T. K. Ramamoorthy
|T. K. Ramamoorthy|
|Born||15 May 1922|
|Origin||Tiruchirapalli, Madras Presidency, British India|
|Died||17 April 2013
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Film score composer,music director
Tiruchirapalli Krishnaswamy Ramamoorthy (1922 – 17 April 2013), known as T. K. Ramamoorthy (Tamil: டி. கே. ராமமூர்த்தி), was a popular South Indian Tamil music composer and violinist. Ramamoorthy was born in Tiruchirapalli into a family that was very much musically inclined. Both his father, Krishnaswamy Pillai, and grandfather, Malaikottai Govindasamy Pillai, were well known violinists in Tiruchirapalli. Ramamoorthy gave several stage performances along with his father in his childhood. C. R. Subburaman noted the young boy's talent and hired him as a violinist for HMV when he was only fourteen years old. Ramamoorthy in 1940's worked in Saraswathi Stores where AVM Studo's boss, Avichi Meiyappa Chettiar, was a partner – which lead him to play the violin for AVM's music composer, R. Sudarsanam, in some films. By the late 1940s C. R. Subburaman was a rising star in the South Indian film music world, and Ramamoorthy rejoined him as one of his violinists in his musical troupe. There, he met violinist and composer T. G. Lingappa, as well as M. S. Viswanathan, with whom he became a partner in later years.
Ramamoorthy, along with M. S. Viswanathan, are popularly known as Mellisai Mannar (Tamil: மெல்லிசை மன்னர்) (Tamil for "The King of Light Music"). His major works are in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films. He and M. S. Viswanathan, as the duo Viswanathan Ramamoorthy, composed musical scores for over 100 films in the South Indian film industry during the 1950s and 1960s. The duo parted amicably in 1965 and since then they both composed for films individually but Ramamoorthy could not achieve success as an individual composer and composed music only for 19 films between 1966–1986. The duo rejoined in 1995 after 29 years for Engirundho Vanthan.
T. K. Ramamoorthy was born into a famous musical family in Trichy and was a talented violinist since young. His father, Krishnaswamy Pillai and grandfather, Malaikottai Govindasamy Pillai were well known violinists in Trichy. Ramamoorthy gave several stage performances along with his father since his childhood days. C. R. Subburaman noted the young Ramamoorthy's talent and hired him as a violinist for HMV when he was only fourteen years old. He in early 1940's worked in Saraswathi Stores where AVM Studo's boss, Avichi Meiyappa Chettiar,was a partner – which lead him to play violin for AVM's music composer, R. Sudarsanam, in some films. During these days, he also became friendly with P.S.Diwakar, the famous pianist cum music composer in the Malayala films and was staying with P.S.Diwakar while seeking opportunities. By late 1940's, C. R. Subburaman, was a rising star in the South Indian film music world and Ramamoorthy rejoined him as one of his violinists in his musical troupe. There, he met T. G. Lingappa, another famed violinist. M.S Viswanathan joined this troupe later as a harmonium player in 1950.
M. S. Viswanathan had always wanted to be an actor and singer, but was not successful.He had done a few small roles in stage dramas in 1940’s. The famous music composer in the 50s, T. R. Papa, who was a violinist for the doyen of the Tamil film music, S. V. Venkatraman when he met the young struggling Viswanathan, took a liking to him and arranged a job for him as an errand boy for S. V. Venkatraman's musical troupe. In that company of all musicians, Viswanathan realised that he had the inclination and the potential for composing music. He thereafter joined S. M. Subbaiah Naidu and at times assisted him. He then joined C. R. Subburaman as a Harmonium player where he met both T.K.Ramamoorthy and T. G. Lingappa, the two leading violinists at that time. T. G. Lingappa also became a renowned music composer on his own in the 1950s.
MSV was known as a master of playing 3 instruments -harmonium, keyboard and paino by the age of 15 whereas Ramamoorthy was known as master in playing violin by his age of 16.
In 1952, C. R. Subburaman died unexpectedly, Ramamoorthy and Viswanathan joined together and completed the background music for the films Subburaman was working on. They were introduced by N. S. Krishnan, who knew them both fairly intimately and also their respective talents by then.
T. K. Ramamoorthy, despite being an excellent musician with an orthodox carnatic musical background, was a shy, modest and reserved person whereas M. S. Viswanathan was naturally talented, charming, forward and dynamic although he lacked the similar background in Carnatic music. Ramamoorthy was older than Viswanathan by six years, but placing of their names as Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy was agreed upon by both parties on the advice of Krishnan, who thereafter got the duo their first chance to score Panam a 1953 film produced by A.L.Seenivasan and directed by Krishnan himself.
The duo composed for over 100 films during the 50s and 60s, revitalising Chennai film music. The duo parted in 1965 and since then they had composed for films individually. Although M.S. Viswanathan enjoyed a successful solo career, with over 1200 films from 1965–2013, Ramamoorthy composed for only 19 films from 1966–1986.
J.Jayalalithaa being the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, conferred the Thirai Isai Chakravarthy (Tamil: திரை இசை சக்ரவர்த்தி) (Tamil for Emperors of the Cine Music) title in August 2012 and presented with 60 gold coins and a new car to him.
Ramamoorthy as individual composer
Since separating from Viswanathan, T.K. Ramamoorthy had independently composed music for only 19 Tamil films between 1966–1986.
|1966||Sadhu Mirandaal1||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||Sunbeam Productions|
|1966||Thenmazhai||Tamil||V. Seenivasan||Muktha Films|
|1966||Madras To Pondicherry||Tamil||Thirumalai Mahalingam||Sunbeam Productions|
|1966||Marakka Mudiyuma||Tamil||Murasoli Maran||Mekala Pictures|
|1966||Alayam||Tamil||Thirumalai Mahalingam||Sunbeam Productions|
|1967||Enggalukkum Kalam Varum||Tamil||A. Vincent||Pauls & Company|
|1967||Pattatthu Rani||Tamil||S. Ramanathan||Sunbeam Productions|
|1967||Naan||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||Vinayaka Pictures|
|1968||Moondrezhutthu||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||Vinayaka Pictures|
|1968||Soaappu Seeppu Kannadi||Tamil||Thirumalai Mahalingam||Karthekeya Films|
|1968||Neelagiri Express||Tamil||Thirumalai Mahalingam||ALS Productions|
|1969||Thanga Surangam||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||EVR Pictures|
|1970||Kathal Jothi||Tamil||Thirumalai Mahalingam||Mani Malar Films|
|1970||Sangamam||Tamil||Dada Mirasi||Chaira Films|
|1972||Sakthi Leelai||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||Raman Pictures|
|1975||Avalukku Ayiram Kangal||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||AB Creation|
|1984||Antha 16 June||Tamil||A. Shanmugam||Bama Creations|
|1986||Ival Oru Pournami||Tamil|
Ramamoorthy died in a hospital in Chennai following a brief illness on 17 April 2013 at the age of 91.
- "Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Honorary doctorates for seven eminent personalities". The Hindu. 4 September 2006. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
- "Amma confers title of Thiraiyisai Chakravarthy on legendary MSV". ChennaiOnline. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- News, Express (30 August 2012). "CM confers Thirai Isai Chakravarthy on MSV". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- "After Padma snub, Jaya says one day Centre will listen". The Indian Express. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- TK Ramamurthy, noted music composer, passes away