The Unknown Side of SSR! 'Idealistic Actor' and A True Philanthrope!

An Idealistic Person is one who cherishes and pursues noble principles, purposes and goals in life. S S R was known as the Latchiya Nadigar (Idealistic Actor) of the Tamil Movie Industry. What is unknown to many is that he truly lived up to that title and led a life filled with compassion and a had shown a true will to help the needy. It was his efforts and philanthropy that helped the people of  his constituency Andipatti while he was in the AIADMK when a whole village was washed away during floods in the early 80's. He had purchased acres of land using his own money and donated it to the people of the village. They had showed their gratitude to him by naming the village Rajendran Nagar. Later on when a similar disaster struck in the OMR region adjoining Chennai he had once again helped the people who were affected by purchasing acres of lad for them and this time the place was named SSR Nagar. He was known for his impeccable diction and dialogue delivery and had acted in several hit movies during his film career. He had costarred in several super hit movies with Sivaji and this song is from once such movie Aalayamani also featuring Saroja Devi, Vijayakumari, M.R. Radha, Rajamma & Pushpalatha. Directed by K.S. Alankar and music by Viswanathan - Ramamurthy.

Actress Par Excellence! The Female Sivaji of Tamil Cinema!

Savithri was one of the few actresses who were able to share screen space with Sivaji and match his performance and dialogue delivery along with impeccable diction on par with him. It is hard to believe that her native language and mother tongue was Telugu and not Tamil! Be it her effortless portrayal of the character of an young school teacher during her early days in Missiamma or her transformation at will into Sakthi and Saraswathi in Thiruvilayadal and Saraswathi Sabatham during the later stages in her career, what stood out was her outstanding ability to connect with the audience through her performances. Her performance in Maya Bazaar, matching and at times over shadowing the performances of S V Ranga Rao, Gemini Ganesan, M N Nambiar, Thangavelu and others confirmed her as a Legendary Actress and rightfully earning her the title Nadigayar Thilagam. Her own production and maiden directorial venture Praptham in which she paired with Sivaji in spite of having received critical acclaim did not do well at the box office. Her performance in Pasa Malar as Sivaji's sister is part of the folk lore, history and legend of Tamil Cinema. She exhibited her flair for comedy in several movies and this song is one such performance of hers in a guest role in the movie Vallavanukku Vallavan.

Mentor, Guru and Inspiration to the Greatest Actor Ever! The Inimitable M R Radha - A True Legend!

The person to be thanked for being the prime reason for the introduction to the acting profession of Legendary Actor M R Radha and for his entry into movies is his mother. Apparently when Radha had been a little boy his mother had refused to give him an extra piece of fish to eat during a meal. Radha, typical of his character, had left his house in protest over this incident at that young age and went on to become a stage artist at the age of 10. Eventually he formed his own drama troupe and saw a meteoric rise in his acting career. He was acknowledged as one of the greatest stage artists ever. Though his inevitable entry into the movie industry happened in the 1940s his first great success was in 1954 when his own play Raththa Kanneer was made into a super hit movie by Krishnan-Panju in 1954. He established himself as one of the greatest Actors to have ever graced the silver screen by playing several memorable characters in hundreds of movies. Sivaji Ganesan, the greatest actor ever had mentioned in an interview to Doordharshan that it was actors such as M R Radha and T S Balaiah who had groomed and inspired him during the early stages of his acting career. M R Radha, though known and recognized more for his portrayal of negative roles, had also excelled in comic roles. This hilarious song featuring M R Radha along with Sivaji and Balaji is a true example of his ability to relish and revel in comic roles in his own inimitable style. Enjoy this song from Baley Pandia composed by Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy and written by Kannadasan.

The Unsung Superstar of Tamil Cinema - The Other Ganesan!

Due to his iconic and supremely dominant status in the Tamil Movie industry, the first and more often, the only Ganesan whose name is at the top of every single Tamil Movie fan is that of  the truly legendary actor Sivaji Ganesan. The other Ganesan who was a contemporary of Sivaji and arguably, equally famous on and off the screen was Gemini Ganesan. Gemini had acted in more than 200 movies in a film career that spanned over a 50 years. He had acted with Sivaji in several films that were and are super hits even now. He had given multiple Golden Jubilee hits on his own with several leading directors of the industry. Be it comical roles, negative roles, supporting roles or leading roles, he had done them all brilliantly with a deceptively effortless ease. Yet he has always been the Unsung Superstar in the sense that people always talk about Sivaji and MGR as the two pillars of the Tamil Movie industry and don't give Gemini the status and respect he truly deserves! Just Tamil Songs Salutes Gemini Ganesan's achievements and acknowledges his contribution to the Tamil Movie Industry by way of posting this super hit song of his from the early 1950s.

Two Ramachandrans TR and MG - Two Legends of Tamil Cinema Together in a Comical Song (1960)

T R Ramachandran and M G Ramachandran were both born in the same year 1917 and in the same month January (9th and 17th respectively). Both are true legends of Tamil Cinema in their own right. MGR made his debut in the year 1936 with the movie Sathi Leelavathy. T R Ramachandran's debut movie was Nanda Kumar in the year 1938. T R Ramachandran saw early success in the year 1941 with the Cult Classic Movie of Tamil Cinema, 'Sabapathy', produced and directed by AVM. MGR's first big hit was in the year 1947 with Rajakumari under the Jupiter Pictures banner. After that the meteoric rise and success of MGR is well known and well documented. T R Ramachandran had his own share of success as an individual hero and as a co-star. He acted in several hit movies with Sivaji Ganesan. He then went on to do comical and supporting roles in many films. This hit song features both these legends in a rare appearance together with two other legends, M N Nambiar and Vyjayanthi Mala. The Movie is Bagdad Thirudan, Lyrics, A Maruthakasi and Music is by G Govindarajulu Naidu who was the Musical Guru of the Legendary K B Sundarambal!

Greatest Comic Genius of All Time! - Nagesh! Over a Thousand Movies in a Career Spanning More Than 50 Years!

Nagesh is undoubtedly one of the greatest comedy actors the world has ever seen. In a career spanning over 50 years that saw him playing innumerable roles as a comedian, hero, villain and supporting actor in more than 1000 films, he ruled the Tamil Movie Industry like no other, with his immense talent, versatility and comic genius. He entered the Industry in 1958 and was a contemporary of the greatest comedy actors of the Tamil Movie industry such as NSK, Danaal Thangavelu, Chandra Babu, T S Balaiah, T R Ramachandran and others. Cho Ramasamy his contemporary at a later stage in Nagesh's career had mentioned in an autobiographical series which he had written in the Popular Tamil weekly magazine Kumudham had compared Nagesh's acting ability to that of the Legendary Sivaji Ganesan! Kamal Hassan too has echoed the same views in several of his interviews. You can read more about his early life and career here. This particular song features Nagesh and Ramaprabha one of the several talented comic actresses he had paired with during his career. This song is from the movie Nawab Narkali directed by  CV Rajendran. The song was written by Kannadasan and music was composed by MSV.

James Bond of South India! Tamil Movie Industry's True Gentleman - Jaishankar

Jaishankar was known as the James Bond of South India primarily because of his portrayal of the character CID Shankar in the movie of the same name and in the movie Vallavan Oruvan. In the 60s, an era that was dominated by MGR and Sivaji along with Gemini Jaishankar managed to create a niche for himself and had his own group of ardent fans and the fan following continues to this day going by the number of positive comments on YouTube. He was loved by everyone in the Tamil Movie Industry as a person known for his kindness and compassion - A true gentleman! Action movies as a genre was rare in those days. Jaishankar was a pioneer in the sense that he was the first true action hero of the Tamil Movie Industry. He had a flair for comedy too as showcased by such movies as Bommalaattam, Aayiram Poi, etc. This song is from the movie Vallavan Oruvan that features Jaishankar and L Vijayalakshmi. An interesting tidbit is that the heroine of this movie L Vijayalakshmi went on to become the Finance Director of a leading University in the USA, Virginia Polytechnic Institute in her later life!

All Time Great Amazing Lead Pair Sivaji and Padmini! Record Number of 59 Movies Together in a Film Career Spanning Over Five Decades!

Sivaji and Padmini have acted in a record number of 59 movies together over a time span of almost 40 years. Sivaji and Padmini were the lead pair in some of the greatest movies that where ever made in the Tamil Movie industry. You can see a list of 40 of the 59 movies here. Sivaji and Padmini first starred together in Sivaji's 2nd movie Panam in 1952. In Thookku Thookki (1954) Sivaji's pair had been Lalitha, Padmini's elder sister. She had played a negative role and in the end Sivaji get's married to Padmini. Padmini's younger sister Raghini to had featured in this movie. One of the all time great hits of the Tamil Movie History - Uthama Puthiran featured this great onscreen pairing. The song presented here is from the movie Amardheepam (1956) that had also featured Savithri along with Sivaji and Padmini.

Take it Easy Policy! First Ever Tamil Song to Inspire an English Song that Topped the Charts in the UK!

This is the hit song Urvasi Urvasi from the movie Kadhalan starring Prabhu Deva, Nagma, Vadivelu, SPB, Girish Karnad, Raghuvaran and others. This is Shankar's second directorial venture. This movie is Prabhu Deva's debut as a hero and Nagma's debut in the Tamil movie industry. Jeeva, this film's cinematographer went on to become one of the leading directors of the Tamil movie industry. Unni Krishnan was introduced by A R Rahman in this movie and went on to win the National Award for his debut performance. But this song was sung by A R Rahman, Suresh Peters and Sahul Hameed. Suresh Peters went on to become a successful composer in Malayalam. This song was written by Vairamuthu. Though the lyrics and the theme of the song depict the day to day difficulties faced by the youngsters of the 90s, in a humorous manner, the idea of taking life easy is based on the broader philosophy of life 'What will be will be'. When that is the case it is ideal to take it easy while facing the accidental limitations of life is the general idea behind the song. Vadivelu with his 'Needle like body' provides the humorous backbone for this song with his antics and dancing skills. The song was composed by Academy Award winner A R Rahman who has been an inspiration to scores of composers all over the world. In 2014, American hip hop recording artist Will.I.Am and singer Cody Wise, re-created Urvasi Urvasi as It's My Birthday. It's My Birthday topped the charts in the United Kingdom, becoming will.i.am's tenth chart-topper there. The original Tamil song has a combined viewership of less than a million views of its various different uploads on Youtube, whereas the English remake has more than 65 million Youtube views!

Live Life with Conviction and Purpose. Means and Everlasting Fame Will Follow! - MGR Hits 1965

This is a hit song from the movie Panam Padaithavan starring MGR, Sowckar Janaki, K.R. Vijaya, Nagesh, T.S. Balayya, S.A. Asokan, R.S. Manohar and others released in the year 1965. The movie was produced and directed by T R Ramanna. The song features a dance sequence based on the Western Style of Ball Room dancing. The lyrics written by Vaali echoed the thoughts and ideas of MGR who always practiced in real life what he preached through his movies. If you live with purpose, respecting the words of your forefathers without forgetting the path shown by them, then that is what can be considered as being human and civilized. Live life with such strong conviction and purpose so that people will remember you and keep you in their heart and thoughts long after you are gone. This is the essence of the lyrics of this wonderful song written by Vaali. And MGR lived his life exactly based on these guiding principles and no wonder that he remains in the hearts and thoughts of millions of people even today. Tribute to MGR on the occasion of his 99th Birth Anniversary.  Nagesh's antics as a side track to the main dance actually enhances the enjoyability of the song!  Music has been composed by the great Composers (duo) Viswanathan - Ramamoorthy.
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