K. Raghavan

K. Raghavan
Background information
Also known as Raghavan Master
Born (1913-12-02)2 December 1913
Thalassery, Malabar district, British India
Died 19 October 2013(2013-10-19) (aged 99)
Thalassery, Kerala, India
Genres Indian classical, light music, mappila songs
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Tabla, keyboards, thambura, drums, vocals
Years active (1951–2000)
Labels HMV India
Notable instruments

K. Raghavan (Malayalam: കെ. രാഘവന്‍) (2 December 1913 – 19 October 2013), popularly known as Raghavan Master, was a Malayalam music composer. Along with G. Devarajan, V. Dakshinamoorthy and Baburaj, Raghavan was often credited for the renaissance of Malayalam film music. He was the pioneer in contributing Malayalam film songs with its own tunes and styles. Till then, Malayalam film songs were in the tunes of popular Hindi and Tamil film songs and old classical kritis. Raghavan gave a new direction and identity to Malayalam film music. He composed around 400 songs in Malayalam cinema and was active in the Malayalam film industry for nearly four decades.[1]

Personal life

Raghavan was born to folk singer M Krishnan and Narayani in Thalassery on 2 December 1913.[2] He was married to (late) Yashoda and had five children, including three daughters and two sons. He died at the age of 99 on 19 October 2013 in Thalassery.[3]

Early life

Raghavan was born in Thalassery, Kannur in the Indian state of Kerala to M. Krishnan and Narayani in 1913. He started studying classical music from his childhood and was also a good football player. His professional career was started as a tambura player in All India Radio, Chennai. In 1950 he got transferred to Kozhikode and there he got involved with film artists.[4]


Raghavan set a new trend in Malayalam film music with the release of the 1954 movie Neelakuyil. Renowned lyricist and Raghavan's friend P. Bhaskaran had penned the songs in Neelakkuyil. Raghavan himself has rendered his voice for one of the songs in Neelakkuyil. The song Kayalarikathu valayerinjappol went on to become an instant hit.[5]

Music career

In a career spanning over four decades, he has scored music for more than sixty Malayalam films and many of his compositions remain ever green classics in Malayalam.[6] Raghavan infused the folk element into Malayalam film music and his rustic melodies replaced the then prevailing trend of imitations of popular Hindi tunes of the day.He also composed songs for plays like Kerala People's Arts Club and All India Radio. And he dared try out a variety of voices to Malayalam film music, many of them were new. Mehboob, K. P. Brahmanandan, Balamuralikrishna, M. L. Vasanthakumari, A. P. Komala, Gayathri Srikrishnan, Santha P. Nair, A. M. Rajah, K. P. Udayabhanu, M.G. Radhakrishnan, P. B. Sreenivas, Vani Jayaram, Jikki, V. T. Murali, and G. Venugopal... they have all sung for him.

As a musician



Civilian Awards by Govt. of India

Kerala State Film Awards

Other Awards


  1. "Evergreen compositions". The Hindu. 9 February 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  2. "Raghavan Master is no more, his songs are forever". Times of India. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  3. Mathrubhumi English – Legendary music director Raghavan master passes away
  4. "Music director Raghavan passes away". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  5. "CHORDS AND NOTES". The Hindu. 20 February 2006. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  6. MSI Musician Index – K. Raghavan
  7. "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  8. "STATE FILM AWARDS 1969 – 2008". The Information & Public Relations Department of Kerala. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
  9. "MG Radhakrishnan Award to Raghavan master".
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