Mistaken Identities, Hidden Pasts, Great Music! A Star-Studded Romantic Comedy from 1967

This is a hit song from the  superhit comedy movie Ooty Varai Uravu starring Sivaji Ganesan, K. R. Vijaya, Muthuraman, L. Vijayalakshmi, T.S. Baliah, V.K. Ramasamy, Nagesh, Sachchu and others. The movie had been directed by Sridhar and the music had been composed by MSV. This particular song had been sung by P B Srinivas and L R Easwari. This song features Muthuraman and Vijayalakshmi. The movie’s plot revolves around the hidden past life of Balaiah (Sivaji’s father) and the mixup in the identities of K R Vijaya and Vijayalakshmi. Though Sivaji himself comes to know the actual truth, early in the movie, he manipulates the events such that Balaiah himself admits the truth finally. The movie has brilliant performances by the entire cast and the comedy sequences featuring Balaiah, Nagesh, VKR and Sachchu, ably supported by the leading actors is hilarious and entertaining to say the least. Sachchu had mentioned in an interview how she had had a really hard time shooting for the movie, unable to restrain herself from laughing at Nagesh’s antics during every single shot. Incidentally this movie was the last movie of L Vijayalakshmi who got married to an Agricultural Scientist from Philippines after this movie. She then settled down in the US and pursued her higher studies to become a qualified Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She went on to become the Finance Director of the Virginia Polytechnic University in the US. All the songs in this movie had been hit songs and written by Kannadasan. This movie is a safe bet to watch during a family get together, sure to be enjoyed by the young and the old.

Correlation Between Intelligence and Success, Wealth and Compassion, Love and Happiness in Married Life, Dreams and Reality - All in Just One Song!

Is there any correlation between intelligence and success? If at all there is a correlation, according to the lyrics of this song of Kannadasan from the movie Annai, there is an inversely proportional correlation rather than a direct relationship! The song goes on to establish a similar inverse proportion between various other aspects of life's realities that we face in our day to day living and societal experiences.  Kannadasan's phenomenal success is due to his gift and ability to present simple and subtle niceties of life on the one end and on the other end of the spectrum the harsh and painful realities of life, with equal clarity using a clever arrangement of tastefully poetic words without compromising the greatness of Tamil Poetry's Classical Grammar! While we are with this song it makes sense to discuss a bit about what success really is. Is success money? Is success good relationships? Is success good health and fitness or as Martin Seligman says is it Good Character? All the above aspects (except health) which we assume to be elements of success are basically components related to physical pleasure and our perceptions of externally oriented societal interactions. The truth is every human being wants to be happy! But none of the above can make you happy. The richest person can be unhappy! A person surrounded by friends and relations can be unhappy. The person with best fitness, health and character can be unhappy. So the most successful person is one who can be truly happy in spite of and irrespective of all these components of life! There is a saying, 'An artist is never poor'. The logic behind this saying is that the constant creative process the artist experiences is so rich that he doesn't need other things to be happy! So live a rich and creative life! Be Happy! Thereby Be Successful! You don't have to prove anything to anyone! It's your life! As Shakespeare says, Live it "As You Like It"! Enjoy this song from the movie Annai, sung by the great Chandrababu (A Deserved Separate Post about Him Will Follow Soon), written by Kannadasan and Composed by R Sudharsanam.

Singer Super Star of the 1940s and 50s! The One Supreme Voice of Tamil Cinema that Worried Even the Greatest of His Contemporaries!

T R Mahalingam was an extremely popular stage and drama artist with a unique and stunning countertenor voice in the 1930s. He was a contemporary of singing legends such as MKTB, SG Kittappa and at a later stage TMS. In those days due to the absence of public address systems, stage actors and singers had the need to train their voices for reach and clarity. T R Mahalingam apart from his training, was truly gifted in this area since he was blessed with a voice that had a tremendous range (from countertenor to bass) in addition to reach and clarity. His movie debut was in the year 1937 with AVM's Nandakumar. His first major hit was Sri Valli in the year 1945. Following his meteoric rise during the late 40s and the early 50s he had a downfall in his career during the mid 50s when some movies of his own production house failed to take-off. It was Kannadasan who gave him a break again in 1958 with Kannadasan's own movie Maalai Itta Mangai. T R Mahalingam has to his credit some of the most popular and evergreen songs of Tamil Cinema. During the later stages of his career he acted in several character roles and supporting roles. He immortalized the character of Bana Pathirar in the movie Thiruvilayadal. His rendition of the song Isai Tamil Nee Seitha in this movie is a Hallmark of the Calibre of Songs and Music produced by Tamil Cinema. His voice was so powerful it had even the Great TMS worried during the filming of the movie Sri Valli in which TMS had to sing his bit after a six minute high-pitched and powerful rendition by TRM! Read about this interesting bit and more here! The song presented here in honour of TRM is from the movie Amuthavalli. Lyrics by Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram and composed by Viswanathan - Ramamoorthy. Singers T R Mahalingam and P Susheela.

One Composer, Four Languages, 40 Years, 600 Movies! Endless Flow of Everlasting and Sublimely Divine Music!

K V Mahadevan was born in a small town in the southern districts of Tamil Nadu in the year 1918. He made his entry into the world of Films at the age of 24 with the movie Manonmani. A simple background and a humble beginning was not a constraint for this gifted composer for he went on to achieve a truly Legendary status as a Music Composer with a cult following during his life time. He was known for his Classical Music based compositions ingeniously crafted to reach the common man. He teamed up with the great director A P Nagarajan and created some of the best songs Tamil Cinema has ever seen. Apart from having composed music for several mythological blockbusters such as Thiruvilayadal, Kandan Karunai, Thiruvarutchelvar and Saraswathi Sabatham he was equally successful in creating music for social dramas that were blockbusters such as Thillaanaa Mohanambal, Vietnam Veedu, Vasantha Maaligai, well the list is endless as mentioned in the title of this post. He won two National Awards, one for Kandan Karunai and the other for the Super Hit Telugu Film Sankarabharanm. He made SPB sing for MGR for the first time in Adimai Penn. A single post is not enough to pay tribute to the Legendary Music Composer K V Mahadevan. This song from Kandan Karunai is a classic example of his ability to work with varied singers with original voices and his gift in bringing out the best in them. Singer and actor S Varalakshmi. Lyrics by the Legend of Tamil Stage and Drama Sankaradas Swamigal.

Tamil Actress, Classical Dance Exponent, Politician and Bollywood Superstar! The Versatile and Inimitable Artist - Vyjayanthimala

In the year 1940 an Indian Cultural Delegation was on a tour of Europe. From amongst those who were present in the delegation a 5 year old child was chosen to deliver a classical dance performance in front of the Pope. The Pope was very impressed with the confident performance of the child and had presented the child with a silver medallion. That was the first step and performance of Vyjayanthimala, a very auspicious start to an artistic career that saw glorious achievements over several decades from then on. She made her entry into the Tamil Movie Industry in 1949, under the mentorship of the most able and the biggest directorial and production name in Tamil Cinema, the Legendary A V Meiyappan with the movie Vaazhkai and the rest, as the hackneyed saying goes, is history! She went on to become a leading actress in Tamil and the first female Superstar in Hindi. Her fiery dance-off with Padmini in Vanjikottai Vaaliban is one of the most memorable dance performances in the history of Indian Cinema. This song featuring her along with Gemini from Parthiban Kanavu showcases her talent and is a testament to her ability to deliver subtle, controlled and convincing performances. Music is by the great composer Vedha of Modern Theatres fame. This one composition by him is more than sufficient to silence his critics who criticize him as being fit just for adaptations of Hindi Songs. Lyrics by Kannadasan. This Song is a tribute to the Living Legend Vyjayanthimala. 

Singer with a Bronze Voice! The Most Distinctive and Resonant Voice of Tamil Cinema

The difference between 'Vengala Kuralon' Sirgazhi Govindarajan and the other great singers of Tamil Cinema is his formal education and training in music. He was a graduate of the Tamil Isai College and had graduated in the year 1949 with the degree 'Isaimani'. He also got the degree of Sangeetha Vidwan at gaduation. After completing his formal education in music he started his rigorous Gurukul training under the tutelage of his Guru Swaminatha Pillai. Before entering movies he had won several awards and medals as an extremely talented and trained exponent of Carnatic Music. Apart from having sung some of the most memorable and ever lasting songs of Tamil Cinema he had also acted in several films. He brought to life the image of Sage Agasthya in such a convincing manner in the movie Agathiyar that one tends to think of Sirgazhi Govindrajan at the mere mention of the Great Sage's name. Be it the soul-wrenching and haunting melody Ullathil Nalla Ullam from the movie Karnan or the divinely mythological Arupadai Veedu Konda from Kandan Karunai to the humorous and light hearted title song of the movie Kaadhalikka Neramillai, he rendered songs of varied genres with consummate ease. This song of his is from the movie Agathiyar played by Sirgazhi. Music by Kunnakudi Vaidhyanathan and Lyrics by Ulundurpettai Shanmugam.

Comedian with a Conscience! Most Respected Comic Actor of Tamil Cinema

There is one comic track that is more popular than the phenomenal mega hit movie of which it is part of - Thangavelu's Comedy Track in the super hit movie Kalyana Parisu. The comedy sequence in this movie featuring K A Thangavelu, Gemini and M Saroja (Thangavelu's wife) is an integral part of the legend and history of Tamil Cinema. Thangavelu was a seasoned Stage artist with his own very successful drama troupe and in a way was one of the pioneers of Comedy Drama in Tamil Nadu. Apart from having created a name for himself as a Comedian with supreme comic timing he also earned a name for himself as a Comedian with a conscience since his comic performances were always for the whole family. His comic sequence with Kamal Hassan (as a child artiste) in Paarthaal Pasi Theerum is hilarious and a timeless classic. He had excelled in negative roles during the early stages of his acting career. He was comfortable and partnered with all the leading actors of the 50s, 60s and 70s with equal aplomb and had the ability to cut across age groups, liked by all sections of the audience. Tamil Cinema has seen some of the greatest comic geniuses of the world. Thangavelu was surely one of the greatest and most respected. Enjoy this song from the movie Alibabavum 40 Thirudarkalum sung by Ghantasala. Lyrics - A Maruthasi and Music - S Dhakshinamoorthi.

Master of Nine Emotions! The Multi-faceted, Versatile and People's Actor - Muthuraman

Muthuraman was one of the several actors who were introduced to the Tamil Movie Industry by SSR. Muthuraman was a stage actor in SSR's troupe and had acted in several plays including several poetic dramas of Mahakavi Bahrathiyar. He got into movies by playing supporting roles during the early stages of his acting career. He went on to establish himself as a leading actor during the era dominated by MGR, Sivaji and Gemini which by itself is a phenomenal achievement and speaks volumes about his talent. He was popularly known as Navarasa Thilagam meaning Master of the nine different human emotions and had an ability to portray all these different emotions with utter ease! He was a favorite co-star of Sivaji and had acted in several movies with Sivaji. His flair for comedy had bagged him several comedy movies during his long film career spanning over four decades. Kaadhalikka Neramillai, Kaasethaan Kadavuladaa, Ooty Varai Uravu, Anubhavi Raja Anubhavi, Edhir Neechal were a few of those super hit comedy movies featuring Muthuraman. Enjoy this super hit song from Police Karan Magal featuring Muthuraman and Vijayakumari. Music - Viswananthan Ramamoorthy and Lyrics by Kannadhasan.

The First Dance Super Star of Tamil Cinema - Kumari Kamala

Kumari Kamala entered the Tamil Movie Industry in the year 1938 at the age of four as a child artist and dancer in the movie Vaalibar Sangam. Her dancing skills and talent got noticed from the outset and she started doing more films including a few Hindi films. Her first major hit was Jagathalaprathapan which was released in 1944, a movie that featured her famous snake dance performance. She played a double role in the movie Sri Valli in 1945. She learnt Bharatha Naatiyam under the tutelage of Vzhuvoor B Ramaiah Pillai and took that particular form of dancing to great heights even after leaving the movie industry by establishing a famous dance school in Long Island in the US. Legend has it that her dance movements were so swift and flowing, the motion picture cameras of the 1930s and 1940s were unable to capture her movements perfectly! She has starred in more than 100 movies and Tamil and other South Indian Languages. Enjoy her performance in this song from Sivaji's Debut movie Parasakthi. Music by R Sudarsanam and Lyrics by the former CM of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi. 

Street Singer to Singing Sensation and Super Star! The Golden Voice of Tamil Cinema

As a young girl K B Sundarambal was singing in the streets and on trains to earn what little she could to help her family and make ends meet, until she was discovered by a drama troupe owner and taken to the world of Singing and Stage acting. The rest as the clich├ęd saying goes, is history! She became a singing sensation and a super star on the stage. Her only voice training had been in the streets and on the train which helped her to become one of the greatest voices of the Tamil Stage and the Tamil Movie Industry. Her performance with S G Kittappa (her spouse) in Valli Thirumanam established her as the 'Queen of Indian Stage'. She entered the movie industry in 1935 and starred in several memorable films. Reportedly she was the first Cinema Artist to have commanded a price of Hundred Thousand Rupees for a single movie. Though she had played several characters which remain etched permanently in the minds of the audience it was her portrayal of Auvaiyaar in several movies that remains fresh and evergreen and cuts across audiences of several decades. Enjoy her distinctly divine voice in this song of hers from the movie Karaikal Ammaiyar.

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 had truly lived up to that title and led a life filled with compassion and had always been willing to help the needy. It was his efforts and philanthropy that had helped the people of  his constituency Andipatti recover  from disaster, 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 land 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 co-starred in several super hit movies with Sivaji Ganesan 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.

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