G. Ramanathan

Gopalan Iyer Ramanathan was an Indian music composer for Tamil movies. He is also known as Isai Methai (Genius of Music) or Sangeetha Chakravarthy (Emperor of Music) and is considered to be one of the influential Tamil music composers to take Carnatic music to the masses. Notable for his association with M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar. G. Ramanathan also composed for films of Salem Modern Theatres and Coimbatore Central Studios. His career lasted until his death in 1963. During the 1950s G.Ramanathan's music dominated most of the box office hits of the then leading Tamil movie stars Shivaji Ganesan and M. G. Ramachandran.

G. Ramanathan
G.RamanathanImg.jpg
Background information
Also known asGR
BornBikshandarkoil, Trichinopoly District, Madras Presidency, British India
Died20 November 1963
Chennai, Madras State, India
Occupation(s)Composer, music director
InstrumentsVocals (playback singing), keyboard/harmonium/piano
Years active1940–1963
LabelsIsai Methai, Sangeetha Chakravarthy

Early lifeEdit

G. Ramanathan (GR) was born in Bikshandarkoil, Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, India. GR's biographer Vamanan indicates that his birth year could have been 1910. GR's father was Gopalsamy Iyer who worked as sub-inspector in the Indian Railways. He lost his parents while being young, and was taken care by his elder brother Sundara Bhagawathar. GR could have schooling only until standard 5. He married Jeyalakshmi in 1942 and had two daughters - Sai and Lakshmi. His grandson is Ranjan and his granddaughter is Bhavani.

He joined the Baratha Gana Saba, a drama troupe and played harmonium at the age of 18. Then he joined the V. A. Chellappa Drama company, and sang playback and played harmonium. In 1932, he first played musical instrument for a Tamil film called Kalavarishi which was produced in Calcutta.

In 1938 M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar produced Sathyaseelan in Bombay and GR became the music director for that film which followed by the Vipranarayana (old). The first film to be produced in Madras with GR as the music director was Bookailash, followed by Parasuraman and Bhoologa Rambai (old). GR was a resident music director for the Modern Theatres since the beginning except a few which were done by K. V. Mahadevan.

He had acted in Aayiram Thalai Vaangi Apoorva Chinthamani (1947) in the role Sanyasi.

StyleEdit

GR never had proper training in carnatic music. It was all Kelvi Gnanam (learning by listening). He had a passion and liking towards carnatic music and went all out in composing. GR became the music director when stage dramas were equally popular in the 1940s. He had to balance up between the cinema and the stage dramas.

It was conditional that the cinema songs of those days had to be composed to the basic carnatic tune and it used to be thought that cinema music would never equal the pure form of carnatic music. GR had proved otherwise when he had composed music for the song "Manmatha Leelaiyai Vendrar Undo" in Haridas sung by M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar. He is a staunch believer that only music that had the carnatic base could endure where most of his songs were "semi classic".

He has a liking for the voices of G. N. Balasubramaniam, M. L. Vasanthakumari, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, and the Hindi film music director Naushad and his favourite singers in his compositions were S. Varalakshmi, P. Susheela and Jikki. Of all the voices, he is a great lover of M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar. GR believes that only MKT could deliver what was expected of any singer. GR was also an excellent singer and had sung in his own compositions in Ponmudi and also under K. V. Mahadevan's composition for Alli Petra Pillai.

He worked with singers like T. M. Soundararajan, A. M. Rajah, Seerkazhi Govindarajan, Thiruchi Loganathan, Ghantasala, C. S. Jayaraman, V. N. Sundharam, T. A. Mothi, P. B. Sreenivas, P. Leela, T. V. Rathinam, R. Balasaraswathi Devi, A. P. Komala, Radha Jayalakshmi, M. S. Rajeswari, T. S. Bagavathi, K. Jamuna Rani, P. Suseela, A. G. Rathnamala, N. L. Ganasaraswathi, K. Rani, K. V. Janaki, Soolamangalam Jayalakshmi, Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi, S. Janaki and L. R. Eswari. V. T. Rajagopalan, G. Ramanathan's good friend and assistant, sang few songs for him.

The singing actors M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar, P. U. Chinnappa, M. M. Dandapani Desikar, Kothamangalam Cheenu, M. S. Subbulakshmi, D. K. Pattammal, C. Honnappa Bhagavathar, U. R. Jeevarathinam, N. C. Vasanthakokilam, T. R. Mahalingam, T. R. Rajakumari, K. R. Ramaswamy, Chittor V. Nagaiah, P. Bhanumathi, N. S. Krishnan, T. A. Madhuram, T. S. Durairaj and J. P. Chandrababu also sang memorable songs under his compositions.

GR would strive the singers to the excellence. T. M. Soundararajan said that if one could sing to the satisfaction and the tune of GR you could easily sing for the tune of any music director in any part of the world. GR would sing out the songs before recording to guide the singers. His greatest talent was that he was able to compose tunes suiting the storyline as well as the period of production of the films. He produced a film Pudhu Yugam under Sree Saai Gaanaamirudha Pictures in 1954.

GR's last film was Deivathin Deivam by K. S. Gopalakrishnan. He died of a heart attack in the midst of composing for the film Arunagirinathar. Then T. R. Pappa completed it.

BiographyEdit

Vamanan had published a biography entitled Sangeetha Chakravarthi G. Ramanathan (2006), which provides details of 85 Tamil movies in which GR had composed music from 1940 to 1969, 12 songs he had sung in Tamil movies and 4 movies in which he had appeared in minor roles.

FilmographyEdit

Music DirectorEdit

Year Film Language Director Banner Co-Music Directors
1936 Sathyaseelan Tamil B. Sampathkumar Trichy Thyagaraja Films Papanasam Sivan
1938 Vipra Narayana Tamil A. Narayanan Sound City
1938 Bookailash or Mandodhari Parinayam Tamil Sundar Rao Nadkarni Sundaram Sound Pictures
1940 Bhooloka Rambai Tamil B. N. Rao Salem Shanmugha Films & Vijaya Maruthi Pictures
1940 Harihara Maya or Bhikshadanar Tamil C. V. Raman Modern Theatres
1940 Parasuramar Tamil H. S. Mehtha
1940 Vikrama Oorvasi or Oorvasiytin Kaadhal Tamil T. R. Sundaram Modern Theatres
1941 Aryamala Tamil S. M. Sriramulu Naidu Pakshiraja Studios
1942 Aanandan or Agni Purana Mahimai Tamil S. D. S. Yogi Mayura Films T. A. Kalyanam
1942 Krishna Pidaran Tamil C. V. Raman T. K. Productions
1942 Prithivirajan Tamil B. Sampathkumar Central Studios and Haran Talkies
1943 Kubera Kuchela Tamil R. S. Mani Jupiter Pictures back ground music
1943 Sivakavi Tamil S. M. Sriramulu Naidu Pakshiraja Studios Papanasam Sivan
1944 Haridas Tamil Sundar Rao Nadkarni Royal Talkies Papanasam Sivan
1944 Jagathalaprathapan Tamil S. M. Sriramulu Naidu Central Studios
1945 Bhakta Kalathi Tamil R. Padmanaban Padma Pictures
1946 Aaravalli Sooravalli Tamil C. V. Raman Modern Theatres
1947 Aayiram Thalai Vaangi Apoorva Chinthamani Tamil T. R. Sundaram Modern Theatres
1947 Ekambavanan Tamil B. N. Rao & T. V. Krishnaswami Saravanabhava Pictures
1947 Kadagam Tamil Acharya Tamil Nadu Talkies
1947 Kundalakesi Tamil Boman D. Irani S. M. Subbaiah Naidu
1947 Ponnaruvi Tamil C. V. Raman
1947 Rukmangadhan Tamil P. S. V. Iyer National Studio & Iyer Productions
1948 Adhithan Kanavu Tamil T. R. Sundaram Modern Theatres
1948 Bhojan Tamil T. R. Sundaram Modern Theatres
1948 Lakshmi Vijayam Tamil Bomman D. Irani Sri Meenakshi Films
1948 Sri Aandal Tamil Veluchamy Kavi Salem Surya Films Ranganathan
1949 Deva Manohari Tamil A. T. Krishnaswamy Arkays Pictures
1949 Inbavalli Tamil S. Notani Shyamala Pictures
1949 Mayavathi Tamil T. R. Sundaram Ganapathi Pictures
1949 Mangayarkarasi Tamil Jiten Bannerjee Bhagya Pictures C. R. Subburaman & Kunnakudi Venkatarama Iyer
1949 Rathnakumar Tamil Krishnan–Panju Murugan Talkies C. R. Subburaman
1950 Ponmudi Tamil Ellis R. Dungan Modern Theatres
1950 Manthiri Kumari Tamil Ellis R. Dungan Modern Theatres
1950 Parijatham Tamil K. S. Gopala Krishnan Lavanya Pictures S. V. Venkatraman & C. R. Subburaman
1950 Thigambara Samiar Tamil T. R. Sundaram Modern Theatres S. M. Subbaiah Naidu
1951 Devaki Tamil R. S. Mani Ganapathi Pictures
1951 Sudharshan Tamil Sundar Rao Nadkarni & A.S.A. Sami Royal Talkies
1952 Amarakavi Tamil F. Nagoor Nagoor Cine Productions T. A. Kalyanam
1952 Kalyani Tamil Acharya & M. Masthan Modern Theatres S. Dakshinamurthy
1952 Atthainti Kaapuram Telugu Acharya & M. Masthan Modern Theatres S. Dakshinamurthy
1952 The Jungle English William Berke & Ellis R. Dungan Modern Theatres & Lippert Pictures
1952 Zamindar Tamil P. V. Krishnan Jupiter Pictures & Sangeetha Pictures
1952 Shyamala Tamil B. A. Subba Rao Yuva Pictures T. V. Raju & S. B. Thinakar Rao
1953 Gumastha Tamil R. M. Krishnaswami Aruna Pictures C. N. Pandurangan & V. Nagaiah
1953 Vazha Pirandhaval Tamil T. R. Ramanna R. R. Pictures S. Rajeswara Rao
1953 Marumagal Tamil D. Yoganand Krishna Pictures C. R. Subburaman & Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy
1953 Thirumbi Paar Tamil T. R. Sundaram Modern Theatres
1953 Inspector Tamil R. S. Mani Jupiter Pictures
1953 Inspector Telugu R. S. Mani Jupiter Pictures
1953 Rohini Tamil Kamal Ghosh Madras Arts Production K. V. Mahadevan & D. C. Dutt
1953 Kangal Tamil Krishnan–Panju Motion Pictures Team S. V. Venkatraman
1954 Karkottai Tamil Kemparaj Kemparaj Productions S. V. Venkatraman
1954 Illara Jothi Tamil G. R. Rao Modern Theatres
1954 Pudhu Yugam Tamil Gopu-Sundar Sree Saai Gaanaamirudha Pictures
1954 Kanavu Tamil P. V. Krishnan K. R. K. Productions V. Dakshinamoorthy
1954 Thookku Thookki Tamil R. M. Krishnaswami Aruna Films
1954 Nanban Tamil P. S. Srinivasa Rao M. D. V. Productions
1954 Veerasundari Tamil Jikkade
M. R. Ranganath
Sri Sundari Pictures Rathinavel Mudaliar
1955 Kaveri Tamil D. Yoganand Krishna Pictures Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy
1955 Nalla Thangai Tamil S. A. Natarajan Forward Art Films
1955 Kathanayaki Tamil K. Ramnath Modern Theatres
1955 Vijaya Gauri Telugu D. Yoganand Krishna Pictures Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy
1955 Gomathiyin Kaadhalan Tamil P. Neelakantan T. R. R. Productions
1955 Maheswari Tamil T. R. Raghunath Modern Theatres
1955 Doctor Savithri Tamil R. M. Krishnaswamy Aruna Films
1955 Nalla Thangal Tamil P. V. Krishnan Iyer Madras Movietone
1956 Amara Deepam Tamil T. Prakash Rao Venus Pictures T. Chalapathi Rao
1956 Amara Deepam Telugu T. Prakash Rao Venus Pictures T. Chalapathi Rao
1956 Kokilavani Kannada S. A. Natarajan Forward Arts Films
1956 Kokilavani Tamil S. A. Natarajan Forward Arts Films
1956 Madurai Veeran Tamil D. Yoganand Krishna Pictures
1956 Sahasaveerudu Telugu D. Yoganand Krishna Pictures
1956 Naan Petra Selvam Tamil K. Somu Paragon Pictures
1956 Sadhaaram Tamil V. C. Subburaman Kasturi Films
1957 Aaravalli Tamil S. V. Krishna Rao Modern Theatres
1957 Ambikapathy Tamil P. Neelakantan ALS Productions
1957 Chakravarthi Thirumagal Tamil P. Neelakantan Uma Pictures
1957 Karpukkarasi Tamil K. Ramnoth & A. S. A. Sami Jupiter Pictures
1957 Uttama Illaalu Telugu K. Ramnoth & A. S. A. Sami Jupiter Pictures
1957 Manamagan Thevai Tamil P. S. Ramakrishna Rao Bharani Pictures
1957 Varudu Kavaali Telugu P. S. Ramakrishna Rao Bharani Pictures
1957 Pudhumai Pithan Tamil T. R. Ramanna RR Pictures
1957 Veera Khadgam Telugu T. R. Ramanna RR Pictures
1957 Pudhu Vazhvu Tamil M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar Sarvodaya Pictures C. N. Pandurangan
1957 Rani Lalithangi Tamil T. R. Raghunath TNR Productions
1957 Samaya Sanjeevi Tamil V. S. Raghavan Sri Nataraja Films
1957 Vanangamudi Tamil P. Pullaiah Saravanabhava Pictures & Unity Pictures
1958 Kaathavaraayan Tamil T. R. Ramanna RR Pictures
1958 Karthavarayuni Katha Telugu T. R. Ramanna RR Pictures G. Aswathama
1958 Mangalya Bhagyam Tamil T. R. Raghunath Krishna Pictures
1958 Sarangadhara Tamil V. S. Raghavan Minerva Pictures
1958 Sitamgar Hindi T. Prakash Rao Venus Pictures
1958 Uthama Puthiran Tamil T. Prakash Rao Venus Pictures
1958 Veera Prathap Telugu T. Prakash Rao Venus Pictures
1959 Kalyanikku Kalyanam Tamil A. S. A. Sami Manohar Pictures
1959 Manimekalai Tamil V. S. Raghavan Shekhar Art Film
1959 Naan Sollum Ragasiyam Tamil P. Sridhar Rao Kasthuri Films
1959 President Panchatcharam Tamil A. Bhim Singh Savithri Pictures
1959 Veerapandiya Kattabomman Tamil B. R. Panthulu Padmini Pictures
1959 Veerapandya Kattabrahmana Telugu B. R. Panthulu Padmini Pictures
1960 Chavukkadi Chandrakantha Tamil M. Radhakrishnan Aruna Films
1960 Kadavulin Kuzhandhai Tamil Dada Mirazi Vetrivel Films
1960 Raja Desingu Tamil T. R. Raghunath Krishna Films
1960 Thozhan Tamil K. Vembu A. D. M. Productions
1961 Arasilangkumari Tamil M. Somasundaram Jupiter Pictures
1961 Kappalottiya Thamizhan Tamil B. R. Panthulu Padmini Pictures
1961 Sri Valli Tamil T. R. Ramanna Narasu Studios
1962 Deivathin Deivam Tamil K. S. Gopalakrishnan Chitra Productions
1962 Pattinathar Tamil T. R. Ramanna J. R. Productions
1963 Chittoor Rani Padmini Tamil Ch. Narayana Murthy Uma Pictures
1964 Arunagirinathar Tamil T. R. Ramanna RR Pictures T. R. Pappa
1969 Captain Ranjan Tamil T. P. Sundaram Film Land Productions

Playback SingerEdit

Year Film Language Song Co-Singer Music
1947 1000 Thalaivangi Apoorva Chinthamani Tamil Nallathai Sollidaven G. Ramanathan
1950 Ponmudi Tamil Neela Vanum Nilavum Pol T. V. Rathnam G. Ramanathan
Van Mazhaiyindri Vadidum Payir Pola T. V. Rathnam
Nam Jeevaatharame Selvam Agume
Aruyire Premai Amudha Variyil T. V. Rathnam
Dhesamenggum Nalvalam
Meikadhal Arumbu Vazhvinile Poothathe Indre T. V. Rathnam
En Kaalamo Marana
1952 Amarakavi Tamil Onru Serndhu Paadupattal .. Sevai Seythaale M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar G. Ramanathan
Paadharasam Pole
1955 Nalla Thangai Tamil Kooli Miga Ketpaar ... Engirundo Vanthan G. Ramanathan
1955 Nalla Thangal Tamil Ithanai Naalaaga Engedi Pone K. Jamuna Rani G. Ramanathan
1957 Aravalli Tamil Aaravalli Sooravalli G. Ramanathan
1959 Alli Petra Pillai Tamil Ejaman Petra Selvame K. V. Mahadevan
1959 Manimekalai Tamil Vandhaayaa Magale Vandhaayaa G. Ramanathan

ReferencesEdit