Manayangath Subramanian Viswanathan

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This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.


A profile


The Times of India, Jul 14, 2015

The Times of India, Jul 15 2015, Avijit Ghosh

Southern music composer M.S. Viswanathan has over 750 films to his credit

He gave score for NTR's Hindi debut

Masterclass music director M S Viswanathan was one of the three composers of Naya Aadmi (1956), NT Rama Rao's debut venture in Hindi cinema. He also gave music to several southern films dubbed in Hindi such as Bache Mere Saathi.

The musical journey of humble, modest and religious Viswanathan began with the musical troupe of C R Subbaraman when he was 13 years old.

In the company of T K Ramamurthy, MSV, as he is fondly known as, also scored compositions for the incomplete films of Subbaraman, including "Devadas," "Sandirani" and "Manmagal," following the demise of the ace musician.

In his impressive career spread over five decades, the legendary musician had over 1,200 films to his credit, including in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and several other languages.

After making his debut in "Jenova," MSV went on to create history in the company of his friend, Ramamurthy. The duo enthralled the audience with their magical tunes in over 700 films, from "Panam" to M G Ramachandran's runaway hit "Ayirathil Oruvan."

The multi-talented Viswanathan mastered in handling instruments like the harmonium, the piano and the keyboard.

Viswanathan won several awards, including Tamil Isai Sangam's Isai Perarignar award (2003), Filmfare's Life time achievement award and Kerala government's Best musician award.

The then CM Jayalalithaa honoured him with Thirai Isai Chakravorthy (King of Film Music) in 2012. Legendary music composer M S Viswanathan passes away at 87 in July 2015.

Early life

NDTV, July 15, 2015

Written By: Divya Goyal (with inputs from IANS)

In his illustrious career spanning over four decades, he composed music for over 750 southern films

Born on June 24, 1928 to Manayangath Subramanian and Narayanikutty in Kerala, MSV made his showbiz debut as a child artiste in Kannagi. He told his biographer that his mother once wanted to 'kill' him to "escape from abject poverty and lack of support." However, he was saved by his grandfather.

His childhood tryst with music only included a few instances where he listened to music with his father. He also talked about the time when he would stand outside local music teacher Neelakanta Bhagavathar's house and learn while he taught other students.

MSV was first noted for his musical talent at a festival when he enthralled the crowd with his command of the harmonium and singing. Mr Bhagavathar then took him under his tutelage and organised a three-hour concert for him. MSV's gave his first stage performance at the age of 13 in Trivandrum.

MSV's career in music had a few hiccups as he started off as an errand boy in 1942 SV Venkatraman's musical troupe. Here he met composer TK Ramamoorthy, with whom he later collaborated for at least 86 Tamil films in a decade-long association. Together, they've composed for films like Paasamalar, Sumaithaangi, Server Sundaram, Aayirathil Oruvan and Enga Veetu Pillai.

Before becoming an independent composer, MSV also composed music with mavericks like TG Lingappa, MS Gnanamani and TK Kalyanam. After 1965, MSV went on to become successful as a solo composer.

1965 heralded a new dawn in MSV's career. As a solo music composer he is known for tracks like Bama Vijayam, Galatta Kalyanam, Deivamagan, Moondru Dheivangal, Rickshawkaran, Bharatha Vilas and Ulagam Sutrum Valiban.

MSV also worked in Malayalam films such as Manthrakodi, Babu Mon, Ullasa Yathra and Amme Anupame.

In Telugu, his compositions include Tenali Ramakrishna, Anthuleni Katha, Idhi Katha Kaadu, Aakali Rajyam and Maro Charitra.

Apart from composing tracks, he also sang playback for at least 500 songs of his own and over 200 songs composed by other music directors.

From 1960-80, MSV worked with top directors, including CV Sridhar, K Balachander, KS Gopalakrishnan, KS Prakash Rao, NT Rama Rao, Visu, Mouli, Komal Swaminathan and others.

MSV, who had always wanted to be an actor, also tried his luck on the silver screen with films like Kaadhal Mannan, Kaathala Kaathala and Rojavanam. In the Nineties, he also made television appearances and even judged a Malayalam music reality show.

MS Viswanathan received many awards and titles including Paramacharya Award. In 2012, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa presented him with the 'Thirai Isai Chakravarthy' (The Emperor of Cine Music) title. She said in a statement released after his death that she had recommended MSV for the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian honour.

She said that by scoring the music for Tamizh Thai Vazthu, MSV had secured a place in the hearts of every Tamilian. Tamil Nadu has adopted the song as its anthem.

After MSV's death, superstar Rajinikanth told IANS: "You will rarely find someone like MSV in any industry. He lived life like a selfless saint, free from jealousy and lies."

Tamil actor Kamal Haasan said in a statement: "MSV has blended into Tamil cinema history. He is part of Tamil and south Indian cultural tapestry. He has become the background score of many people's lives. They nostalgically recount their own life with his music."

MSV's wife Janaki died in 2012 and he is survived by four sons and three daughters.


The Hindu

Filmography and awards

The Hindu, October 17, 2015

800 Tamil films

80 Malaylam films

30 Telugu films

15 Kannada films

12 awards including Kalaimamani award from State Govt of Tamil Nadu

2 doctorates conferred

In combination with:


The Hindu, October 17, 2015

The duo, titled 'Mellisai Mannargal' composed music for over 750 films before their separation. They came together again in 1995 to compose music for the film Yenkiruntho Vanthan.

With the king of poets, Kannadasan

The Hindu, October 17, 2015

The MSV-Kannadasan combination also proved a great success in devotional music. The album Krishna Ganam bears testimony to this.

With the evergreen Vaali

The Hindu, October 17, 2015

Vaali's first song for MSV was Poovaraiyum Poongodiyey Poomalai Soodava rendered by P.B. Srinivas was a hit.


The Hindu, October 17, 2015

MSV’s first film was Jenova and the hero was M.G. Ramachandran. The two later worked on Gulebakavali, Mannadhi Mannan, Paasam, Panathottam, Kalangarai Vilakkam, Aayirathil Oruvan and many others.

MSV and Sivaji

The Hindu, October 17, 2015

MSV and Sivaji Ganesan worked together on many films, with many of them becoming hit films — some of those being Karnan, Panam, Pattikaada Pattanama, Tenali Raman, Paar Magale Paar and Motor Sundaram Pillai


The Hindu, October 17, 2015

Though MSV’s work with former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao is limited, he composed for the film, Simha Baludu, NTR’s last puranic role. NTR also acted in the films Karnan and Tenali Ramakrishna in well-known supporting roles, films for which MSV composed some hit songs.

MSV and Jayalalithaa

The Hindu, October 17, 2015

The only songs which Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa sung in her film career, were for MSV in the film Suriyakanthi. Ms. Jayalalithaa’s first film, Vennira Adai also had music by Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy, the duo who later gave her some of her most popular songs. Her first film opposite MGR, Aayirathil Oruvan also featured music by Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy.


The Hindu, October 17, 2015

MSV’s music rendered more sweetness to P.B.Srinivas’ voice. The evergreen ‘Nilave Ennidam Nerungadhae’ and ‘Kalangalil Aval Vasantham’ are classic examples. With TMS, his expressive intonations came alive with MSV’s music: ‘Ponal pogattum poda’; ‘Poomalayil’ are perfect examples.

MSV + Susheela & L.R. Eswari

The Hindu, October 17, 2015

Both singers catapulted to fame, thanks to hits from MSV like Aalaya Maniyin Oosai and Kaadhodu Dhaan Naan Pesuvein. The combination of MSV and Susheela provided a mix of melody and folk.

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