M S Baburaj was greatly self-taught Genius. Baburaj was a wonderful singer and a great harmonium player. He was born in 1921 to a Bengali Hindustani musician father and Malayalam mother. M S Baburaj lost his parents at a very young age. He earned his livelihood through singing on the streets at Kozhikode. Baburaj was later adopted by a muslim policeman. M S Baburaj was hugely responsible for the introduction of Hindustani Musical Idioms into Malayalam film music.
At very young age, Baburaj learnt from his father and this was short-lived. He went to Bengal in search of his father and there he learnt harmonium. He came back to Kerala. Life was miserable. Later Baburaj started composing for Malayalam dramas and entered the industry as a composer in 1957. Baburaj was noticed as a composer of merit only in 1960 through the film Umma. K J Yesudas sang his first song “Adyathe kanmani” in 1962. This was Baburaj’s major hit.
|Listen to the simple melody Adyathe Kanmani||S. Janaki sang ‘Thaliritta kinakkal’ in 1963. What a melody! This is one of my all time favorite songs.|
This paved way to the excellent combination of M S Baburaj, K J Yesudas and S Janaki. S Janaki had her successful innings only with M S Baburaj before the advent of Illayaraja.
Baburaj’s best composition is Thamasenthe Varuvan. This one song is enough for this giant of a composer. Devarajan Master, another great music director had highest respect for Baburaj. Once he remarked “The only few songs I wished I composed were that of Baburaj like Thamasenthe Varuvaan”. What a great compliment!.
Come on; let us listen to the haunting melody. What a singing by K J Yesudas! Gifted Voice!! (The Music Director Ravindra Jain is blind. Jain wishes to see K J Yesudas, if at all, he gets his vision.)
Vaasantha Panchami Naalil!! What can I say about this song! Babukka!! My Pranams!
Praanasakhi Njan Verumoru by K J Yesudas
How many of you know this fact? M S Baburaj made M Balamuralikrishna for the actor K J Jesudas in the film Anaarkali (1966), that too in Malayala film!!!
Asthamana Kadalin – Listen to M S Baburaj’s original voice and he himself playing the harmonium.
Oru Pushpam - Listen to his Harmonium playing.
A Tamil song sung by Baburaj!
Babukka died in poverty in 1978! Now many shows are conducted as a tribute to this great musician and huge money is collected from the fans!!!
Answer for last week’s Quiz: Ramanathapuram Sri Sankarasiva Bhagavathar.
Quiz for this week: Name the violinist who plays Carnatic Music in Western Tuning?
‘Bale’ Sampat, a Chartered Accountant and a Carnatic Musician, lives in Chennai and teaches Piano.
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