Sunil Santha,musician, composer and lyricist, and was Baddaliyanage Don Joseph John before he adopted the name Sunil Santha, was only 65 years old when he died. His musical accomplishments were phenomenal. He had an exceptional educational record being one of the brightest students among his peers. He became a Music Teacher and like many musicians of the day, went to Shantiniketan (in what was West Bengal), an University Town established by the famed Rabindranath Tagore, for further studies. He became well known when he did a series of recordings for Radio Ceylon in the late 1940s. Sunil Santha broke away from tradition by refusing to sing Sinhalese songs based on Hinustani and Tamil songs. He preferred lyricists such as Munidasa Kumaratunge and Fr Marcelline Jayakody. His tenure with Radio Ceylon came to an abrupt end when in the same spirit, he refused to audition for the Indian musician Ratanjankar. Following this, he ran into major problems with his finances but refused to compromise on his principles on pursuing a more pure brand of unadulterated Sinhalese music. In 1967, the Director General of Radio Ceylon, Mr Neville Jayaweera, invited Sunil Santha to come back to the service. Among his popular songs are "Olu Pipila" (the first song to be recorded at then Radion Ceylon), "Handapane", "Ho Ga Rella Negay", "Bowitiya Dan Palukan Vare", "Suwada Rosa Mal Nela", "Kokilayange", and "Mihikathanalawala. He is also well known for composing the soundtracks for Lester James Peries' “Rekava” and “Sandesaya” in 1956 and 1960. He died of a Heart attack in 1981.
Listen to my version of "Nalavee sanasenne". Hope you like it. As you see I am going through a nostalgic mood for songs of my childhood (may be because it is my second childhood!).