K Raghavan, the great Music Composer, bids farewell.
by Elizabeth Menon

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K Raghavan, the great Music Composer, bids farewell

K Raghavan, the great Music Composer, bids farewell on 19 October, at the age of 99 years. He goes over to the 'Other side', to join the likes of P Bhaskaran, MS Baburaj, Deavrajan, Dakshina Murthy, AT Ummar ...., our 'Golden Legends' who nurtured Malayalam Music and brought our listening pleasure to what it is today! The epic journey started with 'Neelakkuyil' composing music for around 60 films, the last for a film at the age 99! He has been the soul of Malayalam Music from its early days, and the name 'Raghavan Master' stands for power and melody!

I can almost hear' Naalikerathinte naattilenikkoru, 'Naazhoorippalu kontu naatake kallyaanam, Kaayalarikathu valayerinjappol vala kilukkiya Sundaree, Shyaama sundara pushpame, Kuyilinetheti, Maanenum vilikkilla, Ellarum chollanu, etc, etc! The most sensational music for 'Maanathe kaayalin manappurathinnoru' written by P Bhaskaran, from the film 'Kallichellamma' eclipsed the great singer Brahmanandan, and if the 'spirits' have an after-life, Raghavan Master, P Bhaskaran and Brahmanandan would be singing it together!

Raghavan Master was the Music Director for the film 'Neelakkuyil', directed by P Bhaskaran and Ramu Kariat in 1954, the first Malayalam Cinema that won the'National Film Award for the Best Feature film in Malayalam'! 'Neelakkuyil' was the landmark in Malayalam Film History as it broke away from the traditional style of copying Tamil and Hindi films. K Raghavan composed nine songs for this film, his debut venture, and this is considered a milestone in the Malayalam Music Industry, as he introduced Kerala Folk songs and a new style: 'Ellarum chollanu and Kuyilinethedi(Janamma David),Kaayalarikathu Valayeringappol (K Raghavan), Maanennum Vilikkilla(Mehboob),Kadalaasu vanchi (Kozhikkodu Pushpa), Engane Nee Marakkum Kuyile (Kozhikkode Abdul Khadar), Unarunaru Unnikkannaa (Shanta P Nair), being the most popular songs from this film which are still on everyone's lips and quite nostalgic!

Most people who stayed away from paying respect to Raghavan Master at his funeral would have their own reasons, but the disrespect was blatantly obvious, especially by the absence of many of the recognisable faces from the Music and Film Industry. But the love and respect of all those who love Malayalam Cinema and Music will always be there for this 'Master of Music', who was part of the milestone in the music Industry, the landmark film in Malayalam Cinema that brought the first National Award for Malayalam Cinema!.

'Raghavan Master, we will always miss you, but your music will stay with us! May you rest in peace!

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© E Menon



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