G. K. Venkatesh

Gurusala Krishnadas Venkatesh (21 September 1927 – 17 November 1993) was an Indian film score composer who primarily worked in Kannada cinema during the 1960s, 1970s and until the late-1980s. He also composed music for Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil films. He produced numerous master pieces of Kannada film music and also brought in Western background score into Kannada films and scored music for all Bond movies of Rajkumar in the 1960s to 1970s.

G. K. Venkatesh
Background information
Born(1927-09-21)21 September 1927
OriginHyderabad, Hyderabad State, India
Died13 November 1993(1993-11-13) (aged 66)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation(s)Film score, music director, playback singer, actor, film producer
Years active1946 to 1993

Early lifeEdit

Born in a Telugu family, Venkatesh began to learn music very young and was talented. Even as a child, he was appreciated by Ramakrishna Ranga Rao of Bobbili. He learned veena from his elder brother G. K. S. Pathi. As a teenager, he played Veena for the great music directors such as S. V. Venkatraman, S. M. Subbaiah Naidu and C. R. Subburaman.

GKV was also a talented singer. Before entering to cinema, he was singing in the Bangalore All India Radio. He had done chorus under S. V. Venkatraman for Meera.


He became a close friend to M. S. Viswanathan (MSV) while working under S. M. Subbaiah Naidu during the late-1940s. They shared the same room in Jupiter Lodge, Madras when MSV was offered to compose some songs for Genoa. When N. S. Krishnan offered an opportunity to M. S. Viswanathan and T. K. Ramamoorthy to compose music for Panam (1952) for Madras Pictures, GKV became a part of their troupe. He had a chance to sing Ezhayin Kovilai Naadinaen in Panam which was also Sivaji Ganesan's second film. He was named as their assistant by Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy.[1][circular reference]

In 1952, he composed music independently for a Malayalam film, which was also dubbed in Tamil as Nadigai. In 1955, he started to compose music for a Kannada film named Sodari starring Rajkumar (his second film) and Pandaribai along with H. R. Padmanabha Shastry. Since then he became a much sought after and one of the successful music directors in Kannada films along with T. G. Lingappa and Vijaya Bhaskar. He was showered with offers where he composed music from Ohileshwara (1955) until Kalitaaroo Henne (1963) in a row. GKV launched P. B. Sreenivas as a successful singer in Kannada films.

He came back to Tamil films in 1964 for Thirumagal Films movie Magale Un Samathu. Since then he began to compose music for both Kannada and Tamil films.

In the late-1960s, it is notable that Ilaiyaraja and L. Vaidyanathan were playing instruments under GKV's troupe, assisting to compose music.

Work with RajkumarEdit

GKV composed music for 51 films in which Dr. Rajkumar played the lead role. He launched Dr. Rajkumar as a singer in the film Ohileshwara (song: Sharanu Shambho) and also recorded Dr.Rajkumar's first duet in Mahishasura Mardhini (song: Tumbitu Manava with S. Janaki). GKV would insist Dr. Rajkumar to sing regularly, owing to his grooming in the Gubbi Company. Rajkumar, however preferred P. B. Sreenivas, to sing for him.

In 1974, P. B. Sreenivas was unwell on the day of recording of song "Yare Koogadali" in the movie Sampathige Saval.GKV proposed Rajkumar to sing the song and Rajkumar reluctantly recorded the song. Once PBS came back, they wanted to re-record the song, but PBS, being generous minded, suggested they keep the song as-is, because Rajkumar had done a phenomenal job.Thus it marked the re-emergence of the singer in Rajkumar.

A versatile music director, GKV used elaborate Western-style orchestration in his songs, be they of any genre. He successfully brought Master singer Dr. Bhimsen Joshi to sing for films Sandhyaraga (1966). Bhimsen Joshi sang again in the movie Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige (1983).

Ustad Bismillah Khan was reluctant to play Shehnai for films during his later part of years. GKV got the Maestro to play Shehnai for lead character Appanna, enacted by Dr.Rajkumar in Sanadi Appanna (1977). The songs became chartbusters and are aired regularly on the Kannada Radio.

Style of composingEdit

GKV was a technical wizard and one of the finest composer in India, He brought in the western background score first into Kannada cinema, His re-recording played a vital role in each and every movie he did, his use of instruments in his songs and background scores still feels fresh and advanced even today.

Works with IlaiyaraajaEdit

Ilaiyaraaja was hired as an assistant by GKV, an event that marked the entry of Ilaiyaraaja into film music composition and direction. Ilaiyaraaja assisted GKV in 200 Kannada film projects.[2] Later Ilaiyaraaja went on to become one of the most prominent film music composers in India.[3]


GKV had a small part to play in AVM Productions's Mella Thirandhathu Kadhavu in 1986 in which he acted in the role of Mohan's musician father. His dialogues were dubbed by V. Gopalakrishnan. The music directors were M. S. Viswanathan and Ilaiyaraja.

He had appeared on-screen in the Kannada movie Kanteredu Nodu in 1961 in the song "Kannadada Makkalella Ondagi Banni", composed and sung by himself.

Film producerEdit

During the fledgling days of Kannada film movement, he produced movies such as Ranadheera Kantheerava (1960), Immadi Pulikeshi (1968) in partnership with other artists. In 1987, he produced the Ramarajan and Revathi starrer Gramathu Minnal Tamil film.


Prominent compositions of G. K. Venkatesh in Kannada include:

Some compositions of G. K. Venkatesh in Tamil, include:

Some compositions of G. K. Venkatesh in Telugu include:


Music directionEdit

Year Film Language Notes
1950 Chechi Malayalam
1951 Nadigai Tamil
1955 Sodari Kannada (with H. R. Padmanabha Shastry)
1955 Ohileshwara Kannada
1956 Hari Bhakta Kannada
1958 Anna Thangi Kannada
1959 Jagajyothi Basveshwara Kannada
1959 Dharma Vijaya Kannada
1959 Mahishasura Mardini Kannada
1960 Ranadheera Kanteerava Kannada
1960 Dashavathara Kannada
1960 Sree Shaila Mahatme Kannada
1961 Kanntheredu Nodu Kannada
1961 Kaivaara Mahaatme Kannada
1961 Arappavan Malayalam (with P. S. Diwakar)
1962 Bhoodana Kannada
1962 Karuneye Kutumbada Kannu Kannada
1962 Mahatma Kabir Kannada
1963 Ananda Bashpa Kannada
1963 Bangari Kannada
1963 Chandra Kumaara Kannada
1963 Gowri Kannada
1963 Kalitaaru Henne Kannada
1963 Kanya Ratna Kannada
1963 Kulavadhu Kannada
1963 Law-year Magalu Kannada
1963 Malli Madhuve Kannada
1964 Magale Un Samathu Tamil
1964 Naanum Manithan Thaan Tamil
1964 Kalaavati Kannada
1964 Kavaleredu Kulavandu Kannada
1964 Thumbida Koda Kannada
1965 Thayin Karunai Tamil
1965 Nanna Kartavya Kannada
1965 Sarvagyanamoorthi Kannada
1965 Sati Savitri Kannada
1966 Killadi Ranga Kannada
1966 Madhumaalathi Kannada
1966 Sandhya Raga Kannada
1966 Sri Kannika Parameshwari Katha Kannada
1967 Dhana Pichachi Kannada
1967 Immadi Pulikeshi Kannada
1967 Jaanara Jaana Kannada
1967 Muddu Meena Kannada
1967 Parvathi Kalyana Kannada
1967 Rajshekhara Kannada
1967 Rajadurgada Rahasya Kannada
1968 Dial 2244 Malayalam
1968 Jedara Bale Kannada
1968 Manasakshi Kannada
1968 Goa Dalli CID 999 Kannada
1969 Bageerathi Kannada
1969 Kannamucchale Kannada
1969 Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999 Kannada
1969 Natakala Rayudu Telugu
1970 Devara Makkalu Kannada
1971 Kasturi Nivasa Kannada
1971 Naguva Hoovu Kannada
1971 Sabatham Tamil
1971 Baala Bandana Kannada
1971 Thayi Devaru Kannada
1971 Pratidwani Kannada
1971 Thandhe Makkalu Kannada
1972 Bangarada Manushya Kannada
1972 Karmika Kallanalla Kannada
1973 Doorada Betta Kannada
1973 Ponnukku Thanga Manasu Tamil
1973 Shrivaaru Maavaaru Telugu
1974 Anna Attige Kannada
1974 Bhakta Kumbara Kannada Won - Karnataka State Film Award for Best Music Director
1974 Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu Kannada
1974 Chitegu Chinte Kannada
1974 Sampathige Saval Kannada
1974 Murugan Kaattiya Vazhi Tamil
1975 Yarukkum Vetkam Illai Tamil
1975 Thennankeetru Tamil
1975 Daari Tappida Maga Kannada
1975 Piriyavidai Tamil
1975 Mayura Kannada
1975 Mayura Hindi
1975 Nireekshe Kannada
1975 Thrimurthy Kannada
1976 Bangarada Gudi Kannada
1976 Raja Nanna Raja Kannada
1976 Zamindarugari Ammayi Telugu
1976 Baalu Jenu Kannada
1976 America Ammayi Telugu
1977 Galate Samsara Kannada
1977 Sanaadi Appanna Kannada
1977 Olavu Geluvu Kannada
1977 Tharam Marindi Telugu
1977 Sose Thandha Sowbhagya Kannada
1977 Chakradhari Telugu
1978 Bhale Huduga Kannada
1978 Devadaasi Kannada
1978 Operation Diamond Racket Kannada
1979 Malligai Mohini Tamil
1979 Ravanude Ramudythe Telugu
1979 Asadhya Aliya Kannada
1979 Huliya Haalina Mevu Kannada
1979 Kamala Kannada
1979 Mutthu Ondu Mutthu Kannada
1979 Nentaro Gantu Kallaro Kannada
1980 Kannil Theriyum Kathaigal Tamil (with K. V. Mahadevan, [[Agathiyar<ref]], Ilaiyaraja & Shankar–Ganesh)
1980 Dhairya Lakshmi Kannada
1980 Chinnanchiru Kiliye Tamil
1980 Rusthum Jodi Kannada
1981 Pennin Vaazhkkai Tamil
1981 Deiva Thirumanangal Tamil (with K. V. Mahadevan & M. S. Viswanathan)
1981 Nenjil Oru Mul Tamil
1981 Antha Kannada
1981 Bhoomige Banda Bhagavantha Kannada
1981 Havina Hede Kannada
1981 Mareyada Haadu Kannada
1981 Hanabalavo Janabalavo Kannada
1982 Bhakta Gnanadeva Kannada
1982 Haalu Jenu Kannada
1982 Shankar Sundar Kannada
1982 Maro Malupu Telugu
1983 Aasha Kannada
1983 Eradu Nakshatragalu Kannada
1983 Kashmir Kaadhal Tamil
1983 Hosa Theerpu Kannada
1983 Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige Kannada
1984 Azhagu Tamil
1984 Gajendra Kannada
1984 Guru Bhakti Kannada
1984 Jiddu Kannada
1984 Kaliyuga Kannada
1984 Makkaliralavva Mane Thumba Kannada
1984 Male Banthu Male Kannada
1985 Ade Kannu Kannada
1985 Chaduranga Kannada
1985 Guru Jagadguru Kannada
1985 Inaindha Kodugal Tamil
1985 Parameshi Prema Prasanga Kannada
1985 Shabhash Vikram Kannada
1986 Hosa Neeru Kannada Won - Karnataka State Film Award for Best Music Director
1986 Preethi Kannada
1987 Poornachandra Kannada
1987 Yaarigagi Kannada
1989 Gandandre Gandu Kannada

Playback singerEdit

Year Film Language Song Music Co-singer
1950 Chechi Malayalam Varika Varika Sahachare G. K. Venkatesh Kaviyoor Revamma
1952 Panam Tamil Ezhayin Kovilai Naadinaen Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy M. L. Vasanthakumari
1953 Jatagam Tamil Aandavan Namakku R. Govardhanam A. G. Rathnamala
1954 Vaira Malai Tamil Nadana Kalaa Raani Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy P. Leela & A. P. Komala
1955 Gulebakavali Tamil Villenthum Veerannellam Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy Thiruchi Loganathan & P. Leela
1955 Santhosham Telugu Teeyani Eenati Reyi Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy P. Susheela
1956 Ohileshwara Kannada Om Namaha Shivaya G. K. Venkatesh
1959 Mangaiyin Sabatham Tamil Nee Yaro Aval Yaro Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy
1959 Raja Malaiya Simman Tamil Maaligaiyilae Vasikkum Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy Seerkazhi Govindarajan & P. B. Sreenivas
1959 Raja Malaya Simha Telugu Oranna Mosappukaalam Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy Madhavapeddi Satyam & P. B. Sreenivas
1960 Kavalai Illaadha Manithan Tamil Kannodu Vin Pesum Jaadai Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy K. Jamuna Rani, T. S. Bagavathi & A. L. Raghavan
1961 Kantheredu Nodu Kannada Kannadada Makkalella G. K. Venkatesh
1961 Pava Mannippu Tamil Nilai Maarinaal Gunam Maaruvaan Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy
1962 Senthamarai Tamil Kanavae Kaathal Vaazhvae Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy
1962 Thendral Veesum Tamil Yaen Mama Kovama Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy L. R. Eswari
1962 Veerathirumagan Tamil Azhivadhu Pol Thondrum Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy
1963 Bangari Kannada Naa Hutti Beledaadu G. K. Venkatesh
1963 Kanyarathna Kannada Kanya Rathna G. K. Venkatesh
1963 Malli Maduve Kannada Naguve Naaka Aluve Naraka G. K. Venkatesh P. B. Sreenivas
1964 Padithaal Mattum Podhuma Tamil Kalam Seidha Komalithanathil Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy P. B. Sreenivas & A. L. Raghavan
1965 Hello Mister Zamindar Tamil Sondhamumillai Oru Bandhamum Illai Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy
1965 Thayin Karunai Tamil Ponnu Mannu Pennum Moonum G. K. Venkatesh
1967 Rajadurgada Rahasya Kannada Rajadurgada Rahasya G. K. Venkatesh
1971 Kasturi Nivasa Kannada Aadisidaata Besara Moodi G. K. Venkatesh
1971 Sabatham Tamil Aatathai Aadu Puliyudan Aadu G. K. Venkatesh A. L. Raghavan & L. R. Eswari
1974 Bhakta Kumbara Kannada Guru Bramham G. K. Venkatesh
1974 Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu Kannada Virasavemba Vishake G. K. Venkatesh
Maariye Gathiyendu P. B. Srinivas
1975 Piriyavidai Tamil Karunaikkadalae Kaarmugilvanna G. K. Venkatesh P. Susheela
1977 Kakana Kote Kannada Kari Haidanemboru C. Ashwath B. V. Karanth & C. Ashwath
1977 Kavikkuyil Tamil Maanathilae Meenirukka.... Udhayam Varugindrathe Ilayaraja S. Janaki
1979 Ravanude Ramudayithe? Kannada Ravanude Ramudayithe? G. K. Venkatesh
1981 Nenjil Oru Mul Tamil Vaazhkkaiyenum Paadhaithanile G. K. Venkatesh

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy#Other collaborations
  2. ^ Vijayakar, R. "The prince in Mumbai". Screen. 21 July 2006. Accessed 6 February 2007.
  3. ^ "About GK Venkatesh". MTV.

External linksEdit

  • GKV. tfmpage.com.