Eminent Malayalam playback singer KP Udayabhanu, who rendered scores of songs noted for their emotional depth, died yesterday, 5th January. He was 77 and had been keeping indifferent health for quite some time, film industry sources said.
An artiste with All India Radio for decades, Udayabhanu had sung many all-time hits in Malayalam cinema, though he never went for a wholetime film career. He made his debut with the mid-1950s hit Nayaru Pidicha Pulivalu, in which he sang a popular number penned by eminent director and writer P Bhaskaran for which music was set by K Raghavan, who died only a few months back.
After the debut, Udayabhanu was roped in not only by Raghavan, also his collleague with AIR, and M S Baburaj but also by other top-notch composers like G Devarajan. According to Malayalam film historian Balagopal, Udayabhanu's voice and mode or rendering specially suited for sad songs in tragic or melodramatic films like Laila Majnu of 1960s and 1970s.
"Udayabhanu's career peaked with his all-time hits in Ramanan, based on the pastoral elegy written by one of the greatest Malayalam poets Changapuzha Krishna Pillai. For the movie adaptation of the poetic work, Raghavan master composed music to the lines of Changanpuzha and he had no one else but Udayabhanu to sing those sings," Balagopal told PTI. Udayabhanu also enriched the light music branch by singing and giving music to scores of songs during his long years with AIR.