Born on born 7 August 1954 in a Marathi family in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, Suresh Wadkar developed a passion for singing from the tender age of 8 years. Later it was his passion for music that he did his graduation in music through Prayag Sangit Samiti and joined Arya Vidya Mandir, Mumbai as a music teacher.
Recalling his foray into Bollywood as a singer Suresh Wadkar in an interview said, "In the early 70’s there was a prominent music competition- ‘Film Sangeet Sammelan’ organized by Sursingar Sansad and was judged by distinguished music directors from India like Ravindra Jain, Jaidev, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Sudhir Phadke, Shivkumar Sharma and Harprasad Chourasia. The competition was held each year to hunt for a male and female singer competent in Indian Shastriya Sangeet. It was a very difficult competition as it was attended by talented young budding singers from all over India and the best were eventually contested for the prestigious ‘Madan Mohan Award."
He added, "I was fortunate to enter the finals. When the result was announced by the celebrated music director Ravindra Jain, I couldn’t believe. What was most surprising is that besides awarding me the ‘Madan Mohan award’ Ravindra Jain also announced on the stage that he would be giving me the break as playback singer and he lived his words by giving me first song Vrushti Pade Taapur Tipur... in the Rajshri Production’s film PAHELI (1977)...
Wadkar informed, "Another great music director judging the contest was Jaidev. He too was quite impressed by me and offered me a song from the song Seene Mein Jalan...’ for the movie GAMAN (1978). ‘