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S Rajeshwara Rao

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S Rajeshwara Rao’s biography

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Latha on S Rajeshwara Rao:
28 Jan,2010 at 07:59 AM
Saluri Rajeswara Rao garu(b. 1922 - d. 25 October 2000) is famous Music composer for South Indian Films. He was born in Sivaramapuram village near Salur in Vizianagaram district (erstwhile Srikakulam district), Andhra Pradesh, India. His father, Sanyasi Raju, was a famous mridangam player for the concerts of Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu and was also a lyricist.

A child prodigy, he could identify the ragas at the tender age of four and by the time he was seven, he started giving stage performances. Huchins spotted "master" Rajeshwara Rao and took him to Bangalore along with his father. They recorded "Bhagawat Gita" in Rajeawara Rao's voice. P.V.Das and Gudavalli Ramabramham, Film Producers, visited Bangalore, and impressed by his singing ability, brought him to Madras. They cast him as Lord Krishna in their "Sri Krishna Leelalu" in 1934. The film was released the next year (1935) and Rajeshwara Rao became a household name all over Andhra Pradesh. Later he played the role of "Abhimanyu" in "Maya Bazar"(1936).

Music director :

Rajeshwara Rao showed thru his private records how light music should be set in Telugu films. "Thummeda Oka saari", "Kopamela Radha", "Podarintilona", "Rave Rave Koyila", "Challa Gaalilo" "Paata Paduma Krishna" all of which his father has written. Rajeshwara Rao, through these songs, set a new trend in light music in Telugu.

Rajeshwara Rao's most rewarding assignments came from Gemini, which he joined in 1940 and lasted for a decade. After leaving Gemini, he got an offer to provide music for B.N.Reddy's "Malleswari" (1950). It was a sensational music hit. Then came "Vipranarayana", "Missamma" and a host of other musical hits, more than a hundred of them in Tamil and Telugu and a few in Kannada. When Vijaya's "Missamma" was made into "Miss Mary" in Hindi, Hemantha Kumar provided the music. He changed all the tunes, but retained one - "Brindavanamum Nandakumaranum" which Hemantha liked so much that he took permission to retain it in the Hindi version - an instance of one master's tribute to another.

Among the classical ragas, Rajeswara Rao likes Bhimplas, Sindhu Bairavi, Kafi, Kalyani, Pahad, and Malkauns, which he has used most in his songs.


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