T. K. Ramamoorthy

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T. K. Ramamoorthy
டி. கே. ராமமூர்த்தி
T. K. Ramamoorthy.jpg
T. K. Ramamoorthy
Background information
Birth name Tiruchirapalli Krishnaswamy Ramamoorthy
Born (1922-05-15)15 May 1922
Origin Tiruchirapalli, Madras Presidency, British India
Died 17 April 2013(2013-04-17) (aged 90)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation(s) Film score composer, music director
Instruments keyboard/harmonium/violin

Tiruchirapalli Krishnaswamy Ramamoorthy (Tamil: திருச்சிராப்பள்ளி கிருஷ்ணசுவாமி இராமமூர்த்தி; 15 May 1922 – 17 April 2013), known as T. K. Ramamoorthy (Tamil: டி. கே. ராமமூர்த்தி), was a South Indian Tamil music composer and violinist.

Ramamoorthy was known as Mellisai Mannar (Tamil: மெல்லிசை மன்னர்; "The King of Light Music"), along with M. S. Viswanathan. 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, but eventually rejoined in 1995 after 29 years for Engirundho Vanthan.

At age 91, he died in a hospital in Chennai on 17 April 2013.[1]

Early life[edit]

Tiruchirapalli Krishnaswamy Ramamoorthy was born in Tiruchirapalli into a family that was 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. When he was fourteen, C. R. Subburaman noted the young boy's talent and hired him as a violinist for HMV.


In 1940s, Ramamoorthy worked in Saraswathi stores where AVM Studo's boss, Avichi Meiyappa Chettiar, was a partner in the shop. This led him to play violin for AVM's music composer, R. Sudarsanam, in some films. During these days, he also became friends with P.S. Diwakar, the pianist and music composer in the Malayala films. By late 1940s, C. R. Subburaman, who was a rising star in the South Indian film music world, used Ramamoorthy as one of his violinists in his musical troupe. There, he met violinist and composer T. G. Lingappa, as well as M. S. Viswanathan in 1950, with whom he became a partner in later years.

Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy partnership[edit]

In 1952, C. R. Subburaman died unexpectedly, which led to Ramamoorthy and Viswanathan joining together to complete 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 even if he lacked the similar background in Carnatic music. Ramamoorthy was older than Viswanathan by six years, but the placing of their names in Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy team was agreed upon by both parties on the advice of Krishnan, who thereafter got the duo their first chance to score Krishnan's 1953 film, Panam.

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.

He was awarded an honorary doctorate, along with M.S. Viswanathan, by the Sathyabama Deemed University in September 2006.[2]

In addition, J.Jayalalithaa being the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, conferred the Thirai Isai Chakravarthy (Tamil: திரை இசை சக்ரவர்த்தி; "Emperors of the Cine Music") title in August 2012[3] and presented it to him, along with 60 gold coins and a new car.[4][5]


Ramamoorthy died in a hospital in Chennai following a brief illness on 17 April 2013. He was 91.[1]


Year Film Director Studio
1966 Sadhu Mirandal A. Bhim Singh Sunbeam Productions
1966 Thenmazhai Muktha Srinivasan Muktha Films
1966 Madras to Pondicherry Thirumalai-Mahalingam Sunbeam Productions
1966 Marakka Mudiyumaa? Murasoli Maran Mekala Pictures
1967 Enggalukkum Kalam Varum A. Vincent Pauls & Company
1967 Pattatthu Rani S. Ramanathan Sunbeam Productions
1967 Naan (1967 film) T. R. Ramanna Vinayaka Pictures
1967 Aalayam A. Bhim Singh Sunbeam Productions
1968 Moondrezhuthu T. R. Ramanna Vinayaka Pictures
1968 Soaappu Seeppu Kannadi Thirumalai-Mahalingam Karthekeya Films
1968 Neelagiri Express Thirumalai-Mahalingam ALS Productions
1969 Thanga Surangam T. R. Ramanna EVR Pictures
1970 Kadhal Jothi Thirumalai-Mahalingam Mani Malar Films
1970 Sangamam Dada Mirasi Chaira Films
1972 Shakthi Leelai T. R. Ramanna Raman Pictures
1973 Praarthanai Kaushikan Chitra Lok
1975 Avalukku Ayiram Kangai T. R. Ramanna AB Creation
1984 Antha 16 June A.Shanmugam Bama Creations
1986 Ival Oru Pournami


  1. ^ a b TK Ramamurthy, noted music composer, passes away
  2. ^ "Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Honorary doctorates for seven eminent personalities". The Hindu. 4 September 2006. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Amma confers title of Thiraiyisai Chakravarthy on legendary MSV". ChennaiOnline. 30 August 2012. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  4. ^ News, Express (30 August 2012). "CM confers Thirai Isai Chakravarthy on MSV". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "After Padma snub, Jaya says one day Centre will listen". The Indian Express. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 

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