|Also known as||GR|
|Born||Bikshandarkoil, Trichinopoly District, Madras Presidency, British India|
|Died||20 November 1963|
Chennai, Madras State, India
|Occupation(s)||Composer, music director|
|Instruments||Vocals (playback singing), keyboard/harmonium/piano|
|Labels||Isai Methai, Sangeetha Chakravarthy|
Gopalan Iyer Ramanathan was an Indian music composer for Tamil movies. He is also known as Isai Methai (Genius of Music) or Sangeetha Chakravarthy (Emperor of Music) and is considered to be one of the influential Tamil music composers to take Carnatic music to the masses. Notable for his association with M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar. G. Ramanathan also composed for films of Salem Modern Theatres and Coimbatore Central Studios. His career lasted until his death in 1963. During the 1950s G.Ramanathan's music dominated most of the box office hits of the then leading Tamil movie stars Shivaji Ganesan and M. G. Ramachandran.
G. Ramanathan (GR) was born in Bikshandarkoil, Srirangam, Tamil Nadu, India. GR's biographer Vamanan indicates that his birth year could have been 1910. GR's father was Gopalsamy Iyer who worked as sub-inspector in the Indian Railways. He lost his parents while being young, and was taken care by his elder brother Sundara Bhagawathar. GR could have schooling only until standard 5. He married Jeyalakshmi in 1942 and had two daughters - Sai and Lakshmi. His grandchildren are Ranjan Balachandra and Bhavani Balachandra who are Lakshmi's son and daughter respectively and Prabhu and Uma Shekhar who are Sai's son and daughter.
He joined the Baratha Gana Saba, a drama troupe and played harmonium at the age of 18. Then he joined the V. A. Chellappa Drama company, and sang playback and played harmonium. In 1932, he first played musical instrument for a Tamil film called Galavarishi which was produced in Bombay.
In 1938 M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar produced Sathyaseelan in Bombay and GR became the music director for that film which followed by the Vipranarayana (old). The first film to be produced in Madras with GR as the music director was Bookailash, followed by Parasuraman and Bhoologa Rambai (old). GR was a resident music director for the Modern Theatres since the beginning except a few which were done by K. V. Mahadevan.
He had acted in Aayiram Thalai Vaangi Apoorva Chinthamani (1947) in the role Sanyasi.
GR never had proper training in carnatic music. It was all Kelvi Gnanam (learning by listening). He had a passion and liking towards carnatic music and went all out in composing. GR became the music director when stage dramas were equally popular in the 1940s. He had to balance up between the cinema and the stage dramas.
It was conditional that the cinema songs of those days had to be composed to the basic carnatic tune and it used to be thought that cinema music would never equal the pure form of carnatic music. GR had proved otherwise when he had composed music for the song "Manmatha Leelaiyai Vendrar Undo" in Haridas sung by M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar. He is a staunch believer that only music that had the carnatic base could endure where most of his songs were "semi classic".
He has a liking for the voices of G. N. Balasubramaniam, M. L. Vasanthakumari, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, and the Hindi film music director Naushad and his favourite singers in his compositions were S. Varalakshmi, P. Susheela and Jikki. Of all the voices, he is a great lover of M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar. GR believes that only MKT could deliver what was expected of any singer. GR was also an excellent singer and had sung in his own compositions in Ponmudi and also under K. V. Mahadevan's composition for Alli Petra Pillai.
He worked with singers like T. M. Soundararajan, A. M. Rajah, K.J. Yesudas, Seerkazhi Govindarajan, Thiruchi Loganathan, Ghantasala, C. S. Jayaraman, V. N. Sundharam, T. A. Mothi, P. B. Sreenivas, P. Leela, T. V. Rathnam, R. Balasaraswathi Devi, A. P. Komala, Radha Jayalakshmi, M. S. Rajeswari, T. S. Bagavathi, K. Jamuna Rani, P. Suseela, A. G. Rathnamala, N. L. Ganasaraswathi, K. Rani, K. V. Janaki, Soolamangalam Jayalakshmi, Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi, S. Janaki and L. R. Eswari. V. T. Rajagopalan, G. Ramanathan's good friend and assistant, sang few songs for him.
The singing actors M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar, P. U. Chinnappa, M. M. Dandapani Desikar, Kothamangalam Cheenu, M. S. Subbulakshmi, D. K. Pattammal, C. Honnappa Bhagavathar, U. R. Jeevarathinam, N. C. Vasanthakokilam, T. R. Mahalingam, T. R. Rajakumari, K. R. Ramasamy, Chittor V. Nagaiah, P. Bhanumathi, N. S. Krishnan, T. A. Madhuram, T. S. Durairaj and J. P. Chandrababu also sang memorable songs under his compositions.
GR would strive the singers to the excellence. T. M. Soundararajan said that if one could sing to the satisfaction and the tune of GR you could easily sing for the tune of any music director in any part of the world. GR would sing out the songs before recording to guide the singers. His greatest talent was that he was able to compose tunes suiting the storyline as well as the period of production of the films. He produced a film Pudhu Yugam under Sree Saai Gaanaamirudha Pictures in 1954.
GR's last film was Deivathin Deivam by K. S. Gopalakrishnan. He died of a heart attack in the midst of composing for the film Arunagirinathar . Then T. R. Pappa completed it.
Vamanan had published a biography entitled Sangeetha Chakravarthi G. Ramanathan (2006), which provides details of 85 Tamil movies in which GR had composed music from 1940 to 1969, 12 songs he had sung in Tamil movies and 4 movies in which he had appeared in minor roles.
|1936||Sathyaseelan||Tamil||B. Sampathkumar||Trichy Thyagaraja Films||Papanasam Sivan|
|1938||Vipra Narayana||Tamil||A. Narayanan||Sound City|
|1938||Bookailash or Mandodhari Parinayam||Tamil||Sundar Rao Nadkarni||Sundaram Sound Pictures|
|1940||Bhooloka Rambai||Tamil||B. N. Rao||Salem Shanmugha Films & Vijaya Maruthi Pictures|
|1940||Harihara Maya or Bhikshadanar||Tamil||C. V. Raman||Modern Theatres|
|1940||Parasuramar||Tamil||H. S. Mehtha|
|1940||Vikrama Oorvasi or Oorvasiytin Kaadhal||Tamil||T. R. Sundaram||Modern Theatres|
|1941||Aryamala||Tamil||S. M. Sriramulu Naidu||Pakshiraja Studios|
|1942||Aanandan or Agni Purana Mahimai||Tamil||S. D. S. Yogi||Mayura Films||T. A. Kalyanam|
|1942||Krishna Pidaran||Tamil||C. V. Raman||T. K. Productions|
|1942||Prithivirajan||Tamil||B. Sampathkumar||Central Studios and Haran Talkies|
|1943||Kubera Kuchela||Tamil||R. S. Mani||Jupiter Pictures||background music|
|1943||Sivakavi||Tamil||S. M. Sriramulu Naidu||Pakshiraja Studios||Papanasam Sivan|
|1944||Haridas||Tamil||Sundar Rao Nadkarni||Royal Talkies||Papanasam Sivan|
|1944||Jagathalaprathapan||Tamil||S. M. Sriramulu Naidu||Central Studios|
|1945||Bhakta Kalathi||Tamil||R. Padmanaban||Padma Pictures|
|1946||Aaravalli Sooravalli||Tamil||C. V. Raman||Modern Theatres|
|1947||Aayiram Thalai Vaangi Apoorva Chinthamani||Tamil||T. R. Sundaram||Modern Theatres|
|1947||Ekambavanan||Tamil||B. N. Rao & T. V. Krishnaswami||Saravanabhava Pictures|
|1947||Kadagam||Tamil||Acharya||Tamil Nadu Talkies|
|1947||Kundalakesi||Tamil||Boman D. Irani||S. M. Subbaiah Naidu|
|1947||Ponnaruvi||Tamil||C. V. Raman|
|1947||Rukmangadhan||Tamil||P. S. V. Iyer||National Studio & Iyer Productions|
|1948||Adhithan Kanavu||Tamil||T. R. Sundaram||Modern Theatres|
|1948||Bhojan||Tamil||T. R. Sundaram||Modern Theatres|
|1948||Lakshmi Vijayam||Tamil||Bomman D. Irani||Sri Meenakshi Films|
|1948||Sri Aandal||Tamil||Veluchamy Kavi||Salem Surya Films||Ranganathan|
|1949||Deva Manohari||Tamil||A. T. Krishnaswamy||Arkays Pictures|
|1949||Inbavalli||Tamil||S. Notani||Shyamala Pictures|
|1949||Mayavathi||Tamil||T. R. Sundaram||Ganapathi Pictures|
|1949||Mangayarkarasi||Tamil||Jiten Bannerjee||Bhagya Pictures||C. R. Subburaman & Kunnakudi Venkatarama Iyer|
|1949||Rathnakumar||Tamil||Krishnan–Panju||Murugan Talkies||C. R. Subburaman|
|1950||Ponmudi||Tamil||Ellis R. Dungan||Modern Theatres|
|1950||Manthiri Kumari||Tamil||Ellis R. Dungan||Modern Theatres|
|1950||Parijatham||Tamil||K. S. Gopala Krishnan||Lavanya Pictures||S. V. Venkatraman & C. R. Subburaman|
|1950||Thigambara Samiar||Tamil||T. R. Sundaram||Modern Theatres||S. M. Subbaiah Naidu|
|1951||Devaki||Tamil||R. S. Mani||Ganapathi Pictures|
|1951||Sudharshan||Tamil||Sundar Rao Nadkarni & A.S.A. Sami||Royal Talkies|
|1952||Amarakavi||Tamil||F. Nagoor||Nagoor Cine Productions||T. A. Kalyanam|
|1952||Kalyani||Tamil||Acharya & M. Masthan||Modern Theatres||S. Dakshinamurthy|
|1952||Atthainti Kaapuram||Telugu||Acharya & M. Masthan||Modern Theatres||S. Dakshinamurthy|
|1952||The Jungle||English||William Berke & Ellis R. Dungan||Modern Theatres & Lippert Pictures|
|1952||Zamindar||Tamil||P. V. Krishnan||Jupiter Pictures & Sangeetha Pictures|
|1952||Shyamala||Tamil||B. A. Subba Rao||Yuva Pictures||T. V. Raju & S. B. Thinakar Rao|
|1953||Gumastha||Tamil||R. M. Krishnaswami||Aruna Pictures||C. N. Pandurangan & V. Nagaiah|
|1953||Vazha Pirandhaval||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||R. R. Pictures||S. Rajeswara Rao|
|1953||Marumagal||Tamil||D. Yoganand||Krishna Pictures||C. R. Subburaman & Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy|
|1953||Thirumbi Paar||Tamil||T. R. Sundaram||Modern Theatres|
|1953||Inspector||Tamil||R. S. Mani||Jupiter Pictures|
|1953||Inspector||Telugu||R. S. Mani||Jupiter Pictures|
|1953||Rohini||Tamil||Kamal Ghosh||Madras Arts Production||K. V. Mahadevan & D. C. Dutt|
|1953||Kangal||Tamil||Krishnan–Panju||Motion Pictures Team||S. V. Venkatraman|
|1954||Karkottai||Tamil||Kemparaj||Kemparaj Productions||S. V. Venkatraman|
|1954||Illara Jothi||Tamil||G. R. Rao||Modern Theatres|
|1954||Pudhu Yugam||Tamil||Gopu-Sundar||Sree Saai Gaanaamirudha Pictures|
|1954||Kanavu||Tamil||P. V. Krishnan||K. R. K. Productions||V. Dakshinamoorthy|
|1954||Thookku Thookki||Tamil||R. M. Krishnaswami||Aruna Films|
|1954||Nanban||Tamil||P. S. Srinivasa Rao||M. D. V. Productions|
M. R. Ranganath
|Sri Sundari Pictures||Rathinavel Mudaliar|
|1955||Kaveri||Tamil||D. Yoganand||Krishna Pictures||Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy|
|1955||Nalla Thangai||Tamil||S. A. Natarajan||Forward Art Films|
|1955||Kathanayaki||Tamil||K. Ramnath||Modern Theatres|
|1955||Vijaya Gauri||Telugu||D. Yoganand||Krishna Pictures||Viswanathan–Ramamoorthy|
|1955||Gomathiyin Kaadhalan||Tamil||P. Neelakantan||T. R. R. Productions|
|1955||Maheswari||Tamil||T. R. Raghunath||Modern Theatres|
|1955||Doctor Savithri||Tamil||R. M. Krishnaswamy||Aruna Films|
|1955||Nalla Thangal||Tamil||P. V. Krishnan Iyer||Madras Movietone|
|1956||Amara Deepam||Tamil||T. Prakash Rao||Venus Pictures||T. Chalapathi Rao|
|1956||Amara Deepam||Telugu||T. Prakash Rao||Venus Pictures||T. Chalapathi Rao|
|1956||Kokilavani||Kannada||S. A. Natarajan||Forward Arts Films|
|1956||Kokilavani||Tamil||S. A. Natarajan||Forward Arts Films|
|1956||Madurai Veeran||Tamil||D. Yoganand||Krishna Pictures|
|1956||Sahasaveerudu||Telugu||D. Yoganand||Krishna Pictures|
|1956||Naan Petra Selvam||Tamil||K. Somu||Paragon Pictures|
|1956||Sadhaaram||Tamil||V. C. Subburaman||Kasturi Films|
|1957||Aaravalli||Tamil||S. V. Krishna Rao||Modern Theatres|
|1957||Ambikapathy||Tamil||P. Neelakantan||ALS Productions|
|1957||Chakravarthi Thirumagal||Tamil||P. Neelakantan||Uma Pictures|
|1957||Karpukkarasi||Tamil||K. Ramnoth & A. S. A. Sami||Jupiter Pictures|
|1957||Uttama Illaalu||Telugu||K. Ramnoth & A. S. A. Sami||Jupiter Pictures|
|1957||Manamagan Thevai||Tamil||P. S. Ramakrishna Rao||Bharani Pictures|
|1957||Varudu Kavaali||Telugu||P. S. Ramakrishna Rao||Bharani Pictures|
|1957||Pudhumai Pithan||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||RR Pictures|
|1957||Veera Khadgam||Telugu||T. R. Ramanna||RR Pictures|
|1957||Pudhu Vazhvu||Tamil||M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar||Sarvodaya Pictures||C. N. Pandurangan|
|1957||Rani Lalithangi||Tamil||T. R. Raghunath||TNR Productions|
|1957||Samaya Sanjeevi||Tamil||V. S. Raghavan||Sri Nataraja Films|
|1957||Vanangamudi||Tamil||P. Pullaiah||Saravanabhava Pictures & Unity Pictures|
|1958||Kaathavaraayan||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||RR Pictures|
|1958||Karthavarayuni Katha||Telugu||T. R. Ramanna||RR Pictures||G. Aswathama|
|1958||Mangalya Bhagyam||Tamil||T. R. Raghunath||Krishna Pictures|
|1958||Sarangadhara||Tamil||V. S. Raghavan||Minerva Pictures|
|1958||Sitamgar||Hindi||T. Prakash Rao||Venus Pictures|
|1958||Uthama Puthiran||Tamil||T. Prakash Rao||Venus Pictures|
|1958||Veera Prathap||Telugu||T. Prakash Rao||Venus Pictures|
|1959||Kalyanikku Kalyanam||Tamil||A. S. A. Sami||Manohar Pictures|
|1959||Manimekalai||Tamil||V. S. Raghavan||Shekhar Art Film|
|1959||Naan Sollum Ragasiyam||Tamil||P. Sridhar Rao||Kasthuri Films|
|1959||President Panchatcharam||Tamil||A. Bhim Singh||Savithri Pictures|
|1959||Veerapandiya Kattabomman||Tamil||B. R. Panthulu||Padmini Pictures|
|1959||Veerapandya Kattabrahmana||Telugu||B. R. Panthulu||Padmini Pictures|
|1960||Chavukkadi Chandrakantha||Tamil||M. Radhakrishnan||Aruna Films|
|1960||Kadavulin Kuzhandhai||Tamil||Dada Mirazi||Vetrivel Films|
|1960||Raja Desingu||Tamil||T. R. Raghunath||Krishna Films|
|1960||Thozhan||Tamil||K. Vembu||A. D. M. Productions|
|1961||Arasilangkumari||Tamil||M. Somasundaram||Jupiter Pictures|
|1961||Kappalottiya Thamizhan||Tamil||B. R. Panthulu||Padmini Pictures|
|1961||Sri Valli||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||Narasu Studios|
|1962||Deivathin Deivam||Tamil||K. S. Gopalakrishnan||Chitra Productions|
|1962||Pattinathar||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||J. R. Productions|
|1963||Chittoor Rani Padmini||Tamil||Ch. Narayana Murthy||Uma Pictures|
|1964||Arunagirinathar||Tamil||T. R. Ramanna||RR Pictures||T. R. Pappa|
|1969||Captain Ranjan||Tamil||T. P. Sundaram||Film Land Productions|
|1947||1000 Thalaivangi Apoorva Chinthamani||Tamil||Nallathai Sollidaven||G. Ramanathan|
|1950||Ponmudi||Tamil||Neela Vanum Nilavum Pol||T. V. Rathnam||G. Ramanathan|
|Van Mazhaiyindri Vadidum Payir Pola||T. V. Rathnam|
|Nam Jeevaatharame Selvam Agume|
|Aruyire Premai Amudha Variyil||T. V. Rathnam|
|Meikadhal Arumbu Vazhvinile Poothathe Indre||T. V. Rathnam|
|En Kaalamo Marana|
|1952||Amarakavi||Tamil||Onru Serndhu Paadupattal .. Sevai Seythaale||M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar||G. Ramanathan|
|1955||Nalla Thangai||Tamil||Kooli Miga Ketpaar ... Engirundo Vanthan||G. Ramanathan|
|1955||Nalla Thangal||Tamil||Ithanai Naalaaga Engedi Pone||K. Jamuna Rani||G. Ramanathan|
|1957||Aravalli||Tamil||Aaravalli Sooravalli||G. Ramanathan|
|1959||Alli Petra Pillai||Tamil||Ejaman Petra Selvame||K. V. Mahadevan|
|1959||Manimekalai||Tamil||Vandhaayaa Magale Vandhaayaa||G. Ramanathan|
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