By Meera
TMS - Golden voice, TM Sounderarajan, A R Rahman


When Sivaji Ganesan renders his Paatum Naane in Thiruvilayadal with a majestic performance, the voice that thunders in the background is that of TM Sounderarajan. The pronunciations, pitch and tone is perfect and for a moment we think that the almighty would sing with the same booming modulations. In Enga Veetu Pillai, as MGR whisks his whip briskly and declares Naan Aanayittal athu nadanthu vital, we dream wistfully of the days to come that holds the promise in the commanding volume of TM Sounderarajan.

Thuguluva Meenatchi Iyengar Sounderarajan who defined an era in Tamil cinema with his authoritarian intonations passed away at the ripe age of 91. After a rather arduous drive to the top he remained the undisputed but worthy king of Tamil songs. This was a time when songs relied not only good rhythms, foot tapping beats but on lyrical poetry and impeccable articulations. TMS sang for both stalwarts – Sivaji and MGR and ensured that there were enough modulations to tell them both apart. His victory was in letting the lead actors steer the sail yet emerge triumphant. If he gave a mellifluous and emotionally high sibling reflection in Malarthum Malaratha in Pasa Malar, he matched it with Rajavin Paarvai Rani en Pakkam in Anbe Vaa. Happy Indru muthal Happpy in Ooty varai uravu played as a daily ritual in the radio for every lovers delight and Muthai Thiru Patti from Arunagirinathar blared from every temple stall.

TMS has more than 10000 songs to his credit and there was an ongoing battle to sign him on every movie that Sivaji and MGR released. As a result of this vigorous conflict Tamil movie fans were blessed with gems like Muthu Charam and Antha Naal Nyabagam and countless others. He even locked hands with his contemporaries like PB Sreenivas for Pon Onru Kandan Pennangu Illai and SPB for Naalai Namathey. His partner in melodies was P Susheela who conquered the hearts with their mellifluous voices.

TMS was also at the right place at the right time. The prized trio of TMS, MSV and Kannadasan marked a glorious age with evergreen hits. After singing to the tunes of MSV, KV Mahadevan , Illayaraja and AR Rehman he opted to sing for concerts around the world. He even contributed to the Ulaga Thamizh Manadu by rendering the Tamil anthem.

Music and songs dictate the success of a film long before its release. With audio releases scheduled months before the movies hitting the box office and songs like Kolaveri di raging across the world, it would be heartwarming if the singers followed the trail of TMS in capturing exemplary diction and perfect song modulations. Eventually there would be a time when the melodious and poetic traits of Tamil language would be reflected in our songs in the voice of singers akin to the legendary TM Sounderarajan.

Respond to
Behindwoods is not responsible for the views of columnists.



This page hosts the views of the authors of the column. The views are generally about films, movie reviews, movie news, songs, music, film actors and actresses, directors, producers, cinematographers, music directors, and all others that contribute for the success or failure of a film. People looking for movies online, movie reviews, movie analysis, public response for a movie, will find this page useful.