing|
|1979||Hari Pudumai||Playback singing|
|1980||Tak Tik Tuk||Playback singing|
|1980||Ektam Ge||Playback singing|
|1980||Adara Rathne||Playback singing|
|1980||Doctor Susantha||Playback singing|
|1980||Sasaraka Pathum||Playback singing|
|1980||Bambara Pahasa||Playback singing|
|1980||Muwanpalessa 2||Playback singing|
|1980||Raja Dawasak||Playback singing|
|1980||Api Dedena||Playback singing|
|1981||Mihidum Sihina||Playback singing|
|1981||Sathweni Dawasa||Playback singing|
|1981||Amme Mata Samawenna||Playback singing|
|1981||Ridee Thalla||Playback singing|
|1982||Thana Giravi||Dinesh||Playback singing|
|1982||Sakvithi Suwaya||Playback singing|
|1982||Thani Tharuwa||Playback singing|
|1982||Sudu Ayya||Playback singing|
|1982||Pethi Gomara||Playback singing|
|1982||Eka Diga Kathawak||Playback singing|
|1982||Sanasanna Ma||Playback singing|
|1982||Rahasak Nathi Rahasak||Playback singing|
|1982||Kiri Suwanda||Playback singing|
|1982||Hello Shyama||Playback singing|
|1982||Thakkita Tharikita||Playback singing|
|1982||Newatha Hamuwemu||Playback singing|
|1982||Miss Mallika||Playback singing|
|1982||Rail Para||Playback singing|
|1983||Ran Mini Muthu||Playback singing|
|1983||Sumithuro||Jayantha Hettiarachchi||Playback singing, Producer|
|1983||Samuganimi Ma Samiyani||Playback singing|
|1983||Yali Pipunu Malak||Playback singing|
|1983||Karate Joe||Playback singing|
|1983||Thunhiri al||Playback singing|
|1983||Senehasaka Kandulu||Playback singing|
|1983||Loku Thaththa||Playback singing|
|1983||Mal Madhu||Playback singing|
|1983||Muwanpalessa 3||Playback singing|
|1983||Hithath Hondai Wadath Hondai||Playback singing|
|1984||Kiir Kawadi||Playback singing|
|1984||Thaththai Puthai||Playback singing|
|1984||Binari Saha Sudu Banda||Playback singing|
|1984||Bambara Patikki||Playback singing|
|1984||Namal Renu||Playback singing|
|1984||Rana Derana||Playback singing|
|1984||Hadawathaka Wedana||Playback singing|
|1984||Ara Soyza||Playback singing|
|1984||Jaya Sikurui||Playback singing|
|1985||Araliya Mal||Playback singing|
|1985||Channai Kello Dennai||Playback singing|
|1985||Obata Diwura Kiyannam||Playback singing|
|1985||Adarayaka Mahima||Playback singing|
|1985||Sudu Mama||Playback singing|
|1985||Doo Daruwo||Playback singing|
|1986||Mal Warusa||Playback singing|
|1986||Gimhane Gee Nade||Playback singing|
|1986||Jaya Apatai||Playback singing|
|1987||Yugayen Yugataya||Playback singing|
|1987||Hitha Honda Chandiya||Playback singing|
|1987||Kiwulegedara Mohottala||Playback singing|
|1987||Yukthiyada Shakthiyada||Playback singing|
|1987||Raja Wadakarayo||Playback singing|
|1987||Ran Damwal||Playback singing|
|1987||Obatai Priye Adare||Playback singing|
|1988||Chandingeth Chandiya||Playback singing|
|1988||Amme Oba Nisa||Playback singing|
|1988||Nawa Gilunath Ban Chun||Playback singing|
|1989||Mamai Raja||Playback singing|
|1989||Badulu Kochchiya||Playback singing|
|1989||Waradata Danduwama||Playback singing|
|1990||Dese Mal Pipila||Playback singing|
|1990||Sambudu Mahima||Playback singing|
|1991||Salabak Handai||Playback singing|
|1992||Sakvithi Raja||Playback singing|
|1992||Roomathiyay Neethiyay||Playback singing|
|1998||Aeya Obata Barai||Playback over 15,000 more than singing|
- "සිරියා මෙ සාරා සිට රමණීය කමණීය අපේ ආදරේ දක්වා". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
- A TRIBUTE TO JOTHI: THE SINGER AND HIS SONG
- "30th commemoration of Jothipala". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
- "Wonderful information about the life of HR Jothipala who would have turned 84 if he had been alive". lifie. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
- sooriya.lk . H.R.JOTHIPALA
- "Jothipala is a fan-based popular singer". Dinamina. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
- Uvais, Ramesh. ""Jothi, always alive in our hearts"". Archived from the original on 17 March 2005. Retrieved 28 September 2013.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). Daily Mirror. Retrieved 20 November 2006.
- "The undisputed superstar of Sinhala popular music: HR Jothipala". fmderana. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
- "Immortal Jothi in the world of singing". Silumina. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
- Sinhala Jukebox. "Tribute to H R Jothipala!!". Sinhala Jukebox. Retrieved 20 November 2006.
- Uvais, Ramesh. ""Deathless Jothi, always alive in our hearts"". Archived from the original on 17 March 2005. Retrieved 28 September 2013.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link). Daily Mirror. Retrieved 20 November 2006.
- "H.R. Jothipala - එච් ආර් ජෝතිපාල ( 1936 - 07 ) filmography". Sinhala Cinema Database. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
- "Sara Sande Sina Sele". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
- "Hindi Songs Turned Sinhala - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
- "Jothi who combined song and good heart". Divaina. Retrieved 5 June 2021.
- Sinhala Jukebox. "Tribute to H R Jothipala!!". Sinhala Jukebox. Retrieved 20 November 2006.
- "All about Sahanaya". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
- "All about Sujeewa". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 23 July 2020.