Wednesday, December 3, 2014

S.RAJAM

S.Rajam was a very popular Carnatic Vocalist who possessed diversified talents in photography and painting.In his youth he was a Tamil film actor also




Scene from 'Seetha Kalyanam(1934).S.Rajam as Srirama



 who acted in main roles of a few films.
He was born in Mylapore, Chennai in 1919 in an art loving musical family.His brother Veenai S.Balachander was also an expert musician and film actor.
As a photographer, S.Rajam's  pictures of temples are considered to be of good quality.
He was a staff of All India Radio and he was responsible for including Carnatic music lessons on AIR.
He was trained in Classical music from legends like 'Ariyakudi,Papanasam Sivan,Madurai Mani Aiyer' etc.He along with his broither Veena S.Balachander gave dual concerts in several parts of India and were known as 'Lava Kusa'.S.Rajam was blessed with a powerful rich voice.He popularized 'Kritis' of 'Koteeswara Iyer' in his concerts.
His students included renowned musicians like M.S.Subbulakshmi and M.L.Vasantha Kumari.
He was recipient of Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award,Sangeetha Kalacharya Award and many more.
In the year 1934 film legend V.Shantaram of Prabhat Film Company of Kolhapur, had an idea of making a Tamil film utilizing the sets of a Marathi film 'Sairandhri' put in his studio.'Sairandhri' was not a success and he thought of gaining the loss from the Tamil film.He wrote to film magazine 'Sound and Shadow' of Chennai about his proposed idea of making a Tamil film utilizing the sets of 'Sairandhri'.Seshagiri Iyer who was one of the partner of 'Sound and Shadow' magazine was a close friend of Rajam's father.Rajam's father offered his willingness to act in that film with his family members.Thus the family members including their music guru 'Papanasam Sivan' went to Kolhapur and acted in the Hindu mythological film 'Seetha Kalyanam' in 1934.
S.Rajam acted as Sri Rama,his sister 'S.Jayalakshmi' played the role of Seetha, another sister S.Saraswathi played the role of Urmila,Seshagiri Iyer played Ravana,
Rajam's father Sundaram Iyer portrayed Janaka,T.V.Seetharama Iyer played Dasaratha,P.Vekat Rao acted as Viswamitra and Rajam's younger brother Veena S.Balachander acted as a musician in Ravana's court.
The film was directed by Baburao Phendharkar.
Next year he acted as Lord Krishna in 'Radha Kalyanam' and again in 1936 acted as Krishna in  'Rugmini Kalyanam' which was directed by a Marathi film director.
Seetha Kalyanam was the first film of 'Papanasam Sivan' and he wrote the lyrics and composed music for the film.
S.Rajam passed away in 2010 at the age of 91.
Filmography
Seetha Kalyanam (34)
Radha Kalyanam (35)
Rukmini Kalyanam (36)
Siva Kavi (43)


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