Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy were an Indian music-director duo composed of M. S. Viswanathan and T. K. Ramamoorthy. They worked together on over 100 films, from 1952's Panam to 1965's Aayirathil Oruvan. After their split, Ramamoorthy worked on 16 films between 1966 and 1986. He and Viswanathan reunited in 1995 for Engirundho Vandhan.
Ramamoorthy, born into a well-known musical family in Trichy, was a capable violinist at an early age. His father (Krishnaswamy Pillai) and grandfather, Malaikottai Govindasamy Pillai, were noted violinists in Trichy. As a child, Ramamoorthy performed several times with his father. During the early 1940s he worked for Saraswathi Stores (in which AVM Productions owner Avichi Meiyappa Chettiar was a partner), and played violin for AVM composer R. Sudharsanam in several films. Ramamoorthy became friendly with P. S. Diwakar, the pianist-composer of Malayalam cinema, and roomed with P. S. Diwakar. C. R. Subburaman hired him as a violinist for HMV. By the late 1940s, Ramamoorthy joined C. R. Subburaman's South Indian film-music ensemble and met fellow violinist T. G. Lingappa.
Viswanathan, who had acting and singing ambitions, had a few minor stage roles during the 1940s. The famous music composer in the 1950s T. R. Pappa who was a violinist for the doyen of the Tamil film music S. V. Venkatraman, met him and obtained him a job as an errand boy. Viswanathan developed an interest in composition, and joined S. M. Subbaiah Naidu. He played harmonium for C. R. Subburaman and met Ramamoorthy and T. G. Lingappa, another leading violinist. In addition to the harmonium, Viswanathan began playing piano at an early age.
With C. R. Subburaman, Viswanathan played the harmonium and Ramamoorthy the violin. Although both considered Subburaman their mentor, Viswanathan was also inspired by the music of S. V. Venkatraman and T. R. Pappa.
In 1952 Subburaman died unexpectedly, leaving the music for several films unfinished. Ramamoorthy and Viswanathan completed the background music for Devadas, Chandirani, Marumagal and Kaadhal. Viswanathan then suggested a south-Indian partnership to Ramamoorthy, similar to Shankar Jaikishan in the north. Initially reluctant, Ramamoorthy agreed.
Their first film was Panam, written by A. L. Seenivasan and directed by N. S. Krishnan (who supported their partnership). Their musical training and personalities differed; the shy Ramamoorthy had a Carnatic musical background and Viswanathan, lacking Carnatic training, was a dynamic individual.
Panam was Sivaji Ganesan's second film and his first appearance with Padmini. Although the duo were initially supposed to be billed as Ramamoorthy-Viswanathan, N. S. Krishnan felt having Viswanathan's name first sounded better and told Ramamoorthy, "You are senior to him so you can be behind him, supporting him" and Ramamoorthy assented.
Success was slow in coming during a period which featured composers such as G. Ramanathan, S. V. Venkatraman, K. V. Mahadevan, S. Rajeswara Rao, S. Dakshinamurthi and Pendyala Nageswara Rao. In the wake of Panam's success, however, Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy wrote music for over 100 films from 1952 to 1965 and were the most successful composers from 1957 to 1965.
They had a flair for light, sweet melodies, and 1950s films such as Porter Kanthan, Paasavalai, Thenali Raman, Gulebakavali, Sugam Enge and Sorgavasal attracted attention. In 1956 Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy composed music for Santhosham, the Telugu adaptation of the Tamil film Velaikaari with N. T. Rama Rao and Anjali Devi, which was a musical hit. It was reprised in Hindi as Naya Aadmi with music by Madan Mohan, who wanted to keep some of the original songs in the Hindi version. The Hindi song "Laut gaya gam ka zamana", sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemanta Kumar Mukhopadhyay, copies the duo's Telugu song Teeyani Eenati Reyi (sung by P. Suseela and G. K. Venkatesh) and was a hit in the north.
During the late 1950s, Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy composed for musical hits such as Pudhaiyal, Nichaya Thaamboolam, Padhi Bhakti and Bhaaga Pirivinai. They enjoyed continued success into the early 1960s with directors T. R. Ramanna and A. Bhimsingh. After a 1961 disagreement with his composer, A. M. Rajah, C. V. Sridhar commissioned Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy for his films and Gemini Studios and AVM Productions later engaged the duo. At this time, they were assisted by R. Govardhanam, G. K. Venkatesh, Shankar Ganesh and Henry Daniel and used Sathan for vocal and sound effects.
Viswanathan and Ramamoorthy, particularly Viswanathan, are credited with moulding the careers of their regular singers T. M. Soundararajan, P. Susheela, P. B. Sreenivas, Seerkazhi Govindarajan and L. R. Eswari. A. L. Raghavan and S. Janaki sang less often for them.
K. J. Yesudas had his only collaboration with the duo in two songs from Kadhalikka Neramillai (1964): "Nenjathai Alli Alli" with L. R. Eswari and P. Suseela and "Enna Paarvai Undhan Paarvai" with P. Suseela. After the partnership dissolved, K. J. Yesudas sang with Viswanathan and Ramamoorthy separately.
During their early years, they worked with established male singers such as Thiruchi Loganathan, C. S. Jayaraman, S. C. Krishnan, Ghantasala and V. N. Sundharam. The female singers were P. A. Periyanayaki, M. L. Vasanthakumari, R. Balasaraswathi Devi, P. Leela, Jikki, T. V. Rathinam, T. S. Bagavathi, M. S. Rajeswari, K. Jamuna Rani, K. Rani, A. P. Komala and A. G. Rathnamala.
The singing actors N. S. Krishnan, T. A. Madhuram, Chittor V. Nagaiah, T. R. Mahalingam, K. R. Ramaswamy, J. P. Chandrababu, P. Bhanumathi and S. Varalakshmi also sang for the duo. G. K. Venkatesh, M. S. Viswanathan's friend and assistant, sang a few songs as well.
T. M. Soundararajan was Viswanathan's favourite singer and Jikki, followed by P. Susheela, were the duo's primary female singers. They were divided on A. M. Rajah; although Ramamoorthy favoured him, Viswanathan had a personality conflict dating back to Genova. Rajah sang only five Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy songs, at the height of his career during the 1950s. He voiced Gemini Ganesan, the actor for whom he was the primary voice, only in Padhi Bhakti.
P. Leela, Seerkazhi Govindarajan, Sarojini, K. Jamuna Rani, M. S. Rajeswari and A. L. Raghavan owe their 1950s and 1960s vocal success primarily to the duo, particularly to Viswanathan. Directors such as B. R. Panthulu, B. S. Ranga, Krishnan-Panju, A. Bhimsingh, P. Madhavan, C. V. Sridhar, T. R. Ramanna and A. C. Tirulokchandar worked with Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy frequently until 1965. K. Balachander never worked with the duo, preferring to work with Viswanathan alone even before the split.
On 16 June 1963, Viswanathan and Ramamoorthy were given the title of Mellisai Mannargal (Tamil: மெல்லிசை மன்னர்கள், Kings of Light Music) by Sivaji Ganesan at a Madras Triplicane Cultural Academy ceremony sponsored by T. M. Ramachandran, director C. V. Sridhar and Chitralaya Gobu of the Hindu Group of Publications.
Viswanathan and Ramamoorthy split up after the release of Aayirathil Oruvan on 9 July 1965. They composed for films separately, with the assistants remaining with Viswanathan. Although producer-directors T. R. Ramanna and A. Bhimsingh were saddened by the development, they worked with both men individually.
The split was the result of interpersonal issues. In 1964, C. V. Sridhar directed Kalai Kovil, starring S. V. Subbaiah, R. Muthuraman, Chandrakantha, Nagesh, V. Gopalakrishnan and V. S. Raghavan; Viswanathan and Ramamoorthy produced the film and composed its music. The film and its songs were unsuccessful, and a Kalki article was critical. Disagreement between the composers worsened by Server Sundaram, starring Nagesh, R. Muthuraman and K. R. Vijaya, which was released at the end of 1964. Viswanathan and Ramamoorthy were scheduled to shoot a scene suggested by Bollywood music director Naushad Ali to producer A. V. Meiyappa Chettiar; Ramamoorthy could not appear, and after completing Aayirathil Oruvan the duo announced their split.
In his solo career, Viswanathan composed music for over 1,100 films from 1965 to 2013. Ramamoorthy was less successful, composing for 19 films from 1966 to 1986. Viswanathan, the highest-paid music director from 1965 to 1985, continued to compose until 1995; after a period composing devotional songs, he resumed until 2013.
Viswanathan and Ramamoorthy briefly reunited in 1995 for the unsuccessful Tamil film Engirundho Vandhan, starring Sathyaraj and Roja. It was the remake of the megahit Malayalam film Chithram. The film was a box office disaster and the songs went unnoticed. It was also their last film together. They received honorary doctorates from Sathyabama University in September 2006.
Thirai Isai Chakravarthy
|1952||Panam||Tamil||N. S. Krishnan||Madras Pictures|
|1953||Chandirani||Tamil||P. Bhanumathi||Bharani Pictures||assisted C. R. Subburaman|
|1953||Chandirani||Telugu||P. Bhanumathi||Bharani Pictures||assisted C. R. Subburaman|
|1953||Chandirani||Hindi||P. Bhanumathi||Bharani Pictures||assisted C. R. Subburaman|
|1953||Marumagal||Tamil||D. Yoganand||Krishna Pictures||co-music director G. Ramanathan & C. R. Subburaman|
|1954||Sorgavasal||Tamil||A. Kasilingam||Parimalam Pictures|
|1954||Sorgavasal||Telugu||A. Kasilingam||Parimalam Pictures|
|1954||Sugam Enge||Tamil||K. Ramnoth||Modern Theatres|
|1954||Vaira Malai||Tamil||N. Jagannath||Vaidhyaa Films|
|1954||Ratha Kanneer||Tamil||Krishnan-Panju||National Films||background music only|
|1955||Gulebakavali||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||RR Pictures||co-music director K. V. Mahadevan|
(Mayakkum Malai Pozhudhe Nee Po Po)
|1955||Kaveri||Tamil||D. Yoganand||Krishna Pictures||co-music director G. Ramanathan|
|1955||Vijaya Gauri||Telugu||D. Yoganand||Krishna Pictures||co-music director G. Ramanathan|
|1955||Needhipathi||Tamil||A. S. A. Samy||Vijaya Films|
|1955||Santhosham||Telugu||C. P. Dixit||Jupiter Pictures|
|1955||Porter Kandan||Tamil||K. Vembu||Narasu's Studios|
|1956||Jaya Gopi||Tamil||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1956||Maa Gopi||Telugu||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1956||Paasavalai||Tamil||A. S. Nagarajan||Modern Theatres|
|1956||Tenali Ramakrishna||Telugu||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1956||Tenali Raman||Tamil||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1957||Bhaktha Markandeya||Tamil||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1957||Bhaktha Markandeya||Telugu||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1957||Bhaktha Markandeya||Kannada||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1957||Mahadhevi||Tamil||Sundar Rao Nadkarni||Sri Ganesh Movietone|
|1957||Pathini Deivam||Tamil||Ch. Narayana Murthy||VRV Productions|
|1957||Kudumba Gouravam||Tamil||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1957||Kutumba Gowravam||Telugu||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1958||Maalaiyitta Mangai||Tamil||G. R. Nathan||Kannadasan Films|
|1958||Mahadhevi||Telugu||Sundar Rao Nadkarni||Sri Ganesh Movietone|
|1958||Padhi Bhakti||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||Buddha Pictures|
|1958||Padhi Bhakti||Telugu||A. Bhim Singh||Buddha Pictures||co-music director T. Chalapathi Rao|
|1958||Petra Maganai Vitra Annai||Tamil||T. R. Sundaram||Modern Theatres|
|1958||Lilly||Malayalam||F. Nagoor||HT Pictures|
|1959||Amudhavalli||Tamil||A. K. Sekhar||Jupiter Pictures|
|1959||Bhaaga Pirivinai||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||Saravana Films|
|1959||Raja Malaiya Simman||Tamil||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1959||Raja Malaya Simha||Telugu||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1959||Sivagangai Seemai||Tamil||K. Shankar||Kannadasan Films|
|1959||Thalai Koduthaan Thambi||Tamil||T. R. Sundaram||Modern Theatres|
|1959||Thanga Padhumai||Tamil||A. S. A. Samy||Jupiter Pictures|
|1960||Aalukkoru Veedu||Tamil||M. Krishnan||Subash Movies|
|1960||Kavalai Illaadha Manithan||Tamil||K. Shankar||Kannadasan Productions|
|1960||Mannadhi Mannan||Tamil||M. Natesan||Natesh Art Pictures|
|1960||Ondrupattal Undu Vazhvu||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||Ranga Pictures|
|1960||Rathinapuri Ilavarasi||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||Sri Vinayaga Pictures|
|1961||Bhagyalakshmi||Tamil||K. V. Sreenivasan||Kanaka Films|
|1961||Manapanthal||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||RR Pictures|
|1961||Palum Pazhamum||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||Saravana Films|
|1961||Pasamalar||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||Rajamani Films|
|1961||Intiki Deepam Illale||Telugu||T. R. Ramanna||RR Pictures|
|1961||Pava Mannippu||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||Buddha Pictures|
|1961||Vijayanagarada Veeraputra||Kannada||R. Nagendra Rao||RNR Pictures|
|1962||Alayamani||Tamil||K. Shankar||PSV Pictures|
|1962||Bale Pandiya||Tamil||B. R. Panthulu||Padmini Pictures|
|1962||Bandha Pasam||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||Santhi Films|
|1962||Kaathiruntha Kangal||Tamil||T. Prakash Rao||Vasumathi Pictures|
|1962||Aasha Jeevulu||Telugu||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1962||Thendral Veesum||Tamil||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1962||Nenjil Or Aalayam||Tamil||C. V. Sridhar||Chithralaya|
|1962||Nichaya Thaamboolam||Tamil||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1962||Pelli Thambulam||Telugu||B. S. Ranga||Vikram Productions|
|1962||Paadha Kannikkai||Tamil||K. Shankar||Saravana Films|
|1962||Padithaal Mattum Podhuma||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||Ranganathan Pictures|
|1962||Paarthaal Pasi Theerum||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||AVM Productions|
|1962||Paasam||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||RR Pictures|
|1962||Policekaran Magal||Tamil||C. V. Sridhar||Chithrakala Pictures|
|1962||Senthamarai||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||ALS Productions|
|1962||Sumaithaangi||Tamil||C. V. Sridhar||Visalakshi Productions|
|1962||Veerathirumagan||Tamil||A. C. Tirulokchandar||Murugan Brothers|
|1963||Anandha Jodhi||Tamil||V. N. Reddy & A. S. A. Samy||PSV Pictures|
|1963||Idhayathil Nee||Tamil||Mukta V. Srinivasan||Muktha Films|
|1963||Idhu Sathiyam||Tamil||K. Shankar||Saravana Films|
|1963||Karpagam||Tamil||K. S. Gopalakrishnan||Amarjothi Movies|
|1963||Mani Osai||Tamil||P. Madhavan||ALS Productions|
|1963||Nenjam Marappathillai||Tamil||C. V. Sridhar||Manohar Pictures|
|1963||Paar Magale Paar||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||Kasthuri Films|
|1963||Panathottam||Tamil||K. Shankar||Saravana Films|
|1963||Periya Idathu Penn||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||RR Pictures|
|1963||Manchi Chedu||Telugu||T. R. Ramanna||RR Pictures|
|1964||Andavan Kattalai||Tamil||K. Shankar||PSV Pictures|
|1964||Dheiva Thaai||Tamil||P. Madhavan||Sathya Movies|
|1964||En Kadamai||Tamil||M. Natesan||Natesh Art Pictures|
|1964||Kai Koduttha Dheivam||Tamil||K. S. Gopalakrishnan||Sri Ponni Productions|
|1964||Kalai Kovil||Tamil||C. V. Sridhar||Bhagyalakshmi Pictures|
|1964||Karnan||Tamil||B. R. Panthulu||Padmini Pictures|
|1964||Karuppu Panam||Tamil||G. R. Nathan||Visalakshi Films|
|1964||Kaadhalikka Neramillai||Tamil||C. V. Sridhar||Chithralaya|
|1964||Pachai Vilakku||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||Vel Pictures|
|1964||Padagotti||Tamil||T. Prakash Rao||Saravana Films|
|1964||Panakkara Kudumbam||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||RR Pictures|
|1964||Puthiya Paravai||Tamil||Dada Mirasi||Sivaji Productions|
|1964||Server Sundaram||Tamil||Krishnan-Panju||AVM Productions|
|1964||Vazhkai Vazhvatharke||Tamil||Krishnan-Panju||Kamal Brothers|
|1965||Panchavarna Kili||Tamil||K. Shankar||Saravana Films|
|1965||Enga Veettu Pillai||Tamil||Chanakya||Vijaya Productions|
|1965||Hello Mister Zamindar||Tamil||K. J. Mahadevan||Sudharsanam Pictures|
|1965||Panam Padaithavan||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||RR Pictures|
|1965||Pazhani||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||Bharatha Matha Pictures|
|1965||Poojaikku Vandha Malar||Tamil||Mukta V. Srinivasan||Muktha Films|
|1965||Santhi||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||ALS Productions|
|1965||Vaazhkai Padagu||Tamil||S. S. Vasan||Gemini Studios|
|1965||Vennira Aadai||Tamil||C. V. Sridhar||Chithralaya|
|1965||Maganey Kel||Tamil||Mukta V. Srinivasan||Naaval Films|
|1965||Aayirathil Oruvan||Tamil||B. R. Panthulu||Padmini Pictures|
|1995||Engirundho Vandhan||Tamil||Santhana Bharathi||VSR Pictures|
- Ramachandran, T. M. (17 August 1963). "Kings of Light Melody". Sport and Pastime. Vol. 17. p. 43.
- Rangarajan, Malathi (8 November 2012). "Ninety, and bowing away!". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
- "Why did Viswanathan and Ramamurthy break-up their". Tfmpage.com. Retrieved 27 February 2012.
- "Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Honorary doctorates for seven eminent personalities". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 4 September 2006. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
- "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.
- 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". Indian Express. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- TK Ramamurthy, noted music composer, passes away
- "M S Viswanathan Death". Telangana News Paper.
- "King of Film Music MS Viswanathan Passes Away". The New Indian Express.