K Raghavan Master (02 December 1913 to 19 October 2013)
K. Raghavan (Raghavan Master) was a famous music composer, singer and a music teacher. ‘Kathirukanakkili’ of Ponkunnam Varky was the first film he has composed music for, but, unfortunately the movie was not released. Next film ‘Pulliman’ also was not released. The first film released with Raghavan Master as music director was Neelakkuyil.
He was born in Thalai, Thalassery of Kannur District in a family which had no connection with music. He strived with his musical talents and came up into the world of music. His parents were Krishnan and Kuppachi. He learnt classical music under PS Narayanaiyer. After his music training, got a job in the All India Radio in the department of music. He has also worked in many radio stations in and out of Kerala.
He has won a place in the hearts of music lovers through the 1954 film ‘Neela Kuyil’ (The Blue Cockoo). The songs, ‘Kaayalarikathu Valayerinjappol’, ‘Ellarum Chollanu’, ‘Engane Nee Marakkum’, likewise 9 songs are still in the hearts of Keralits. K Raghavan gave a new life to Malayalam Music which was over powered by the Hindi and Tamil music.
His way to the cinema world was opened when he met the song writer P Bhaskaran at Kozhikkodu radio station. He has to his credit many golden drama songs like ‘paampukalku maalamundu’, ‘Thalayku meethe’ and many light songs he has done for the radio stations. He retired from the All India Radio in 1976 as a producer. He has also sung many songs including his composition ‘Kaayalarikathu’.
The song ‘Appozhum Paranjille Poranda’, he sang in Kozhikkodu Mananchira ground during a welcoming ceremony of a Russian Artists Group. Even this day every keralite sing this song. This song was taken into the pictre ‘Kadampa’ of PN Menon.
He has introduced many singers viz, KP Udayabhanu, Brahmanandan, Gayathri Sreekrishnan, VD Murali. He has composed for the lyrics written by Vayalar, P Bhaskaran, ONV Kurup, Yusafali Kecheri, Sreekumaran Thampi.
He has also directed the back ground music of the film of Shaji N Karun ‘Swam’ which bagged many laurels.
Pandu Pandu Pandu Ninne (Rarichen enna pauran-1956), Thumpee Thumpee Va va (Koodappirappu-1956), Kathusookshichoru Kasthoori Mambazham(Nayaru Pidicha Pulivaal-1958), Unarunaroo(Ammaye Kkanaan -1963), Kilivathilil Muttivilicahathu (Rebeca- 1963), Bharathamennal (Adya Kiranangal – 1964), Ekaantha Kaamuka (Ramanan – 1967), Manjani Poonilavu (Nagarame Nandi- 1967), Manju Bhashini (Kodungallooramma-1968), Karimukile Kaatile (Kallichellamma-1969) and many songs are in his name.
In 2010 the Nation honoured him with Padmasree. In 1998 he was awarded the JC Daniel award. In 1973 for ‘Nirmalyam’ and in 1977 for ‘Poojakedukkatha pookkal’ he was selected as the best music director. He composed music for a film being done on ‘Balyakala Sakhi’ of Vaikom Muhammed Basheer. Dramatist KT Muhammad wrote the lyrics and Yesudas sang.
Kannur University honoured him with a D.Lit degree. Kerala Sangeetha Naadak Academy Fellowship, Kerala Film Critics Association award, State Drama Award for the drama ‘Panchali’ in 1986, Baburaj award of Qatar ICRC, Kamukara award, Cine Musician Award, and in 2007 he was given the Swaralaya-Kairali Yedudas award.
He lived in ‘Saravan’ near to the Talasserry Jaganaatha Temple. His wife is late Yasoda. Children: Veenadhari, Muraleedharan, Kanakaambaran,Chithrambari, Vagiswari.