Doyen of Kannada music, Rajan of Rajan-Nagendra fame dies at 87
Well-known Kannada music composer Rajan (of the Rajan-Nagendra musical duo) has passed away at his residence in Bengaluru. He was 87. Rajan is the elder brother of Nagendra. The duo have often been equated with Kalyanji-Anandji and had worked with popular singers Kishore Kumar, S.P. Balasubrahmanyam and Chitra among others.
Nagendra died of a stroke in November 2000. Rajan, along with his brother Nagendra, had created a niche for themselves and the two have given innumerable hits. Speaking to the media, Rajan’s son Ananth stated that his father succumbed to a gastric disorder late Sunday.
Family sources told reporters that Rajan used to complain of gastric related pain often and on Sunday, too he complained about it before going to bed.
The Rajan-Nagendra duo gave music for some of the biggest and most successful soundtracks in Kannada, and they ruled the southern music industry from the 1970s to the 90s.
Some of their best compositions from films like “Gandhada Gudi”, “Nyayave Devaru”, “Na Ninna Mareyalare”, “Devara Gudi”, “Bhagyavantaru”, “Eradu Kanasu”, “Naa Ninna Bidalaare”, “Hombisilu”, “Bayalu Daari”, “Pavana Ganga” and “Giri Kanye” among others in Kannada, still attract today’s young crowd.
The brothers composed music for more than 350 films, from the late 1950s to the early 1990s including over 200 songs in Kannada, and the rest in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Tulu and Sinhalese. They won numerous awards, recognition and honours for their work through the decades, including the prestigious Karnataka State Film Awards.
They worked with well-known lyricists like Uday Shankar, Hunasur Krishnamurthy, Vijaya Narasimha, Geetha Priya and singers like late Ghantasala, Vani Jayaram, P.B. Srinivas, Chitra, Kishore Kumar, S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki, L. R. Eshwari, P. Susheela, among others.
The brothers also hold the record for being the longest active musical pair in the industry and they also composed songs in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Tulu and Sinhalese besides in Kannada.
Rajan studied at SLN School and later in Central High School where he took part in a state-level violin competition and secured the first place. Rajan and Nagendra became independent music directors with “Swobhagya Lakshmi” in 1952.
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