Sunday, January 26, 2014

Myriad Music Composers of the Last Century.


      During the last century, apart from G.Ramanathan,Viswanathan Ramamurthy and K.V,Mahadevan there were more than half a dozen other music directors who competed for higher level positions and made in roads, as music makers of individual merit and popularity. Each one’s music  could be identified by a kind of trade mark that sweetened their compositions and helped them get firmly rooted to the ground. Similarly, each one had the sum and substance of musical richness that retained their career undeterred. This article looks upon them with esteem and special recognition.
    T.R Papa who entered Tamil film music almost at the time of G.Ramanathan, was known by his music direction of films of Sivaji Ganesan such as Anbu,Raja Rani, Rangoon Radha and Kuravanji. The two MGR films for which he composed music were Nallavan Vaazhvaan and Thaai Magalukku Kattia Thaali. His two Gemini Ganesan movies were Aasai and Mallika. Apart from Malliga he was the music composer for a few other films of the Citadel Pictures house like Vijayapuri Veeran,Iravum Pagalum and Kaadhal Paduthum Paadu. His music greatly helped the success of Rambaiyin Kaadhal in which K.A.Thangavelu played the hero. Songs like ‘Samarasam Ulaavum’ and ‘Baghavaane Mounam Aeno’from Sirkazhi Govinda- rajan’s scintillating voice are life time melodies.The movie Kumara Raja which had the most popular song of J.B.Chandrababu ‘Onnume Puriyala Ulagathula’ owes its remembrance to the lovable music of T.R.Papa. His other immortally popular songs are from Nallavan Vaazhvaan.
     Similarly, songs like Iravum Varum Pagalum Varum,Ullathin Kadhavugal Kangalada,{both sung by TMS} Ullathile Uram Venumada [A.M.Raja} and ‘Iraivan Enroru Kavignan’ {sung by SP.Balasubramanyam from Aein} made his contribution memorable.T.R.Papa continued to compose music for films of the Nineteen Seventies like Teecharamma,Aein,Maru- Piravi,Vairam and Avasara Kalyaanam. A few other lasting tunes of T.R.Papa are ‘Aasai Pongum’{Aasai} 'Varuvein Naan Unadhu Maaligaiyin Vaasalukke’ {Mallika}’Nee Sollaavidil Yaar Solluvaar Nilave’{Kuravanji}.
     S.M.Subbaiah Naidu, the other early contemporary of G.Ramanathan,started his musical career with the MGR films  Abimanyu,Mohini  Raajakumaari and Marmayogi. His later works for MGR films include films like Malaikallan,Nadodi Mannan,Thrudaathe,Aasai Mugam and Thaayin Madiyil .Some of his most exciting songs from  this list of films are ‘Ethanai Kaalam Dhaan Yematruvaar Indha Naattile’ ‘Kannil Vandhu Minnal poel’ ‘ThoongaadheThambi Thoongaathe’’Thirudaathe Papa Thirudathe’ and ‘Ethanai Periya Manidhanukku Ethanai Siriya Manmirukku’ Three of his well known Sivaji Ganesan films were Annaiyin Aanai, Maragatham and Kalyaniyin Kanavan, The songs ‘Annaiyai Poel Oru Dheivamillai’ 'Vaazhvinile Vaazhvinile' became instant hits. Some of his other films that need a special mention are Velaikkaari, Thigambara Saamiyaar, Thirumanam,Nalla Theerpu, Konjum Salangai, Pandhayam, Mannippu, Naalum Therindhavan,Panakkaara Pillai and Aindhu Latcham.The song‘Nee Enge En Ninaivugal Ange ‘ from Mannippu will ever remain as one of his most powerful  musical pieces. SMS as he was briefly called in film circles is specially known for his singularly striking use of percussion instruments.
     Another noted music composer of this period was T.G.Lingappa who was closer to B.R.Pantulu and directed music for the latter’s earlier movies like Kalyaanam Panniyum Brammachaari, Thangamalai Ragasiam,Sabash Meena and Muradan Muthu. His other Sivaji Ganesan films were,Mudhal Thedhi, Naane Raaja and Bommai Kalyaanam. Two other films for which Lingappa composed music were, S.,S.Rajendran’s  Sangilithevan and Gemini Ganesan’s’ Ellorum Innaattu Mannar.P.Suseela’s'Amudhai Pozhiyum Nilave’ from Thangamalai Ragasiyam,'Kaanaa Inbam Kanindhadhenoe’ from Sabash Meena and ‘Thingal urangidum Nerathilum’ from Sangilithevan are enough to perpetuate the memory of this great music composer.
     Ghantasala has found a special place in Tamil Cinema not only by his vocal contribution but also by his most soothing musical composition. He has enriched films like, Devadas,  Paataala Bhairavi,Tenali Raman,Anaarkali,Lila Majnu,Maayaa Bazaar,Engal Veettu Mahalakshmi and  Anbu Sagodharargal by his beautiful musical capability. In his music one could experience a soul sustaining process of peace and happiness. It would be like listening to the songs of a Mukesh or Magendra kaboor or Mannade of the Hindi film music world.It is always a pleasure to listen to Ghantasala’s music at bed time for a peaceful sleep without any onslaught of nightmarish dreams. Same is the case with A.M.Raja who composed music for a few Tamil films like Kalyana Parisu,Vidi Velli, Thein Nilavu and Adi Perukku. Eternal melodies  are the extraordinary legacy of these two men. There were a few other Telugu musicians like S.Rajeswara Rao {Missiamma,Madharkula Manickam}T.Chelapathi Rao {Amaradeepam, Meenda Sorgam and Punar Jenmam}and Aadhi Narayana Rao{Adutha Veettupen and Manalane Mangaiyin Bagyam} whose musical work in Tamil cinema is limited but great.
     R.Sudharsanam the other famous face of Tamil film music has to his credit ‘Parasakthi’ the first film of Sivaji Ganesan  followed by other wonderful films like Rathakanneer, Kuladheivam, Sellapillai, Thilagam, Sagodhari, Dheivapiravi,Kalathur Kannamma, Annai , Naanum Oru Penn, Anbukkarangal and Kaakkum Karangal. Songs like  ‘Nenju Porukku dhillaiye’‘Kutram Purindhavan’ ‘ Anbaale Thediya En Arivu selvam’{all in the unique voice of C.S.Jeyaraman} 'Kangalin Vaarthaikal'{A.M.Raja and P.Suseela}'Annai Enbaval Needhaanaa'
{P.Banumathi }'Kannaa Karumai Nira Kannaa’{P.Suseela}'Kagidhathil Kappal Seidhu'{TMS} and 'Allithandu Kaalgaleduthu'{TMS and P.Suseela} carry the charm of his distinct musical thrust.
     Among the late entrants, V.Kumar became the chosen music director of K.Balachander for many of his films and his prolific contribution of melodies supported by the use of limited musical instruments, added to the strength of  K.B's quality-oriented films.Films like Naanal {Kuyil Koovi Thuyil Ezhuppa, by Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi},Velli Vizha {Kaadhoedudhaan Naan Peisuvein by L.R.Eswari}Edhir Neechal {Thaamarai Kannangal by PB Srinivas and P.Suseela} Nootrukku Nooru{Naan Unnai Vazhthi Paadugirein by P.Suseela} Neerkumizhi {Aadi Adangum Vaazhkai yada, by Sirkazhi Govindarajan}Major Chandrakanth {Oru Naal Yaaroe,by P.Suseela} and Iru Kodugal { Punnagai Mannan Poovizhi Kannan, by P.Suseela and Jamuna Raani} will refresh nostalgic memories of many a worthy movie of K.Balachander. I have mentioned only some movies here. Besides Kala Kendra films, Kumar has also worked for a few Muktha Pictures’ films like Niraikudam and Bommalaattam {Nalla Naaal Paarkavoe, by TMS and P.Suseela }.His other films include Panakkaara Penn, Veguli Penn{the famous TMS song Engellaam Valai Osai Keitkinradhoe} and Thein Sindhudhe Vaanam .None of the songs of Kumar would create a jarring note and the soothing combination of vocal and instrumental components of music has always been the trade mark of Kumar.
      If V.Kumar remained the favourite of K.Balachander, the duo Shankar Ganesh were  the regular music composers for the Dhandayudhabaani Pictures of  Devar film circuit.Films like Magarasi, Akka Thangai,Aattukkara Alamelu,  Sorgam  Naragam,Vellikizhamai Viradham, Ranga,Thaai Veedu, Thaayillaamal Naanillai,Komadha En Kulamadha and Adhisiappiravigal for which the duo composed music were from the Devar Production house..Besides, they have the proud position of composing music for MGR films like Idhaya Veenai and Naan Yen Pirandhein. For the AVM banner they have worked for the film Samsaaram Adhu Minsaaram. They have also been associated with the Sujatha Cine Arts' films like Mangamma Sabatham,Vidhi ,Billa etc.Their other popular movies are Neeyaa,Darling Darling Darling,Kanni Paruvathile and Vandi Chakkaram. If V.Kumar tried to bring out the voice mould and efficacy of the singers Sankar Ganesh believed more in the instrumental supremacy of song and tuning.
     Chandrabose,the other well-known music director of this period, had his merit and talent recognized by the AVM banner by composing music for the two most successful Rajinikanth films Manithan and Raja Chinna Roja,besides being the music director for Rajini's earlier film Mangudi Minor.He has also composed music for two other AVM films like Sankar Guru, and Maanagarakkaaval.He carries the pride of making music for the National award winning film Pudhiya Paadhai and the Sathyaraj entertainer Anna Nagar Mudhal Theru. What is very special about Chandrabose music is his high level of lyrical clarity and optimum instrumental thrust.He has given us many hits like 'Kaala Kaala' as well as the title song from Manithan,'Super Starru Yarunnu Ketta' from Raja Sinna Roja and 'Medhuva Meduvaa Oru Kaadhal Paattu' from Anna Nagar Mudhal Theru   
     Besides these musicians, the violin maestro Kunnakkudi Vaidhiyanathan has also joined the wagon of music directors once a way by directing music for A.P.Nagarajan’s films like Thirumalai Thenkumari, Kaaraikkal Ammaiyaar,Raja Raja Cholan and Mel Naattu Maru Magal. Similarly the Devar films unit also had the privilege of availing the musical support of Vaidhiyanathan for their films Dheivam and Thiruvarul. All these films  either had a spiritual  theme or a Carnatic base.With his profound understanding of traditional music,Vaidhyanathan could substantially enrich the musical component of the films mentioned above.Like Kunnakkudi Vaidhyanathan, Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi the noted Carnatic singer also composed music for films like Karpooram,Dharisanam,Magizhampoo,Manam Oru Kurangu, and Jeevanaadi. The songs from Karpooram and Dharisanam deserve a special place for quality stuff  music.
     While all these music directors made Tamil Cinema reach higher positions in creativity and entertainment, some have been acknowledged more than the others or some have not been given their due recognition.The objective of this article is to reasonably record their service and respect them with a sense of gratitude and appreciation. 
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