Fondly addressed by fans and film industry people as ‘MSV’ the veteran holds the record of composing music for 1200 films in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada languages apart from non-film music albums.
Viswanathan started his film music career with the 1953 film ‘Panam’ that had N.S.Krishnan in the lead role. He worked with another music composer Ramamurthi who was elder to him by seven years and also hailed from a family of carnatic musicians.
However Ramamurthi generously accepted to their names being credited as Viswanathan-Ramamurthi. The classic duo worked for more than 90 films until 1965 MGR starrer blockbuster ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’. After that the duo ended their partnership and Viswanathan went on to score music for more than 1100 films.
Viswanathan has churned out hundreds of classic songs coming under all genres to the stalwart heroes of the black and white era. Especially his prolonged association with MGR and Sivaji Ganesan is hailed has turned out as evergreen chartbusters. Many of his songs are loved by even the current generation music lovers.
MSV has also scored music for the films having Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth during the initial stages of their respective careers. He is also regarded in high esteem by ace play back singer S.P.Balasubramaniam, late lyricist Vaalee for helping them to get a foothold in the film industry during their initial days. Maestro Ilaiyaraja, his successor in the film music industry has always held him as an inspiration and an elder brother.
The legendary composer has won innumerable awards and recognition in his music career spanning more than 60 years. A honorary doctorate was conferred upon him by Sathyabama University in the year 2006. He is also the recipient of ‘Kalaimamani’ award of Tamilnadu State Government.
MSV has composed many devotional albums. He is also a highly admired play back singer. He has sung 500 songs composed by him and 200 songs for other music directors like Shankar Ganesh, Gangai Amaren, A.R.Rahman, Bharathwaj and Yuvan Shankar Raja. In 2013 he shared music credits for the remake of 1981 super hit comedy film ‘Thillu Mullu’ along with Yuvan Shankar Raja and that stands to be the latest film he has worked on.
TamilWire wishes one of the senior most talents of Indian film industry a very happy birthday and a long healthy life.
As a striking co-incidence the legendary composer shares his birthday with Kavignar Kannadasan, one of the most celberated lyricists of Tamil film industry who passed away in 1981. The duo have worked in hundreds of film together and churned out evergreen classic songs.