Wednesday, March 2, 2011

‘Ganalokaveethikalil,' on Kochi FM, completes 200 episodes

Landmark movieA scene from the Malayalam film, Balan

‘Ganalokaveethikalil,' the programme documenting the evolution of Malayalam film music, focussing on the history of Indian film music, with special emphasis on South Indian cinema music, completes 200 episodes on February 24.

The 200th episode of the programme, which began in 2007, will be broadcast at 8 a.m. on All India Radio, Kochi FM. Films released in Malayalam are analysed chronologically. The 200th episode will start with films of the year 1959. Each film and its songs are discussed in detail. Along with Malayalam films the analysis includes a comparative discussion on Hindi, Tamil and Telugu films.

Chronological analysis

The programme has so far featured 70 films that were released from 1938 to 1959. Ninety singers, 25 music directors and 22 lyricists have so far found mention, their work analysed.

The entry of each singer, lyricist and music director is supplemented with relevant details about the artiste. Their career is highlighted giving all relevant details like their debut, contributions in other languages etc. Interesting interviews with the artistes are included wherever possible.

The well researched programme is produced by a team headed by musicologist, B Vijayakumar.

They have unearthed songs never before broadcast by AIR, and some not in circulation before. The team has put together songs from film prints as gramophone records of these films were not made. For example, the programme included the first playback song in Indian cinema, from the film ‘Dhoop Chaon' (1935) and also three songs from the Malayalam film ‘Kerala Kesari' of which, it was widely believed, that gramophone records were not made.

Singers, long forgotten, like Stella Varghese (who sang in ‘Kidappadam'), Lalitha Thampi, Machad Vasanthi, Seeethalakshmi (who sang and acted in ‘Gnanambika'), lead actress of the first Malayalam talkie ‘Balan,' M. K. Kamalam, Kumari Thankam, the glamour star of yesteryears, Meena Sulochana (who sang in ‘Shariyo Thetto), singers like Seeethalakshmi (‘Gnanambika'), Syamala (‘Newspaper Boy') and many others recounted those early days and rendered songs.

Produced by K. V. Sarathchandran, AIR, Kochi FM, the team includes V. M. Girija and Shaji Yohannan, N. Ajith, Shijo Manuel, Sunil Elias and Deepak Sujathan.

A public function to mark the landmark 200th episode is slated to be held sometime in March this year.