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Latha Walpola

>> Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Latha, born and bred in Galkissa emerged her inborn talents of singing as a leading singer in a Church Choir. Known by her childhood name as Rita Jenevi Fernando she was introduced to then Radio Ceylon (Now-Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation) at the age of 13 years with her mother’s permission by her family friend C.A.Fonseka, a popular Radio dramatist at the time. She started her career in playing different characters in C.A,Fonseka’s radio dramas very popular from late 50s to mid 60s. He was the father of Radio artist C.D.Fonseka.

In 1947 she made her debut in singing “Kandulu Denethe Vehena”, song composed by Vincent de Alwis, the versatile violinist at Radio Ceylon and sang duets with him in his Sarala Gee Programs conducted by Radio Ceylon. Observing her congenital talents and skills Vincent de Alwis introduced her to Susil Premaratne and C.T.Fernando. “Namo Mariyanee” recorded by her in 1948 with her melodious voice became a household favorite in Sri Lanka showered upon with outstanding success. “Seethala Duruthu Mahe”, “Mihiri Suwanda Vihiduwa” “Nunwa Jaya Handa Pem”, “Soka Nege Den”, “Oba Prema Raja Mage” and many other songs recorded in 1948, 1949 and 1950 became highly popular together with Carroll songs composed by Fr Mercelyn Jayakody.
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