|Also known as||Raghavan Master|
2 December 1913|
Tellicherry, Malabar district, British India
19 October 2013 99) (aged|
Tellicherry, Kerala, India
|Genres||Indian classical, light music, mappila songs|
|Instruments||Tabla, keyboards, thambura, drums, vocals|
K. Raghavan (2 December 1913 – 19 October 2013), also fondly called Raghavan Master, was a Malayalam music composer. Along with G. Devarajan, V. Dakshinamoorthy and Baburaj, Raghavan was often credited for the renaissance of Malayalam film music. He was the pioneer in contributing Malayalam film songs with its own tunes and styles. Till then, Malayalam film songs were in the tunes of popular Hindi and Tamil film songs and old classical kritis. Raghavan gave a new direction and identity to Malayalam film music. He composed around 400 songs in Malayalam cinema and was active in the Malayalam film industry for nearly four decades.
Raghavan was born to folk singer M Krishnan and Narayani in Tellicherry in North Malabar on 2 December 1913. He was married to (late) Yashoda and had five children, including three daughters and two sons. He died at the age of 99 on 19 October 2013 in Tellicherry.
Raghavan was born in Tellicherry near Kannur in the erstwhile Madras Presidency (present-day Kerala) to M. Krishnan and Narayani in 1913. He started studying classical music from his childhood and was also a good football player. His professional career was started as a tambura player in All India Radio, Madras. In 1950 he got transferred to Calicut and there he got involved with film artists.
Raghavan set a new trend in Malayalam film music with the release of the 1954 movie Neelakuyil. Renowned lyricist and Raghavan's friend P. Bhaskaran had penned the songs in Neelakkuyil. Raghavan himself has rendered his voice for one of the songs in Neelakkuyil. The song Kayalarikathu valayerinjappol went on to become an instant hit.
In a career spanning over four decades, he has scored music for more than sixty Malayalam films and many of his compositions remain ever green classics in Malayalam. Raghavan infused the folk element into Malayalam film music and his rustic melodies replaced the then prevailing trend of imitations of popular Hindi tunes of the day. He also composed songs for plays like Kerala People's Arts Club and All India Radio. And he dared try out a variety of voices to Malayalam film music, many of them were new. Mehboob, K. P. Brahmanandan, Balamuralikrishna, M. L. Vasanthakumari, A. P. Komala, Gayathri Srikrishnan, Santha P. Nair, A. M. Rajah, K. P. Udayabhanu, M.G. Radhakrishnan, P. B. Sreenivas, Vani Jayaram, Jikki, V. T. Murali, and G. Venugopal... they have all sung for him.
During his final days, Raghavan suffered from various illnesses, mostly age-related, and had frequent hospitalisations. He rarely appeared on public during these days, and there were even fake obituaries published on him. His last public appearance was in August 2013, when he was honoured with a doctorate by Kannur University. His last hospitalisation was on 15 October that year, when he was admitted to Indira Gandhi Co-operative Hospital in Thalassery after suffering from breathing complaints. He died four days later, at 4:20 AM on 19 October, 45 days short of his 100th birthday.
At the time of Raghavan's death, the natives of Thalassery were planning to celebrate his birth centenary celebrations in a huge manner. It included cutting a huge cake of 100 kg as a part of his birthday, and a music show featuring his songs. Though he was suffering from age-related illnesses, his death came as a shock to them. Raghavan's body was laid in his bedroom at his home, and numerous people paid homages. He was cremated with full state honours at the public crematorium of Thalassery. There was a huge issue in his death that no film personality attended his funeral. Many of Raghavan's co-workers accused them for this.
As a musician
- First Movie Pullimaan in (1951).
- Number of Movies 65
- Number of Songs 405
- State Awards 2
- Ellarum chollanu...
- Nazhiyuripalu kondu...
- Hrudaythin romancham...
- Ekantha Kaamuka Ninte Manoratham ...
- Shyamasundara pushpame...
- Nalikerathinte nattilenikkoru...
- Manjani poonilavil...
- Kathu sookshichoru...
- Appozhe paranjille...
- Manathe Mazhamukil malakale...
- Anuragakkalariyil angathinu vannavale...
- Pambukalkku maalamundu... (KPAC drama song)
- Thalayku meethe... (KPAC drama song)
Civilian Awards by Govt. of India
- 2010 – Padma Shri
- 1973 – Best Music Director for Nirmalyam
- 1977 – Best Music Director – Poojakedukkatha Pookkal.
- 1997 – J. C. Daniel Award from the Government of Kerala
- "Evergreen compositions". The Hindu. 9 February 2007. Archived from the original on 8 August 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
- "Raghavan Master is no more, his songs are forever". Times of India. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- Mathrubhumi English – Legendary music director Raghavan master passes away Archived 22 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Music director Raghavan passes away". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
- "CHORDS AND NOTES". The Hindu. 20 February 2006. Archived from the original on 6 August 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
- MSI Musician Index – K. Raghavan
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
- "STATE FILM AWARDS 1969 – 2008". The Information & Public Relations Department of Kerala. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
- "MG Radhakrishnan Award to Raghavan master". Archived from the original on 27 November 2011.
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