View Full Version : Forgotten singers of yesteryears

Isai Rasigan
25th January 2013, 10:40 PM
There have been many discussions about the well known singers and their songs have been analyzed threadbare, thanks to some of the more knowledgeable members of this forum. I searched around, but could not find any threads related to some of the less known singers like A L Raghavan, L R Anjali etc. Besides there were others like Sulamangalam Rajalakshmi, M L Vasanthakumari and A P Komala who had brief careers in filmdom. My knowledge of these people is next to nothing. May be some of our leading members like TFML will have some interesting titbits about these people.

For starters about A L Raghavan, there is this news item in "The Hindu".


Among his well known songs is "Engirunthalum Vazhga".

One of his lesser known songs here:

Film: Nil Gavani Kadhali
Song: Come Come Rosy
Singers: A L Raghavan, L R Eswari


26th January 2013, 12:52 AM
Here is a collection of A.L. Raghavan's songs:


Isai Rasigan
26th January 2013, 08:33 AM
We can add Kovai Soundararajan and even Madam J who has sung a few songs to the list.

Isai Rasigan
26th January 2013, 08:43 AM
A P Komala's Nilavil Malarum Kumudham from the movie Yaar Manamagan:



Isai Rasigan
26th January 2013, 09:09 AM
M L Vasanthakumari

Movie: Karpukkarasi
Song: Kaniyo Pago
Singers: M L Vasanthakumari, P B Sreenivas


Isai Rasigan
26th January 2013, 09:13 AM
Sulamangalam Rajalakshmi

Movie: Jeevanaadi
Song: Aruvi Magal Alaiosai
Singers: Sulamangalam Rajalakshmi, K J Jesudoss


26th January 2013, 09:30 AM
Dear Isai Rasigan
A good venture. They are not forgotten since you are one of those connoisseurs who has initiated this. They will be remembered for ever through their contributions.

A.L. Raghavan ... A pioneer in peppy songs along with L R Easwari and another one is S.C. Krishnan.

One of the best songs of A.L. Raghavan, composed by Mellisai Mannar T.K. Ramamurthi for his first film as a individual MD, Saadhu Mirandaal.


26th January 2013, 11:18 AM
அன்பு இசை ரசிகரே,
முன்பு இங்கே தொடங்கிய பல திரிகள் காணாமல் போய் விட்டன!
அதில் , ஏ.எல்.ராகவனுக்காக நான் தொடங்கிய திரியும் ஒன்று.
அதை பல வாறு தேடி நான் கண்டு பிடித்து விட்டேன்.
அது இப்போது வேறு ஒரு இடத்தில் இருக்கிறது!
இதோ அந்த திரியில் உள்ள தகவல்கள் உங்களுக்காக....


என்றும் அன்புடன் ,

Isai Rasigan
26th January 2013, 04:54 PM
நன்றி சிவா.

A L Raghavan - a man with an unforgettable and unique voice. I have gone through your thread and also the older one. The "come come Rosy" song seems to have escaped everyone's attention. A nice peppy number.

Isai Rasigan
26th January 2013, 04:56 PM
Kovai Soundararajan:

Movie: Unga Veettu Kalyanam
Song: Pesamal Vaa
Singers: Kovai Soundararajan, L R Eswari


Isai Rasigan
26th January 2013, 07:00 PM
Not forgetting "kuzhanthai kural" M S Rajeswari:


Isai Rasigan
26th January 2013, 07:25 PM
L R Anjali:

She doesn't seem to have sung too many songs by herself in the lead. A notable song is "Manjal Poosi Manjam Konda" in the movie "Ungal Viruppam" which she has rendered along with Kovai Soundararajan. I have not come across any other notable song rendered by her as lead singer. Any info?

Isai Rasigan
26th January 2013, 08:30 PM
P A Periyanayagi:


Movie: Marumagal
Song: Chinna Chinna Veedu Katti
Singers: P A Periyanayagi, A M Raja
Year: 1953


Movie: Sri Valli
Song: Sinthai Arinthuvaadi
Singer: P A Periyanayagi
Year: 1945




Isai Rasigan
26th January 2013, 08:54 PM
N C Vasanthakokilam:


Movie: Haridas (1944)
song: Enathu Manam Thulli Vilayaduthe
Singer: N C Vasanthakokilam
Music: G Ramanathan


Isai Rasigan
27th January 2013, 12:23 PM

She cannot be really described as "forgotten". But she did render a few songs, both film and non film.

Song: Chithira Mandapathil
Movie: Anbai Thedi
Singers: TMS, Jayalalitha


Movie: Vairam
Song: Iru Mangani Pol
Singer: Jayalalitha, SPB


Movie: Suriyaganthi
Song: O Meri Dilrupa
Singers: TMS, Jayalalitha


Movie: Adimaippenn
Song: Amma Endral Anbu
Singer: Jayalalitha


Movie: Thirumangalyam
Song: Ulagam Oru Naal Piranthathu
Singer: Jayalalitha


Isai Rasigan
29th January 2013, 09:30 PM
Duplicate post deleted.

Isai Rasigan
29th January 2013, 09:37 PM
An article on N C Vasanthakokilam written by Sriram Venkatakrishnan in The Hindu on 28.11.2008:

(Link): http://www.hindu.com/fr/2008/11/28/stories/2008112850600300.htm


The Hindu dated November 8, 1951, carries a small news item. Captioned “Death of Srimathi N.C. Vasanthakokilam” it states: “The death occurred of Srimathi N.C. Vasanthakokilam, the well-known South Indian musician, last evening at her residence in Gopalapuram. She was ailing for the past two weeks and was in a private nursing home till November 6. She was 32.”

The star had been suffering from tuberculosis and it was only a matter of time before death came a calling. On November 21, there was an even smaller news item. It stated that “at a meeting of the Indian Fine Arts Society held on November 10 under the presidentship of Mr. K.S. Ramaswami Sastri, a condolence resolution touching the death of Srimathi N.C. Vasanthakokilam was passed.” And with that, N.C. Vasanthakokilam was history. It was a very quiet farewell to a person who for some time was considered to be a leading Carnatic musician.

Named Kamakshi at birth, she was from Irinjalakkuda in present day Kerala. Her career however began in Nagapattinam where the family had relocated. Her father Chandrashekhara Iyer had placed her under the tutelage of ‘Jalar’ Gopala Iyer, an accompanist in Harikatha performances. In 1936, the family moved to Madras, when based on the encouragement given by film director K. Subrahmanyam, it was believed that young Kamakshi stood a good chance in films. Her name was changed to N.C. Vasanthakokilam (the nightingale in spring). ‘N’ was for Nagapattinam and ‘C’ of course was her father’s initial.

The film career of Vasanthakokilam’s is well documented and so this article looks at her Carnatic music performances. It was a time when Brahmin and other upper-caste women were just realising that a career awaited them on stage. C. Saraswathi Bai had shown the way as early as in 1908 and following her came Vai Mu Kothainayaki Ammal and D.K. Pattammal. It was a strange new world where men still played an important role in career management. The guru, the father or the husband had to be manager and chaperon. Vasanthakokilam came on sans any of these appurtenances. Her marriage had been a failure. In later years, she found a life-partner in a lawyer turned film-maker, CK Sathasivan, who was popularly known as Satchi. It was a tempestuous relationship that endured till her death.

Musician in demand

Almost the first big singing opportunity was at the Music Academy’s annual conference of 1938, presided over by Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar and declared open by the Yuvaraja of Mysore. The first prize in vocal music went to Vasanthakokilam. From then on, she became a musician in demand. While the Academy was her launch-pad, it was the Indian Fine Arts Society, with its long tradition of supporting women artistes, that gave her many concert opportunities. Yet another Sabha that featured her often was the Nellai Sangeetha Sabha in Tirunelveli.

Apart from the glamour of the silver screen that she brought with her, Vasanthakokilam’s music offered plenty to attract audiences. The voice was high-pitched and clear and was easily able to bring off brigas. She had a large repertoire and sang plenty of Tamil songs. She made several of Shuddhananda Bharatiyar’s songs famous. The Tamil Isai movement, gaining ground in the 1940s found in her a ready supporter. She was a regular at the festivals of the Tamil Isai Sangam. The Tyagaraja Aradhana also saw her perform each year between 1942 and 1951.

Perhaps remembering her own sacrifices in making it big, Vasanthakokilam was particularly encouraging of young women artists. She was so impressed with a girl whom she heard in the temple at Sholingur that she offered to teach her music. This disciple, Andal, would later make it big for a short while in playback singing. When PR Thilagam, a Tiruvarur-based artist sang, Vasanthakokilam gifted her a tambura.

Comparisons with MS

Her rise to the top coincided with that of another star – M.S. Subbulakshmi. Comparisons are odious but were perhaps inevitable in this case. Both had high voices. Both were recording successes and were given prominence in the advertisements for gramophone records. Both had men named Sadasivam in their lives though it must be admitted that Vasanthakokilam’s Satchi was no match to T. Sadasivam when it came to career management. Both acted in films and both had played the role of Naradar. If M.S. Subbulakshmi was felicitated in Kumbhakonam and given the title of Isai Vani, Vasanthakokilam also was at the same town and given the title Madhuragita Vani! Even today, there are many who swear that the stakes between the two were evenly poised, though by 1951, M.S. Subbulakshmi had gone far ahead in terms of public image and adulation.

But then, 32 is hardly an age to die and who knows, if only Vasanthakokilam had lived…

Isai Rasigan
29th January 2013, 09:52 PM
T A Moti:

Movie: Sabash Meena
Song: Kana Inbam
Singers: T A Moti, P Suseela


Movie: Moondru Pengal
Song: Ullathile Pongi Varum
Singers: T A Moti, Sarojini

(Sorry, could not find a live link to listen)


Isai Rasigan
12th June 2013, 09:54 PM
T L Maharajan:

The eldest son of Tiruchi Loganathan, he has rendered a few songs. Here's a link to the song "Margazhi Pookkale" from the 1980 movie "Avan Aval Adhu" which he has sung with Vani Jayaram. Appears to have rendered more devotional songs than film ones.