Noted music director Raveendran passed away in Chennai following a cardiac arrest. He was suffering from cancer for the last one year. He is survived by wife Shobha and three sons. He was always referred to as the aristocratic music director of Malayalam who had a distinctive style of his own. A recipient of a National Award for Bharatham, he had also received several state awards.
Raveendran has composed many soulful melodies. He started his career as a playback singer in the 70's and evolved as one of the foremost music directors in the South, composing about 1,500 songs in 450 films, in addition to a number of light music and devotional albums.
`Thaarake mizhiyithalil...'', was the first song in the film Choola in 1979 that catapulted Raveendran to become the noted music director in Malayalam. Kulathupuzha Ravi, as he was known then, had earned a name all over Kerala as a singer through the ganamela troupe. With a degree from the Swathi Tirunal Music Academy and a burning ambition in his heart to make it big in cinema, Raveendran moved to Chennai. After a prolonged hunt, he met music director Baburaj, who gave him a chance to sing in `Velliyazhcha'.
After an uncertain wait for another break, which never came Raveendran became a dubbing artiste. His sonorous voice soon made him popular and he dubbed for all the films of Ravikumar, who was the hero in the 70's. Finally it was K.J. Jesudas who gave Raveendran the big break with Choola.
Jesudas altered the course of his life by persuading him to compose songs. After that, there was no looking back and the singer-turned-music director went on to script a success story which was repeated in the successive films. A majority of Raveendran's songs were sung by Jesudas and they shared a great rapport.
Jesudas: He was like my brother. He gave me a lot of scope to improvise and was able to bring out the best in me. We shared a great rapport for many years and I should say that he was instrumental in my success.
Jayachandran: No other music director was able to incorporate classical, Hindustani and folk music into film songs and throughout he was able to give quality music. I will miss the `Raveendran style` of music for ever. We all lost a great music director”.
Chitra- Raveendran ‘mash’ was my guru. He was instrumental in my coming to Chennai. He was my mentor and role model. He used to keep the melodious song in his albums for me to sing. Among all the good songs that I have sung it were the ‘Nandanam’ songs that are my personal favourite.
A few among Raveendran’s best songs were in films like ‘Thenum Vayambum’, ‘Amaram’, ‘His Highness Abdullah’, ‘Ayal Katha zhuthuthukayanu’, ‘Nandanam’ ‘Mizhi Randilum’. His last film will be ‘Vadakkumnathan’ a musical odyssey that will release in April.