FOR MELLISAI MANNAN M S VISWANATHAN success did not come over night. Sheer hard work and perseverance made him the uncrowned king of Indian Film Music. MSV was in the city recently, to participate in a music night held in connection with the Thiruvonam celebration.
“My father died when I was three. We were taken care of by our grand father, a jail warden and the family moved to Kannur. I WAS admitted to a school, but never attended. Instead I spent the day time in a music school on the way. The family moved to Trichi when my grand father was transferred. Before that my debut concert was held in Kannur in 1941.
At Trichi I JOINED Jupiter pictures. T S Balaih gave me a minor role in his stage play, Ramayana. As per the story whoever strings the Trayambaka (THE BOW) would be the groom of Sita. I was one among the many princes, to partake in the SWAYAMAVARAM. When my turn came my fingers happened to touch a make and break arrangement and the bow broke. The curtain was pulled down and I was manhandled badly. I decided acting is not my cup of tea. Later in my life I had the opportunity to act in films.
It was M S Subbaih who recognized MSV’s talent. He gave many opportunities to compose songs. But he had to hide MSV’S name. It was a total effacement.
When the contract with the Jupiter theatre expired, he had no other way and was prepared to work as a coolie in the Trichi railway station. But M S Subbaih revealed that M S was behind all the hit numbers. Thus he had the opportunity to work for the film-Jenovah (1951) a bilingual film starring M G R.
But M G R objected. “A new composer for my film?”-he was infuriated. He objected vehemently. E P Eapachen supported M S V and M G R was shocked. P Leela, Jikki and A M Raja rendered their songs. ON hearing them m g r was convinced. “He came to my thatched house immediately ignoring the heavy down pour. He hugged me” remembered the maestro.
The rest is history. MSV and T K Ramamurthi, with Kannadasan produced hits after hits. “I and Ramamurthi worked for nearly 800 films” said M S V who alone composed music for 1780 films.
Good matter, meter, and melody make any song hit. With Vayalar in Malyalam M S V has given ever time hits.
“In those days actors hear the song many times, they by heart them to supplement emotions. Sivaji after hearing the numbers in Santhi deliberately postponed the shooting of the song sequence for more than three weeks. Finally he agreed with an apology: “The song is highly melodious and I was preparing myself to bring out the best.”
“Today we are technically advanced. The numbers are very fast and fade away soon.” He remarked.
ARR, ILAYARAJA, VIDYASAGAR, SHANKAR GANESH WERE HIS DISCIPLES.