Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Music Director Raghu Kumar

Music Director Raghu Kumar was not familiar to all Keralites but many of his songs are lingering in the hearts and lips of music lovers old and young alike.
He never longed for popularity but confined to his works silently.He was an eminent Tabla Player in India who worked for music stage programs of K.J.Jesudas,P.Jayachandran and other well known singers.He was well  versed on Key Board,Sitar etc also.At the age of 16 he became a graded artist of All India Radio and later graduated to 'A' grade artist and as a music composer.
                                   He was born on June 13, 1953 at renowned 'Pootheri' family of Kozhikkod.All the members of his  family were music lovers and Raghu Kumar started learning 'Tabla' at an young age of six from a 'Guru' by name 'Dasan Mash'.His elder sister's Guru G.S.Sree Krishnan taught him basics of Carnatic Music.He learned 'Tabla' lessons in detail,Carnatic music,Sitar etc from other professional experts later on.




He played Tabla for P.Jayachandran's 'Ganamela' program which was held at R.E.C in Kozhikod  when he was only 16 years old and it was his first public appearance as a Tabla Player.

He reached Chennai and became assistant to Music Composer R.K Shekhar.
He worked as percussionist with Music Director V.Dakshinamoorthy for a long period.He worked for G.Devarajan for the films like 'Ayodhya'.He also worked with Gunasingh,Janardhanan,K.J.Joy,Sivamony etc.
Raghu Kumar with his friends produced films like 'Sanghupushpam,Lisa,Anupallavi,Dheera,Sakti' etc.Actress Bhavani acted in his films like 'Lisa,Anupallavi' etc and Raghu Kumar later married her.The couple have two daughters.
Raghu Kumar was settled in Chennai but he used to visit his native place occasionally.
As a film music composer his debut film was 'Eeswara Jagadeeswara' in 1979 which was never released.His first released film was in 1981  titled  'Visham'.
He composed music for Priyadarshan films like 'Aryan,Boeing Boeing,Thalavattam'Aram Aram Kinnaram' etc'.
Raghu Kumar composed music for around 110 film songs in about 30 films and composed 83 songs for Albums also.
'Collector' which was directed by Anil C.Menon in 2011 was Raghu Kumar's  last film as a music Director.
His songs like 'Pon Murali Oothum Kattin' (film 'Aryan'),
'Kaikudanna Niraye Thirumadhuram tharum'(film 'Maya Mayuram'),
 Kalabham Charthum(Thalavattam),
Nee En Kinavo(Hello My Dear wrong Number),
Thozhu Kai(Boeing Boeing)
Madhumasa Chandran(Kanakkinavu),
Poonkatte Poyi Chollamo(Shyama) are some of the melodious songs which are liked by all music lovers.
Raghu Kumar died on February 20, 2014 due to Kidney related diseases.
May his soul rest in peace.
Filmography
Eeswara Jagadeeswara
Visham
Thalavattam
Boeing Boeing
Dheera
Subhadram
Onnanam Kunnil Orady Kunnil
Onnum Mindatha Bharya
Pon Thooval
Subhadram
Kana Kinavu
Kottum Kuravayum
Amina Tailors
Manassariyathe
Ayiram Kannumayi
Veendum Lisa
Nadhi muthal Nadhi vare
Hello My Dear Wrong Number
Aryan
Cheppu
Aram Aram Kinnaram
Ithra Mathram
Pouran
Pavam Poornima
Manassile Manpeda
Attakatha




Monday, September 14, 2015

N.N.Pillai

N.N.Pillai (Narayana Pillai Narayana Pillai) was a highly acclaimed Theater



  Actor, Director  and Playwright.He is referred to as the 'Natakacharyan' of Kerala which means he was a 'Guru' ,Master .or Preceptor for Malayalam Drama Field.He wrote, directed and acted in 28 plays and all of them attracted large crowds and were hits.
N.N.Pillai was born in 'Vaikom' to Parents  Narayana Pillai and Parukutty Amma.His father was a Village Officer.After Intermediate course he eloped to Malaysia and worked as an estate manager there.In 1950 he came back and settled at 'Olassa' of Kottayam District in Kerala.He formed a drama troupe 'Viswa Kerala Kala Samithi' in 1952  comprising  mostly of his family members.His wife Chinnammu acted in his earlier plays while his sister Omana and son Vijaya Raghavan acted in important roles of several plays.His son Vijayaraghavan later became a popular film actor.
N.N.Pillai selected social and or political themes mostly and his plays  were noted for the novelty of the themes and uncompromising satire.His powerful and sharp dialogues  used to hit his targets without fail.His plays and dialogues worked as a weapon against corruption,crime and evils prevailed in the society.He criticized politicians and even the judiciary when and where appropriate through his plays.He was dare enough to express the feelings of the masses by his dialogues and the audience cheered and applauded always and his plays were a sensation where ever staged.
He was not interested in costly stage settings and decoration but always inclined to  simplicity.His plays received wide recognition and appreciation.He proved that glamorous artists would be  not necessary for the success of plays but powerful theme and dialogues as well as excellent acting skill is the basic necessity to achieve good results.
N.N.Pillai's troupe  'Viswa Kerala Kala Samithi' was very  active for about four decades.
His popular plays includes 'Kapalika,Cross Belt,Porter Kunjali,Eeswaran Arrestil,Gorilla,Pretha Lokam,Njan Swargathil,Supreme Court' etc.
His plays 'Kapalika', 'Porter Kunjali', and 'Cross Belt' were made into movies which were also big hits.
N.N.Pillai was not interested to act in films but acted in a few films because of loving compulsion from his film field friends.He acted in films like 'Veluthampi Dalawa,Kapalika,Manushya Bandhangal,Nadodi,Godfather and a Telugu film 'Peddarikam'.
His protagonist role in the movie 'Godfather' received large scale admiration and appreciation for his powerful and excellent acting skill and that role would be enough to remember him for ever.
He wrote two books about the study of dramas and wrote autobiography also.
N.N.Pillai passed away in 1996
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Monday, September 7, 2015

M.S.Subbulakshmi


M.S.Subbulakshmi was a highly blessed Carnatic  exponent  who earned fame
all over India and abroad  and spread the greatness,richness and purity of
Carnatic and Hindustani music all over the Globe.She could earn the highest civilian award  of Asia and the highest civilian award of India as well.
M.S.Subbulakshmi was born in Madurai, of Madras Presidency  on 16 Sept 1916.
Her mother was also a  music exponent and a regular stage performer.
M.S.Subbulakshmi  started to learn music from a very early stage from her mother. Then Dr.Semmangudi Sreenivasa
Iyer taught her Carnatic music and  subsequently Pandit Narayanrao Vyas Hindustani music.
She was also taught by other eminent Gurus like Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer,Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyenkar etc afterwards.Special coaching was given to  her for Sanskrit.
Her first public performance was at the age of 11 at Rockfort Temple,Tiruchirapally.At the age of 17 she had a prestigious performance at Madras Music Academy which gave her much accolades and helped  to get boosted  her fame and career.From  the age of ten her recorded music songs in different languages  were made
available by HMV Recording Co.  of India.She used to sing devotional songs and 'Bhajans' in all the important languages of India and music records  which were released  met  great demand.
Her devotional songs in Hindi,Tamil,Telugu,Malayalam,Punjabi,Gujarati,Bengali Marathi, etc all earned great  name and fame.
Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said in praise that "Who am I, a mere
Prime Minister before a Queen, a Queen of Music".
Her renditions of bhajans( traditional devotial songs) include the chanting of "Bhaja Govindam,Lalitha Sahasra Namam,Vishnu Sahasra Namam,Venkiteswara Suprabhatham etc.
She  could perform Carnatic Classical music concerts all over India and also performed
music concerts in England,U.S.A,Canada,Other European countries and Far East countries.She  could travel abroad widely as the Indian Cultural Ambassador.
Scene from film 'Sakunthala'
She got chance to perform at the  UN General Assembly  on UN day in 1966,Royal Albert Hall in London in 1982,Festival of India,  Moscow in 1987 etc.
M.S.Subbulakshmi got fame all over India easily because she acted and sang 
songs in a few films in her youthful days.She acted in four  Tamil films and Hindi version of one of them was shown all over India which was a super hit.
In her debut film 'Sevasadanam' she acted as a poor girl married to a rich old man.It was directed by K.Subramanyam and she acted along with F.G.Natesa Iyer,Jayalakshmi and Rampiary.
She acted in the film 'Sakunthala' afterwards in lead role opposite G.N.Balasubramanyam.
Her next film was 'Savitri' in which she played the male role as Saint Narada.
This film was a box Office super hit.Her sanskit bhajan 'Bruhi Mukundethi' in
this film was a very popular hit in South India.
M.S.Subbulakshmi then acted in the tiltle role of the  film 'Meera' in which she
portrayed the Rajasthani poetess and Saint 'Bhakta Meera'.This film was made
in Hindi also in the name 'Bhakta Meera'  and M.S. became a popular name all over India.The songs and the The
film mesmerized the public and the film was a super duper hit.
The 'Nightingale of India' Sarojini Naidu exclaimed M.S. as the 'Nightingale of
India' and  she said that M.S. was a great woman artiste of India who moved the hearts of millions through her songs.
M.S.Subbulakshmi stopped her public performance after the death of her husband 'Kalki Sadasivam' in 1997.









'Bkakta Meera'
M.S.Subbulakshmi was honored with a large number of awards,certificates, titles,University Degrees   etc.
She received Padma Bhushan in 1954
Sangeet Natak Academy Award was given in 1956
Sangeet Kalanidhi title was given in 1968
Highest Civilian Award of Asia, Raman Magasaysay Award in 1974
Padma Vibhushan was given to her in 1975
Kalidas Samman in 1998
Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration in 1990
The highest Civilian Award of India "Bharat Ratna" in 1998
She was honored as the court singer of  Thirumala Tirupathi  Devasthanams.
She was given honorary Doctorate from several Universities.
She raised more than 10,000,000 rupees for charity through concerts.She also
donated royalty of her best sold records for charity.
M.S.Subbulakshmi passed away on 11 Dec 2004 at Chennai. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thirunayinarkurichy Madhavan Nair

Thirunayinarkurichy Madhavan Nair was an acclaimed lyricist of Malayalam Cinema during  1950's and to the mid of 1960's.He was popular by his pen name 'Thirunayinarkurichy' which was the name of his native place.
Thirumayinarkurichy Madhavan Nair was born in the Malayalam year 1091 in the month of Meenam at the place 'Thirunayinarkurichy of Kanyakumari District.After his schooling he learnt 'Malayalam Vidwan' course and hence became an expert of that language.He was also well versed in other languages such as English,Hindi,Sanskrit and Tamil.He was employed at All India Radio as a staff artist.He was also a popular Malayalam writer in both prose and poetry  who published more than 100 books in categories such as Novels,Short stories and Poems.
His entry into the Malayalam film field as a lyricist was with the film 'Athmasakhi' produced by P.Subramanyam of Neela Productions in the year 1952.It was the first film produced by P.Subramanyam and was directed by G.R.Rao.Sathyan,B.S.Saroja,M.N.Nambiar,Veeran,Pankajavally,T.S.Muthaiya,Kumari Thankam etc acted in it.There were 13 songs in the film all of which were written by Thirunayinarkurichy.The songs were tuned by Br.Lakshmanan.

Thirunayinarkurichy became an established lyricist with the success of the film 'Athmasakhi' and he continued to write songs for many other films of that decade and for almost all films produced by P.Subramanyam during that period.Brother Lakshmanan composed music for most of his songs.During the 60's music composers like M.S.Baburaj and M.B.Sreenivasan also tuned his songs.
He wrote around 242 songs for about 26 Malayalam films during his short career span as a lyricist.The evergreen immortal song 'Athma Vidyalayame Avaniyil athma vidyalayame' from the film 'Harishchandra'(1955) was penned by him.
He used to act in small roles of many films of that period also.
'Jailpully' was a successful film of 1957 and the song "Sangeethame jeevitham oru madhura sangeethame jeevitham" earned much appreciation.
'Bhaktha Kuchela' was a super hit film produced and directed by P.Subramanyam in the year 1961 in which C.S.R.Anjenayalu,Kanta Rao,Kottarakkara,Miss.Kumari,Ambika Sukumaran,Thikkurissi,Aranmula Ponnamma,Baby Vinodini,Jose Prakash etc acted.This film contained 24 songs out of which 22 were written by Thirunayinarkurichy Madhavan Nair.The songs "Eeshwara Chintha Ithonne manujanu saswathame ulakil"
"Nale Nale ennayittum Bhagawane kananithra naalum purapedatha njan"
"Kanna Thamarakkanna ennunni Kanmani kunje va va va" etc are still enjoyed by music lovers.
'Sreerama Pattabhishekam' of 1962 was a super hit film produced by P.Subramanyam which was directed by G.K.Ramu The songs in this film were very popular at that period.
Snapaka Yohannan was yet another  super hit film produced and directed by P.Subramanyam in the year 1963.Jose Prakash,Prem Nazir,Miss.Kumari,Thikkurissi,Kottarakkara,L.Vijayalakshmi,Adoor Pankajam,Kanchana etc acted in it.
The songs "Aakasathin Mahimave ashrayam nee thanne Yahove Deivame Nee enikkennum ennum ner vazhi kattename" and another song "Oshana Oshana 
Daveedin Puthrannosana" are still very much loved.
In the film 'Karutha Kai' of 1964 which was directed by M.Krishnan Nair  M.S.Baburaj composed the songs written by Thirunayinarkurichy.The song 'Panchavarna Thantha pole Konchi vanna penne' sung by Yesudas and Kamukara is still popular.Another song 'Kallane vazhiyil Muttum Kandaludane thattum' was also a hit.
In the film 'Althara' produced and directed by P.Subramanyam in 1964, M.B.Srenivasan was the music composer.Prem Nazir,Sheela,Adoor Bhasi,S.P.Pillai,Kottarakkara,Kanchana etc acted in it.The film contained lovable songs.
Thirunayinarkurichy Madhavan Nair wrote songs for films such as 'Athmasakhi,
Velakkaran,Ponkathir,Balyakalasakhi,Avakasi,Kalm Marunnu,CID,Aniyathi,Harishchandra,Manthavathi,Jailpully,Achanum Makanum,Padathqa Painkili,Randigazhy,Mariakutty,Aanavalarthiya Vanampadi,Poothali,Bhakthakuchela,Sreerama Pattabhishekam,Kattumaina,Kalayum Kaminiyum,Snapaka Yohannan,Karutha Kai,Atom Bomb and Althara.
Singers such as 'Kamukara Purushothaman,Yesudas,P.Leela,S.Janaki,P.Susheela,Jikki,C.S.Radha Devi,L.R.Eeshwari,Santha P.Nair,A.P.Komala.Kaviyoor Revamma,Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi etc sung the songs penned by Thirunayinarkurichy Madhavan Nair in that period.
Thirunayinarkurichy Madhavan Nair died of a massive heart attack in April 1965.