Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Three Gifted Voices of a Golden Era.












    Early Tamil Cinema was as much known for its quality of music as for its supremacy in theme, story line and narration of events and characters.There were great singers, both male and female besides the actor singers of those days.Of these, T.M Soundarajan has already found a separate place in this blog.There were three other distinct male voices, who adorned Tamil film music at its nascent period.There were quite a lot of similarities among these mighty singers.All the three were well trained in classical music and had clear loud voices, capable of delivering notes with consummate comfort and words with perfection in pronunciation.Above all,the three men carried the names of their towns along with theirs.They are the monumental singers,Tiruchi Loganathan, Chidambaram Jayaraman and Sirkazhi Govindarajan. The other similarity among these men was the mould of their voice that would not suit any particular hero of those days, unlike that of TMS that could exactly fit into the tone of MGR and Sivaji Ganesan and that of A.M.Raja and P.B.Srinivas which could fairly reflect the voice of Gemini Ganesan and Muthuraman.
   Tiruchi Loganathan was one of the most powerful singers with a loud and clear voice throw.
He could raise and lower his voice with a natural ease to make it thoroughly befitting the mood of the song.He had left many fascinating and undying melodies as well as philosophical and sorrow laden songs, perpetually charming the memory of song lovers.His ever sustaining melodies like 'Ulavum Thenral Kaatrinile' and 'Vaaraai Nee Vaaraai' from Mandhirikumari, philosophical songs like 'Aasaiye Alaipole' [Thai Porandhal Vazhipirakkum ]'Purushan Veetil Vaazhapogum Penne [Paanai Pidithaval Baagyasaali] 'Manmeedhu Maanam' [Sadhaaram]and 'Vaazhkaiyin Paadam'  [Ivan Avanedhaan] have found an immortal place in the film music archives of the last millennium.
   There was an equal amount of impact delivered by the lighter emotions in his songs like 'Sinna kutti nathana sillarayai mathuna'[Arivaali] and 'Kalyana Samayal Saadham' [Maayaa Bazaar] and  by those expressing deep grief like 'Chinna Arumbu Malarum'[Pangaaligal] 'Adikkirakaidhaan Anaikkum'[Vannakkili] and 'Ponnaana Vaazhvu'[Town Bus] minnuvadhellaam Ponnenru Enni{Gomathiyin Kaadhalan}.The patriotic feelings greatly experienced in his songs like 'Velli Pani malayin' 'Thanneer Vittom Valarthom' and Enru Thaniyum indha Sudhandhira dhaagam' all from Kappalottiya Thamizhan,carry a historic value.The one song 'Veenaikodiyudaya Vendhane' truly contributed to the epic grandeur of Samboorana Raamayanam. On the whole, Tiruchi Loganathan remains as a high sounding, felicitous symbol of last century film music in Tamil Cinema.
   Chidambaram Jayaraman had established a commanding position for himself by his unusual nasal voice that carried an enticing effect on the music lovers of the previous century.He had sung more songs for Sivaji Ganesan starting from the latter's first movie Parasakthi that came out with the most memorable song 'Nenju Porukkudhillaiye'.The other popular songs Jayaraman delivered for Sivaji Ganesan's films include, 'Manjal Veyil Maalaiyile'[Kaveri] 'Aairam Kan Podhaadhu' 'Vanna Thamizh Pennoruthi' and 'Kaaviama Nenjin Oviyama' [all from Paavai Vilakku ] 'Anbaale Thedia En Arivuchelvam Thangam'[Deivapiravi] 'Aaarambamaavadhu Pennukkulle'[Thangapadhumai] 'Sirithaalum Azhudhaalum' [Raani Lalithaangi]  'Nee Sollaavidil Yaar Solluvaar Nilave' {Kuravanji}and the ever mesmerizing song 'Vinnodum Mugilodum' from Pudhyal. His most popular number for an MGR movie was the duet 'Ullam Rendum Onru'{Pudhumai Pithan}
    The other eternally fascinating songs of this distinguished singer were 'Anbinaale Undaagum Inbanilai' [Paasavalai]'SandhanaPodhigaiyil '[Thangarathinam]' Kutram Purindhavan' [Rathakkanneer]and the two famous songs 'Sangeetha Sowbagyame' and' Inru Poi Naalai Vaarai' from Samboorana Raamaayanam. What Made Chidambaram Jayaraman different from others was his singular voice pattern and the clarity of presentation of Tamil words. He is remembered for his mellifluous melodies.
   Sirkazhi Govindarajan was far ahead of others because of his versatility in singing and his specific involvement in devotional songs and carnatic music.He had a stentorian voice effect that could also casually fall from the high pitch to the bass.Think of a song like 'Aaadi Adangum Vaazhkaiyada' [Neerkumizhi] that is delivered from a very low throw of voice.How amazing the impact of the song was.Songs like 'Maranathai Enni Kalangidum' [Karnan]'Samarasam Ulaavum' {Rambaiyin Kaadhal} and 'Azhaithavar Kuralukku' [Anaathai Aanandhan] also carried a similar style of delivery.But many of his songs belonged to the high pitch category.We can quote quite a few songs like 'Kallile Kalaivannam Kandaan' [Kumudham] 'Ullathil Nalla Ullam' [Karnan]'Kannan Vandhaan' [Sung along with TMS in Raamu] 'Arupadai Veedu Konda'[Kandan Karunai] 'Odam Nadhiyinile' [Kaathirundha Kangal]'Engirundho Vandhaan' [Padikkaadha Medhai] 'Dhevan Koil Mani Osai'[Mani Osai]' Panam Pandhiyile' [Film with the same title] and so on.All these songs were rooted to the ground, in terms of clarity of words,dedication to musical notes,quality of lyrics and thrust in delivery.
   Though Govindarajan who was known for his sobriety and ripeness as an extraordinary singer,  he was also capable of singing songs revealing the lighter side of life.Songs like 'Pattanathaam Pogalaamadi Pombale' [Enga Veettu Mahaalatchumi] 'Aasai Kiliye kobama'[Sabash Meena] 'Kaadhalikka Neramillai' [Film with the same title]'Aadavaanga Annaathe','Kadhalennum Solayile' [both from Sakravarthithirumagal] 'Aathula Thannivara' ,'Maatukkaara Vela'[Both from Vannakkili] reveal Govindarajan's flair for expressing the light spirited mood of mankind. A few melodious duet and solo numbers of Sirkazhi Govindarajan are 'Bagavaane Mounam Yeno'{Rambaiyin Kaadhal} 'Nilavodu Vaanmugil' [RajaRajan] 'Sirikkinraal inru Sirikkinraal'[Nallavan Vaazhvaan]' Ennaivittu odipoga mudiyuma' [Kumudham]' 'Uzhappadhila Uzhaippai Peruvadhila'[Naadodi Mannan] 'Irukkum idathaivittu' [Thiruvarutchelvar]'Vanameedhil Neendiyodum Vennilaave' [Gomadhiyin Kadhalan] and 'Sengani Vaithirandhu Sirithiduval' [Yaanaipaagan].Govindarajan's vigour and exalted levels of energy were noticed in the songs like 'Vetri Venduma'[Ethir Neechal]' Poova Thalaiya'[film with the same title]and 'Saattai Kaiyil Kondu' [Kaadhal Jothi] and the famous duet' Maamiyaalukku Oru Seidhi' Among the three Playback singers mentioned here,it was Govindarajan who had sung several songs for the great comedian K.A.Thangavelu. Later A.L.Raghavan did a similar thing for Nagesh.
  Unlike the other two singers,Sirkazhi Govindarajan had also acted in a couple of films of A.P.Nagarajan. Govindarajan as 'Agathiyar' truly brought before us, in form and spirit, the age old Tamil poet and saint, Agasthiyar,like K.B.Sundaraambaal who perfectly fitted into the role of Avvaiyaar, the poet of the Sangam literature period. Govindarajan also donned the role of Nambiyaandaar Nambi in Raja Raja Chozhan, another A.P.N movie.
     If Chidambaram Jayaraman had been a play back singer for more of Sivaji Ganesan movies, Sirkazhi Govindarajan had given his musical voice frequently, for MGR.All the three magnificent voices belonged to the musical treasure house of the Tamil film industry during an epoch- making period and their contribution was a leading pointer to the enrichment of film music at the right time, when the number of actor singers was in decrease.They were also fortunate to work under the trend setting music composers like G.Ramanathan.Viswanathan Ramamurthy and K.V.Mahadevan. Among the three voices,the devotional and spiritual support rendered by the most appealing songs of Sirkazhi Govindarajan on Hindu deities like Lord Ganesa and Lord Muruga still continue to attract the music loving generation whose hearts are closer to divine songs.But as far as film music is concerned, the three gifted voices of a golden era,have competitively retained their magnetic force, as positive reflectors of masterly performance and magnificent show.
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