Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Musically more deserving men of Tamil cinema.



   Tamil Cinema has had its long time singers like TMS,Seerkazhi Govindarajan,P.B.Srinivas,  K.J Yesudas,S.B.Balasubramanyam,P.Suseela,S.Janaki and L.R.Eswari.These singers' immortal innings,also included the vast number of songs they had sung.While SPB's songs would have outnumbered those of his male counterparrts,the songs of P.Suseela and S.Janaki would have been more than those of L.R.Eswari. During the days of TMS and P.Suseela there were also other singers like Tiruchi Loganathan, C.S.Jeyaraman,S.C.Krishnan,P.Leela, M.L.Vasanthakumari Jamuna Rani,A.P.Komala,M.S.Rajeswari,Rathnamala and the Soolamangalam sisters.They have all rendered beautiful numbers and added glory to Tamil Cinema.

  Today,we have a huge line of young voices  moving ahead to find a competitive place as playback singers in the tinsel world. However,from the middle or fag end of the last century,we have seen a sizeable number of singers,who with their brief or intermittent stints,have left memorable songs not many in number,but great to remember.

  There was a  singer of amazing musical substance called G.K.Venkatesh,who has left a few beautiful songs like'Villendhum veeranellaam'{Gulebaghavali}'Nilai Maarinaal Gunam Maaaruvaan Poi Needhiyum Nermaiyum pesuvaan manidhan maarivittan'{Paava Mannipu} 'Sondhamumille Bandhamumille'{Halo Mister Zamindar}'Kaalam Seidha komaalithanathil Ulakam Pirandhadhu'{Padithaal Mattum Pothuma}and 'Azhivadhu Pol Thonrum'{Veera Thirumakan].He had a mellifluous tone to make his rendition soothing and intoxicating. G.K.Venkatesh had composed songs primarily for Kannada films.But the important Tamil films that went under his musical composition were,Sabadham{'Thoduvedhenna Thendralo Malargalo' was one of the earliest hits of SPB},Naanum Manidhan thaan,Yaarukkum Vetkamillai,Ponnukku Thanga Manasu{The song 'Thein Sindhuthe Vaanam' is a timeless meldy from this film}and Kannil Theriyum Kadhaikal.

   Who can forget the one beautiful duet song 'Kaana Inbam Kanidhadheno'melodiously sung by T.A.Modhi with P.Suseela,for the rib tickling comedy film Sabash Meena.T.A.Modhi gave his voice for Sivaji Ganesan for that song and P.Suseela's female voice was meant for Malini,who was paired with Sivaji Ganesan in that movie.The song was like a ripple free stream and got stuck to our memory.T.A.Modhi's other memorable duet song was 'Nilaavile Ullaasamaaka Aadalaam'for the other Sivaji hit Manohara.He sang this duet number with T.V.Rathnam

   There were two other singers by name Tharapuram Sundarajan and Kovai Soundarajan. Tharapuram Soundarajan's songs like'Enakaagavaa Naan Unakkaagava'sung with Jamuna  Rani for the film Selvam,'Ayyanaaru neranja Vaazhvu'with P.Suseela for Kaaval Dheivam, 'Jambulingame Jadaadhara'sung with Kovai Soundarajan and Veeramani for Kaasedhaan Kadavuladaa and 'Thanga Mani Paingiliyum'with Veeramani in Sivandha Mann are still remembered.Similarly,besides Jambulingame Jadaadharaa, Kovai Soundarajan's other song'Mella Pesungal Pirar Ketkakoodaadhu'sung with L.R.Eswari for Kasedhaan Kadavulada can be always heard in our memory track.

  Kovai Soundarajan has sung other songs like 'Sonne Poppadi Sona Poppadi with TMS,'Uppai Thinnavan Thanni Kudikkanum'with M.S.Viwanathan and'Engaladhu Bhoomi'with T.M.S, P.Suseela and Veeramani for the films, En Magan,Oru Kodiyil Iru Malarkal and Needhi which are all  remarkable musical entries.Both Tharapuram Sundarajan and Kovai Soundarajan were small time singers during the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties.

   Manickavinayagam an outstanding folkmusic specialist and playback singer,holds the proud position of being the son of dancer Vazhuvoor Ramaiah Pillai and the nephew of last century's singular voice mould singer,C.S.Jeyaraman,who was also his music mentor.He is both a singer and actor.With his gripping and churning voice fabric,he has sung exceptional songs like'Kannuk kulla Keluthi'{Dhil}'Koduva Meesa'{Dhool}'Subbamma Subbamma Suluru Subbamma'{Roja Koottam}'Kattu Kattu Keera Kattu'{Thiruppachi}'Naane Indhiran'{Singam}and a few more captivating numbers.He has also been a composed actor,with imprinting role play in a score of films,of which Thiruda Thirudi,Gambeeram, Perazhagan,Bose,Giri,Thimiru and Vettaikkaran need a significant mention.He has also been an occasional assessor of the performance of buddding singers,at the Vijay Supersinger programme.His contribution to Tamil Cinema is full of sheen and striking vigour.  

   There is another beautiful Malayalam singer called Jolly Abraham,who has sung a few memorable Tamil songs such as 'Aahaa Manmadhan Ratchikkanam Indha Mangaiyar Kaalai kalai'{Oru Thalai Raagam}'Adiyenai Paarammaa Pidivaadham Yenamma'{Vanakkathirkuriya Kaadhaliye}and 'Nadikai Paarkum Naadakam'{Oru Nadikai Naadakam Paarkiraal}.He has also sung for other Tamil films like Ore Vaanam Ore Bhoomi,Dheiva Thirumagal and Katta Panchayathu besides making a guest appearance in the film Kilinjalkal.

  One of the most outstanding musical voices has been that of S.N.Surender whose contribution to Tamil Cinema as a dubbing artist,deserves a dignified recogntition.He has provided his scintillating voice mould for a lot of films of the silver jubilee hero Mohan,whose success point coexisted with the appealing delivery of dialogues,by Surender.Besides for Mohan,S.N.Surender has lent his voice for other heroes like Pratap Pothan{Nenjathai Killaadhe &Manaivi Ready Vijayakanth{Sattam oru Iruttarai &Saatchi}Karthik Muthuraman{Alaikal Oivadhillai&Paadum Paravaikal}Srinath {Rayil Payanangalil} Arjun{Vesham}Rehman{Nilave Malare &Vasantha Ragam}Nedumudi Venu {Anniyan} Kannan {Kaadhal Oviyam}Vijay Babu{Padikkadhavan}and a few more actors.As far as singing is concerned,he has sung a number of songs with other male singers.

   However,some of his duet numbers with S.Janaki,K.S.Chithra,Sujatha and Swarnalatha need a special mention.His sweetest songs with S.Janaki were'Thanimaiyile Oru Ragam'{Sattam Oru Iruttarai}and'Devan Koil,Dheepam Enrum'{Naan Paadum Paadal}.With K.S.Chitra his most notable song was''Paarijaadha Poove' {En Raasaavin Manasile}and with Sujatha'Jalakku Jalakku'{Enrenrum Kadhal}.He has also sung a few songs with Vani Jeyaram and S.P.Shalaja.In addition to dubbing and singing,Surender has acted in films like Naalaya Theerpu, Priyamudan, Chennai 600028 I and II.Though he has received the Kalimaamani award,a louder ovation is due to him.

  T.L.Maharajan and Deepan Chakravarthi the two sons of yesteryear's famous singer Tiruchi Loganathan,have displayed the power of their singing voice in many tamil films,with absolute throw and felicity in their singing.The senior who started his musical career as a boy singer,in AP Nagarajan's Thiruvarutchelvar with the songs 'Kaadhalaaki Kasindhu' &'Sadhuram Marain dhaal',continued to pour the spiritual fervour of his tender but far reaching throat, in films like Thirumaal Perumai and Dasaavadhaaram{made by K.S.Gopalakrishnan}and captured the imagination of the music lovers.

  Later,as a male playback singer his best were 'Sevvaaname Ponmegame'sung in accompaniment with Jyachandran and Kalyani Menon for the Sivaji Ganesan film'Nallodhoru Kudumbam'and the most energetic 'Andhimazhai Megam 'song from 'Nayagan'with P.Suseela.Most of his songs were with other male singers like TMS,Maleshiya Vasudevan and Mano.His high sounding voice like that of his father could have been used independently,for many solo and duet songs.

    When anyone thinks of the film 'Nizhalkal',along with the actor Ravi,the mesmersing song "Poongadhave Thaal Thiravaai" will spontaneously knock at out memory doors with its magical wand. Such a sweet song it was,neatly sung by Deepan Chakravarthi with the female voice Uma Ramanan. His other duet with Uma Ramanan was for the song 'Disco Sangeedhamthaan' {Nambinaal Nambungal}.But his full throated voice conquered the mood of the audience with the title song "Jaggiradha Jaagiradha Chinnaveedu Jaagiradha"of the Bhagyaraj film'Chinna Veedu'.This vigorous song was heard outside the theatres for long.His two other well remembered songs are 'Anne Anne' {Kozhi Koovudhu}and"Oru Dhevaidhai Poloru Penningu Vandhadhu Inru"{Gopura Vaasalile} sung with other male voices. Like T.L.Maharajan,the unblemished voice of Deepan Chakravarthi,beautifully merged with the voices of many male singers like SPB,Mano, S.N.Surendar and several others. .

  Small screen's Sabdha Swarangal fame A.V.Ramanan,has a captivating voice that has rendered songs like Netroru Menagai{Manmadha Leelai}and En Chella Peru{Pokkiri}sung with Sujatha. He has also acted in films like Chatriyan,Ennavale,Boys and Madhurey besides composing music for a couple of films.His musical voice infuses itself into his vocal interactions with people adding a distinct pep to words delivered by him,as conversation and as dialogues on the small screen and  in films.. 

   The latest in this list of meritorious singers has been  Arun Mozhi,with his vibrantly masculine voice.This lovely voice seems to have found a special place in the films of Parthipan,like Pondaatti Thevai,Thalaattu Paadavaa{'Needhaanaa Needhaanaa Nenje Needhaanaa','Vennilavukku Vaanatha Pidikkalaiyaa' and 'Varaadhu vandha Naayagan'were all with S.Janaki and were special songs meant for repeated humming }Pullakuttikaaran,Bharathi Kannamma {'Thenralukku Theriyumaa Themmaangu Paattu'with K.S.Chitra}Nee Varuvaai Ena{'Poonguyil Paattu Pidichirukkaa'with K.S.Chitra}and Ivan.His other two most endearing songs were "Malliga Mottu Manasa thottu"with Swarnalatha for the film'Sakthivel'and "Velli Kolusumani" with K.S.Chitra,for the film'Pongivarum Kaveri'.Arunmuzhi is an exceptional singer whose singing mould gets enriched whenever he sings under the musical composition of Ilayaraja, the prophet of music.The songs that I have listed here are only a few samples of the musical dynamism of Arumozhi. 

  The new generation is witnessing a huge galaxy of musical talents.Days are going to be more and more competitive,in giving each one the place they deserve.The more the talented,the more ticklish the situation is going to be.But this post of the blog writer,has picked up the names of a few singers,who have been in the field of Tamil Cinema for quite a long time and shown their mettle.Unfortunately,most of them have not been given frequent chances for independent contribution even in duet songs.Their voice calbre has waded through the musical waves of other prominent singers,in the form of group songs.The purpose of this post is just to highlight the fact that these musically enriched voices are more deserving ones in Tamil cinema,than they are supposed to be.Let us place them all in their deserving spotlight.



  1. Beautiful in-depth analysis of Tamil playback singers, Tamil songs and their films which many people may know like me but many not. Thanks Chandran sir for your memory and knowledge about Tamil film singers.