T. M. Soundararajan
Thoguluva Meenatchi Iyengar Soundararajan (24 March 1922 – 25 May 2013), popularly known as TMS, was an Indian Carnatic musician and a playback singer in Tamil cinema for over six and a half decades. He lent his voice to actors and thespians in the South Indian film industry such as M. G. Ramachandran, Sivaji Ganesan, N. T. Rama Rao, Gemini Ganesan, S. S. Rajendran, Jaishankar, Ravichandran, A. V. M. Rajan, R. Muthuraman, Nagesh, Sivakumar, Kantha Rao, Rajkumar,Prem Nazir and A. Nageswara Rao. He also gave his voice to many new generation actors like Kamalahasan, Rajanikanth, Vijayakanth, Satyaraj, Rajesh, Prabhu, and Vijaya Kumar, in addition to other known and unknown heroes and supporting actors like M.R. Radha, K R Ramaswami, T. Rajendar, V.K. Ramaswami, Thengai Sreenivasan, M.N. Nambiar, Thangavelu, Y.G. Mahendran, R.S. Manohar, S.V. Ashokan, Ranjan, Narasimha Bharathi, Sahasra Namam, T S Balayya, Jagayya, Nagayya,Thyagarajan, Sreenath, Shankar etc. He sang over 10,138 songs from 3162 films, including devotional, semi-classical, Carnatic, classical and light music songs. He gave classical concerts starting in 1943.
T. M. Soundararajan
T. M. Soundararajan
|Also known as||TMS|
|Born||24 March 1922|
Madurai, Madras Presidency, British India
|Origin||Madurai, Madras Presidency, British India|
|Died||25 May 2013 (aged 91)|
|Genres||Playback singing and classical musician|
|Occupation(s)||Singer and actor|
In a career spanning over six and half decades he has recorded film songs in 11 languages including Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, and Malayalam. He was a lyricist and music composer for many devotional songs. He was the music director for the film Bala Parikshai. His peak period as a male playback singer in the South Indian film industry was from 1955 to 1985. His first film song was in 1946, at the age of 24, and his last was with P. Suseela during 2010 at the age of 88. TMS died on 25 May 2013 at his residence in Mandaveli, Chennai due to illness. He was 91 years old.
Soundararajan was born in Madurai, the second son of the Meenakshi Iyengar and Venkatammaa on 24 March 1922. He was born in a prominent Saurashtra Brahmin family and his elder brother was a scholar.
He trained his voice starting at age seven. He first studied Carnatic music from Chinnakonda Sarangapani Bhagavathar, a music teacher from Sourashtra High School, Madurai. Later, he learned Carnatic music from Arayakkudi Rajamani Iyer and started giving stage concerts at the age of 23. His first Carnatic musical concert was at SathGuru Samajam, Madurai in 1945 with violinist C. R. Mani and Mridangist S. S. Vijaya Ratnam accompanying him on the instruments. He started singing in stage concerts in the voice of the then-famous classical singer and actor M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar.
Soundararajan was initially rejected by music composers and recording technicians because his voice was cracking and showed variation in higher pitches. He started working in the house of Sundar Rao Nadkarni, a director in the Central Studios, hoping to get a chance to sing in movies. The director recommended him to S. M. Subbaiah Naidu. In 1946, Naidu gave TMS an opportunity to sing five songs in the style of M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar for a film of P. V. Narasimha Bharathi: Krishna Vijayam. Though the songs were noted since 1946, the film was released in 1950. One of his songs in that movie, "Raathey Ennai Vittu Pogathedi," became a hit and he was paid Rs 625. In the same year (1950), G. Ramanathan had him sing "Annamitta Veettiley" for an unknown actor in the film Manthiri Kumari. In 1951, TMS acted and sang "Theeraatha Thuyaralley" in the film Devagi again by G. Ramanathan.
In 1952, S. Dakshinamurthi gave TMS two duet songs in the movie Valaiyapathi – "Kulir Thaamarai Poigaiyai Kanden" and "Kulungidum Poovilellaam" – both with singer K. Jamuna Rani where TMS had an opportunity to sing songs written by the renowned Tamil poet Bharathidasan. G. Ramanathan had TMS and K. Rani sing for Kalyani. In 1953, when Albela was dubbed into Tamil, the music director C. Ramchandra had two duets by TMS and M. S. Rajeswari: "Joraga Paadi Anbaaga Aadi" and "Thozhi Un Kann Edhire Kodi". Even though these songs were well received, there were no further chances for TMS for a while.
Then TMS went to HMV studio where K. V. Mahadevan recorded two devotional songs for which he was paid just Rs 80. Mahadevan told TMS to seek a chance with AVM Productions which was looking for new voices. TMS sang two songs for the film Chella Pillai. One was a solo ("Podanum Kulla Podanum") and the other was a duet with M.S. Rajeswari ("Naadu Nadakkira Nadayiley") under R. Sudharsanam's composition. The film was released in 1955. These music composers helped and trained the determined and ambitious TMS, who was able to overcome his voice problems to a good degree with time.
In 1954, A. Maruthakasi recommended TMS to sing in Aruna Pictures' Thookku Thookki. Till then C. S. Jayaraman used to sing playback for Sivaji Ganesan and Sivaji doubted the suitability of his voice. TMS offered to sing three songs free. TMS and Sivaji Ganesan were introduced to each other and, in the short conversation that followed, TMS studied the voice of Sivaji Ganesan. TMS sang "Sundari Soundari" and "Eraatha Malaithanile", closely imitating Sivaji Ganesan. G. Ramanathan, who was the music director for that film, was so pleased that he gave TMS the chance to sing all the Sivaji Ganesan songs in that production.
In the same year, T. R. Ramanna and T. R. Rajakumari started RR Films. As the film Koondukkili was under production stage, TMS had originally been given a chance to sing only in a chorus. Koondukkili was the only film where MGR and Sivaji acted together. Tanjai Ramayah Dass was very impressed with the golden voice of TMS and asked the story and dialogue writer Vindhan to give a chance to TMS to sing a full solo. TMS sang "Konjum Kiliyana Pennai" under K. V. Mahadevan's composition for Sivaji Ganesan.
When the song was recorded, MGR heard it and was so impressed that he wanted TMS to become his permanent playback singer. TMS was used in MGR's next movie Malaikkallan. Though he first recorded a song for the film Manthiri Kumari starring M. G. Ramachandran (MGR) in 1950, the song that announced the arrival of TMS on the big screen was "Ethanai Kaalamthaan Ematruvaar Indha Naattile" written by Tanjai Ramaiyah Dass and composed by S. M. Subbaiah Naidu. for M.G.R. During this period, TMS got an opportunity to sing in films like Kalvanin Kadhali, Vedan Kannappa, Rishi Sringer and Neela Malai Thirudan. TMS was the beneficiary of the first stereo recording in South India for a Tamil devotional song titled "Mannanalum Thiruchenthooril Mannaven".
From 1955 onward Sivaji insisted that TMS sing for him. Since then, TMS was mainly singing playback for the superstars MGR and Sivaji till the end of 1978 and 1995 respectively. He adopted styles while singing for each actor that synchronized very well with their voices.
His first musical concert abroad was in Malaysia in 1957. He continued to perform all over the world for almost 50 years till 2007, after which he restricted singing live on stage due to health reasons. He has two sons who have voices similar to their father and have sung songs of TMS all over the world in concerts since 1980 till 2012, often with their father. The sons continue to do TMS concerts after the death of their father.
TMS starred as an actor in a few Tamil films such as Pattinathar, Arunagirinathar, Kallum Kaniyagum and Kaviraja Kalamegam. He produced the movie Kallum Kaniyagum with singer A. L. Raghavan. TMS appeared in guest roles in movies such as Devaki, Navagraha Nayaki, Pennarasi, Server Sundaram, Thiru Neelakandar, Swami Ayyappan, Shanmugapriya and Deivam.
He was the most popular male playback singer in South India and the "uncrowned king" of the Tamil film industry for playback singing from the 1950s until 1991.
After the release Thai Nadu and Ghana Paravai, he concentrated more on live concerts and sang in very few films. He was not happy with the lyrics and music style in the films and gave opportunities for newcomers. The film song, "Paatu Ondu Ketaal", performed by him for a Sri Lankan Tamil film named Sooriyan, was recorded in 2007 though it is yet to be released. He sang a song for an album in 2008 "Netrichutti" at the age of 86 and a song named "Kutraalam Aruvi" for the album Song for Daughter, under the music of L.Sakthinathan, which was very well recognized in the industry in 2008. The last film song during October 2010 with P. Susheela, composed by MSV for a film "Valibum Sutrum Ulagam" was well recognized irrespective of his 88 years of age. In 2010, he rendered his voice for the song "Pirapokum ella yuyirukum" in the Tamil Semmozhi Meet Anthem, which was composed by A. R. Rahman. He worked with 74 music directors ranging from S. M. Subbaiah Naidu to A. R. Rahman.
Famous Kannada/Telugu songsEdit
TMS has sung many Kannada film songs, but the fun-filled song "Baare baare nanna hinde hinde" from the 1956 movie Sadaarame is still popular in Karnataka. He also had a lot of popular film songs in Telugu.
S. M. Subbaiah Naidu,, S. V. Venkatraman, S. Rajeswara Rao, G. Govindarajulu Naidu, R. Sudharsanam, R. Govardhanam, S. Dakshinamurthi, G. Ramanathan, C. N. Pandurangan, Adepalli Rama Rao, Master Venu, T. A. Kalyanam, M. S. Gnanamani, K. V. Mahadevan, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, Pendyala Nageswara Rao, G. Aswathama, T. G. Lingappa, P. Adinarayana Rao, P. S. Diwakar, T. R. Pappa, T. V. Raju, C. S. Jayaraman, Ghantasala, Vedha, P. Parthasarathi, Soolamangalam Sisters, M. S. Viswanathan, T. K. Ramamoorthy, V. Kumar, Aba vanan, Rajan-Nagendra, M. Ranga Rao, Vijaya Bhaskar, Ilaiyaraja, Gangai Amaran, Sankar Ganesh, Deva, T. Rajendar, Ramesh Naidu, Shyam, Sudharshana, C.K. Venkedesh, Srinivasan, A. R. Rahman. Hindi film music composers, O. P. Nayyar, Naushad, Bombay Ravi, Manoj Gyan, and Malayalam film music composers Paravoor Devarajan, V. DakshinaMoorthi,Kishore(both Malayalam and Tamil), Rajan & Rajan, Solai Komagan, Mazhavoor Manickavinayakam, A.Arvind, Joshvua Rajan, D V Ramani, Surumbiyan, Pushpavanum Kuppuswamy, P. Kumaraswamy, L. Sakthi Nathan, N.S.Balakrishnan,P S Anandaraman, Rajagopal Krishnan, B K Jowahar, Vijaya Krishnamurthi, R.K.Sekhar, S.Hanumantha Rao, T.K. Pukhazhenthi, Chandra Bose,Hanumanthachar, and TMS himself.
In addition to popular lyricists like,Pattanathar,Arunagirinathar, Mahakavi Bharathiyar,M.Karunanidhi,Kannadasan, Vaali, Thanjai Ramayya Das, A. Maruthakasi, Pulamai Pithan,Udumalai Narayana Kavi,Pattukottai Kalyanasundaram,Bharathidasan,Muthukumar, there are many other lyricists known to the musical world through the voice of TMS.
A few examples are M P Sathyam, Tamil Nambi, S K Rajamani, Geetha Priyan, Kavingar Radha, Ezhil Mani, N S Chidambaram, Thayumanavar, Thamizhashakan, Kovia Koothan,A.S.Narayana, Pattukottai Murugadasan, Kanaka Krishnan,Poovai Amutham, Bharathy Swami, Arivukku Anban, Thiruppathooran, Nanjil P Thyagarajan, Thamizh Kani, N Balaji, Kanthswami Thozhan, N Veeramani, G Thyagarajan, Pularvar Naga Shanmugham, Puthneri Subramaniam, Nellai Arulmani, C V Pandian, Parimala Devi, A S A Anna Malai Nesan, Kalkivel, Sholai Komagan, Natanagopal Nayaki Swamikal, Dr. Palani Illam Kambar, Ramalinga Adiyarkal,Avinasi Mani, C N Nachiyappan, Pillai Thamizh, Lalitha, Sankaran,Sriram Sharma,K.Somu,Kalpanadasan,Kallai A Durai,Andavan Pichai, S G Krishnamoorthy,Pamban Swamikal,Dr. Ulundurpettai Shanmugam,Sulamangalam RajaLakshmi, M.P.Sivam,Baladevarayar Swamikal, Ku. Sa. Krishnamoorthi, Ku.Ma. Balasubramaniam,Aadhimoolam Gopalakrishnan,T.K.Krishna Swami,Kovai Amudham, Kavinjar Kuyilan,Muthulingam,Vellalar,Vindhan,Pavalar Velayudha Swami,Suratha,N.M.Muthukuthan,Ka Mu Sherrif,Vijaya T Rajendar,Muthulingam,Avinasi Mani,Kumara Devan,Alamkudi Somu,Venkitachalam,Poovai Chemkuttavan,Roshanara Begum,Udayakumar,Narendra Babu,Vijaya Narasimha,Panchu Arunachalam,Radhamanickkam,T K Krishnamurthy,Kavi Rajagopal,Chennai Ekalavian,Thiruchi Thyagarajan,V.Seetharaman,R.Pazhanichami,Kothamangalam Subbu,R Balu,K S Gopalakrishnan,Thiruchi Lokhanathan,Abhavanan,Trichi P M Sheriff,Neyveli Ramamurthi,K.D.Santhanam,Era Pazhanichami and TMS himself.
He sang with other male singers, such as Ghantasala, Seerkazhi Govindarajan, P. B. Sreenivas, Balamurali Krishna, S. C. Krishnan, C. S. Jayaraman, Tharapuram Sundarajan, P. Jayachandran, Thiruchi Loganathan, V. N. Sundaram, A. L. Raghavan, K. J. Yesudas S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Kovai Soundarrajan, Nagore E. M. Hanifa, Malaysia Vasudevan.U R Chandra.T.R.Mahalingam.T. A. Mothi, M. M. Muthu, Suguna Kumar,V R Rajagopalan,V.T.Rajagopalan,S S Mani Bhagavathar,G.K.Venkatesh,Sai baba,S V Ponnuswami,J V Raghavalu,M Raju, and Master Maharajan.
He sang duets with many female singers such as P. Suseela, P. Leela, Jikki, L. R. Eswari, S. Janaki, Vani Jairam, M. S. Rajeswari, K. Jamuna Rani, M. L. Vasanthakumari, U. R. Jeevarathinam, N. L. Ganasaraswathi, T. V. Rathinam,K.B.Sundarambal, Radha Jayalakshmi, Soolamangalam Jayalakshmi, Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi, R. Balasaraswathi Devi, A. P. Komala, P. Madhuri, K. Rani, B. S. Sasirekha, S. P. Sailaja, Lalitha,T.S.Bhagavathi,Suvarna, Vasantha,Sobha Chandrasekhar,L R Anjala,Kausalya, T. K. Kala, A.G.Ratnamala,Athmasha,Udutha Sarojam and R.Parvathi. Among them, he had the greatest collaboration with P. Susheela, with whom he sang 727 duets in Tamil.
Awards and honoursEdit
- Mathiyakathin Gana Thalaivar
- Kala Ratnam
- Gana Ratnam
- Arul Isai Sidhar
- Navarasa Bhava Nalina Gana Varshini
- Ganamritha Varshini
- Sathanai Chakravarhti
- Bharathiya Isai Kanal
- Bharathiya Isia Megham
- Gana Kuralon
- Then Isai Thendral
- Padma Shri (2003)
- Padakar Thilakam
- Singha Kuralon
- Bharat Kalachar award
- Isai Chakravarthi
- Gnanakala Bharathi title
- Geethavaari title
- Karpagath Tharu Mannar
- Geetharanjana Vaarithi
- Arutpa Isaimani title
- Honorary Doctorate from Belgium.
- Kural Arasar Pattam
- EzhilIsai Mannar award from former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi (1970)
- IsaiKadal Pattam from Kavi Arasar Kannadasan (1969)
- MGR Gold Medal award
- Former Chief Minister Arinjor Anna Dhuarai Recognition Award (1964)
- Former Chief Minister Tamil Nadu Kamaraj Nadar Recognition Award
- Chief Minister Jayalalitha recognition award
- M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar Lifetime Achievement Award, Tamil Nadu
- Tamil Nadu Musical Artist Lifetime Achievements Award (2005)
- Tamil Film Fans Award,23 times in the early 1950s, 1960s and 1970s
- P. Susheela Award
- Mega TV Amutha Ghanam Recognition Award (2004)
- Lifetime achievement for MGR Memorial Award
- Lifetime achievement for Shivaji Memorial Awar
- Sourashtra Community Recognition Award
- Karuppai Muppanar recognition award (1992)
- Periyar RamaSwami Naikkor recognition (1959)
- Raj TV for Raja Geetham Recognition Award (2006)
- Malaysian Tamil Fans Recognition Award
- Singapore Tamil Fans Recognition Award
- France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands,Belgium and Austria Tamil Fans recognition award
- United Kingdom Tamil fans recognition award
- 20th Century Top Playback Singer from South African city mayor through Tamil fans, 1995
- USA Tamil fans from states recognition award
- Tamil Nadu Chief minister M. Karunanidhi recognition award at Madurai, Alagiri, 2010
- SriLankan awards from President, Prime Minister level through Tamil Group more than several times
- Tamil Fans recognition award from Canada
- Australian Tamil Fans appreciation awards in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth
- Kairali Swaralaya Yesudas Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012
- Government of India released memorial stamp for 10 legendary singers of India, including TMS from south India
- Tamil Nadu State Awards, many many years continuously in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s'
- Pesum Padam, award over 24 times, including consecutive annual awards from 1954 to 1969
- Former Chief Minister Tamil Nadu M.D. Bhakthavalsalam Recognition Award (1963)
- Tamil Nadu Iyal,Isai Nadaka Manthram,First Chairman.
- "The Hindu : He is still a spellbinder". www.thehindu.com. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
- Mathrubhumi and Malayala Manorama, 26 May 2013
- Prahlad (24 March 1922). "Tamil singing legend TMS dies after brief illness – Oneindia News". News.oneindia.in. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- "Veteran playback singer TM Soundararajan died". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- "Iconic Tamil singer TM Soundararajan dies". The Times of India. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- "Veteran Tamil playback singer T M Soundararajan, the voice of MGR & Sivaji, is dead". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- Ramesh, M. "Veteran playback singer TMS is no more". @businessline. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
- "Legandary singer TMS passes away". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- Oru Pann-Paattu Sarithiram, Vamanan
- B. Kolappan. "Playback singer TMS passes away". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- "realbollywood.com". www.realbollywood.com. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- Sadarame (1956) – R. Sudarsanam, retrieved 10 June 2018
- "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- TMS and others honoured by Indian Government – Indiaglitz