06 January 2019

Evergreen Voices of Tamil Cinema

Evergreen Super Voices of Tamilnadu 
Thiyagaraja Bagawather

Ever since Cinema began to talk , Tamil cinema had the possession of several unique voices. Some melodious,some majestic , some melancholic and some mellifluous. Each of them enchanting in every way with perfect intonation, Shruthi, emotions and pitch . In the higher Octaves they were simply remarkable  with effortless ease to bring off the Bruggaas. My, what a range and what a variety..From Classical.. to Folk.. to Western to..Rap..to gaana… the male and female singers excelled in all the genres. 
Leading from front was the legendary Tamil Actor M.K.Thiagaraja Bhagawathar (Tamil Cinemas’s first Superstar ). Going  abreast with him were PU. Chinnappa,S.G.Kittappa, Honappa Bhagawathar and Dhandapani Desigar to be followed later on by the one and only the most manly and majestic T.M.Soundarrajan. Around the same time the Tamil Cinema Industry had at its service several talented singers like Nadipisai pulavar K.R.Ramasami ( the first actor to spread the Dravidian movement far and wide), C.S.Jayaraman, T.R. Mahlingam.M.K.Radha, Trichy Loganathan, Sirkazhi S. Govindarajan,the classical exponent BalamuraliKrishna, A.M. Raja, P.B.Srinivas,A.L. Raghavan,Dharapuram Sundarajan, S.c Krishnan and Ponnusami.
Music Director Illayaraja
Tamil cinema can also boast of the triumverate the evergreen Tamil Cinema Singers K.J Yesudas, S.P Balasubramniam and the late Malaysia  Vasudevan. The baton has been smoothly handed over to  Hariharan, Shankar Mahadevan, Jayachandran, Srinivas, Unnikrishnan, Unni Menon, Manicka Vinayagam, Pushpavanam Kuppusami, VelMurugan, Vijay Yesudas, Karthick, Benny Dayal, Vijayaprakash, Hari charan, Gana Bala , SPB Charan ,Rahul Nambiar, Ragavendra  and Naresh Iyer  to name a few. 
The music directors who lent their admirable  voice for playback singing are G.Ramanathan, Mellisai mannar M.S. Viswanathan,  G.K.Venkatesh,Maestro Ilayaraja, Chandrabose, Deva, A.R.Rehman, G.V.Prakash, Anirudh and  Yuvan Shankar Raja.
The film actors who took to playback singing, and really excelled were  Kalaivanar N.S.Krishnan the stylish J.P.Chandrababu, S.A.Asokan, ulaga nayagan Kamalhasan, the multitalented T.Rajendar, Karthick, Vijay, Silambarasan, Vaigai puyal Vadivel, Dhanush, Vikram, Sivakarthikeyan etc. Topping the list among the female actors is the world renowned Nightingale of India M.S Subulakshmi (the  first musician to have won the Bharat Ratna award ,the Magsasay award – Asia ‘s equivalent to the Nobel Prize and the singer who had sung inU.N.genral assembley,  most revered by Gandhi and Jawahrlal Nehru and the one who enthralled the music lovers with her divine rendition  ), the ASHTAVADHAANI P.Banumathi, T.R. Rajakumari, T.A. Madhuram, S.D Subbulakshmi, S. Varalakshmi, Manorama, the late chief minister Jayalalitha, Andrea, Ramya Nambisan and ofcourse  Shruthi Hasan.
With respect to female voice P.Susheela has been the uncrowned queen for over three decades. It all began with the majestic K.B.Sundarambaal ( the queen of  Indian  stage and the first actor to enter the legilative assembly as its member ) ,the versatile N.C.Vasnathakokilam, the classical G.K.Pattammal, Bengaluru Ramaniammal, Leela, Jamuna rani, Jikki, S.Janaki. Soolamangalam sisters, M.S Rajeswari and  the lady with a distinct voice L.R. Easwari.
Continuing in style while lending their lilting voice are Chitra,Shreya Ghoshal, Anuradha Sriram, Sujatha, Shubha, Mahathi,Chinna ponnu, Paravai Muniamma, Shwetha Mohan,Shashirekha, Shylaja not to leave out the illustrious sisters Latha Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle who have rendered amazing numbers for Tamil cinema too.
The highly talented  Swarnalatha and Sahul Hameed ( the two who had a special voice) passed away early.         
 None could match the Simha kuralon and the  Thespian  Sivaji Ganesan  when it came to dialogue delivery. His voice, diction, accent, pronunciation and  expressions were  all picture perfect. A distant second  to Sivaji Ganesan came Iatchiya Nadigar S.S. Rajendran ( he was called ilatchiya nadigar for his principle not to act in  any movie other than the Tamil language . Incidentally  SSR as he is fondly called is a very  good singer ). 
May the golden voices of Tamil cinema continue to soothe and entertain the music lovers and may their tribe flourish.
Author - M. Chidambaram

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