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G K Venkatesh

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G. K. S. Pathi


G. Venkatesh

Years active
1946 to 1993

G. K. Venkatesh wwwtollywoodsingerscomGKVenkateshHitsSVCDjpg

21 September 1927 (

Film score, Music Director, playback singer, actor, Film Producer

November 13, 1993, Chennai

Thumbida Koda, Gramatthu Minnal

Haribhaktha (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Similar People
P B Sreenivas, Chi Udayashankar, Rajkumar, Vijaya Bhaskar, Narasimharaju

G K Venkatesh Tamil Songs

Gurajada Krishnadas Venkatesh (GKV) (21 September 1927 – 13 November 1993) was a prominent composer of film music in Kannada cinema during the 1960s, 1970s and until the late-1980s. He also composed music for Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu movies. He produced numerous master pieces of Kannada film music. He also brought in Western background score into Kannada films and scored music for all Bond movies of Dr.Raj in the 1960s to 1970s.


Medley of Magical Melodies of G K Venkatesh sung by S Janaki

Early life

He learned music since young and was very talented. Even as a child, he was appreciated by the Raja of Bobbili. He learned Veena from his elder brother G. K. S. Pathi. As a teenager, he played Veena for the great music directors such as S. V. Venkatraman, S. M. Subbaiah Naidu and C. R. Subburaman.

GKV was also a talented singer. Before entering to cinema, he was singing in the Bangalore All India Radio. He had done chorus under S. V. Venkatraman for Meera.


He became a close friend to M. S. Viswanathan (MSV) while working under S. M. Subbaiah Naidu during the late-1940s. They shared the same room in Jupiter Lodge, Madras when MSV was offered to compose some songs for Genova. When N. S. Krishnan offered an opportunity to M. S. Viswanathan and T. K. Ramamoorthy to compose music for Panam (1952) for Madras Pictures, GKV became a part of their troupe. He had a chance to sing Ezhayin Kovilai Naadinaen in Panam which was also Sivaji Ganesan's second film. He was named as their assistant by Viswanathan Ramamoorthy.

In 1952, he composed music independently for a Malayalam film, which was also dubbed in Tamil as Nadigai. In 1955, he started to compose music for a Kannada film named Sodari starring Rajkumar (his second film) and Pandaribai along with H. R. Padmanabha Shastry. Since then he became a much sought after and one of the successful music directors in Kannada films along with T. G. Lingappa and Vijaya Bhaskar. He was showered with offers where he composed music from Ohileshwara (1955) until Kalitaaroo Henne (1963) in a row. GKV launched P. B. Sreenivos as a successful in Kannada films.

He came back to Tamil films in 1964 for Thirumagal Films movie Magale Un Samathu. Since then he began to compose music for both Kannada and Tamil films.

In the late-1960s, it is notable that Ilaiyaraja and L. Vaidyanathan were playing instruments under GKV's troupe, assisting to compose music.

Work with Rajkumar

GKV composed music for 51 films in which Dr. Rajkumar played the lead role. He launched Dr. Rajkumar as a singer in the film Ohileshwara (song: Sharanu Shambho) and also recorded Dr.Rajkumar's first duet in Mahishasura Mardhini (song: Tumbitu Manava with S. Janaki). GKV would insist Dr. Rajkumar to sing regularly, owing to his grooming in the Gubbi Company. Rajkumar, however preferred P. B. Sreenivas, to sing for him.

In 1974, P. B. Sreenivas, was hesitant to sing the song (song: Yare Koogadali) in the movie Sampattige Saval. The song had the hero singing praises of a buffalo and the conservative-minded P. B. Sreenivas wasn't enthusiastic to sing it. GKV proposed to Rajkumar to sing the song. It marked the re-emergence of the singer in Rajkumar.

A versatile music director, GKV used elaborate Western-style orchestration in his songs, be they of any genre. He successfully brought Master singer Dr. Bhimsen Joshi to sing for films Sandhyaraga (1966). Bhimsen Joshi sang again in the movie Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige (1983).

Ustad Bismillah Khan was reluctant to play Shehnai for films during his later part of years. GKV got the Maestro to play Shehnai for lead character Appanna, enacted by Dr.Rajkumar in Sanadi Appanna (1977). The songs became chartbusters and are aired regularly on the Kannada Radio.

Work with Ilaiyaraaja

Ilaiyaraaja was hired as an assistant by GKV, an event that marked the entry of Ilaiyaraaja into film music composition and direction. Ilaiyaraaja assisted GKV in 200 Kannada film projects. Later Ilaiyaraaja went on to become one of the most prominent film music composers in India. When Venkatesh was left with no films and after his failure as a film producer, Ilaiyaraaja took him into his fold, and GKV remained an essential element of Ilaiyaraaja's ensemble till his death in 1993.


GKV had a small part to play in AVM Productions's Mella Thirandhathu Kadhavu in 1986 in which he acted in the role of Mohan's musician father. His dialogues were dubbed by V. Gopalakrishnan. The music directors were M. S. Viswanathan and Ilaiyaraja.

He had appeared on-screen in the Kannada movie Kanteredu Nodu in 1961 in the song "Kannadada Makkalella Ondagi Banni", composed and sung by himself.

Film producer

During the fledgling days of Kannada film movement, he produced movies such as Ranadheera Kantheerava (1960), Immadi Pulikeshi (1968) in partnership with other artists. In 1987, he produced the Ramarajan and Revathi starrer Gramathu Minnal Tamil film.


Prominent compositions of G. K. Venkatesh in Kannada include:

  • "Kannadati taaye baa" from Sandhyaaraaga by Bhimsen Joshi
  • "Nambide ninna naadadevateye" from Sandhyaaraaga sung in three different versions (Hindusthani and Carnatic) by Bhimsen Joshi, M. Balamuralikrishna and S. Janaki respectively.
  • "Aaha Mysuru Mallige" from Bangarada Manushya by P. B. Sreenivas and P.Susheela
  • "Aadisi nodu, beelisi nodu" from Kasturi Nivasa by P. B. Sreenivas
  • "Aadisidaata besara moodi" from Kasturi Nivasa by G. K. Venkatesh himself.
  • "Elli Mareyaade" from Bhakta Kumbara by P. B. Sreenivos
  • "Preetine aa dyaavru tanda aasti namma baalige" from Doorada Betta by P. B. Sreenivas & P.Susheela
  • "Kannadada makkalella ondaagi banni" from kanteredu nodu by himself
  • "Ilidu baa taayi" from Arisina Kumkuma by P. B. Sreenivas
  • "Ravivarmana kunchaa kale" from Sose tanda soubhagya by P. B. Sreenivas and S. Janaki
  • "If you come today, it's too early" from "Operation Diamond Racket" by Rajkumar
  • "Baalu belakaayitu.." from Haalu Jenu by Rajkumar
  • "Ninade nenapu dinavu manadalli.." from Raja Nanna Raja by P. B. Sreenivas
  • "Naariya seere kadda, radheya manava gedda.." from Daari Tappida Maga by Rajkumar
  • "Karedaroo kelade" and "Ninagaagi ododi bande" from Sanaadi Appanna by S. Janaki and Rajkumar with Bismillah Khan on the Shehanai.
  • Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar's Kannada composition in the raaga Mohanakalyani "Bhuvaneshwariya nene maanasave" in Mareyada Haadu by S. Janaki.
  • "Bhagyada lakshmi baaramma" in Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige by Bhimsen Joshi
  • "Gelati baaradu intha samaya" in Eradu Nakshatragalu by Rajkumar
  • Some compositions of G. K. Venkatesh in Tamil, include:

  • "Unga Manasu Oru Dhinusu" from Magale Un Samathu by K. Jamuna Rani
  • "Vaa Vaa Vaa En Thalaiva" from Naanum Manithan Thaan by T. A. Mothi & S. Janaki
  • "Kaatru Varum Kaalamondru" from Naanum Manithan Thaan by P. B. Sreenivas & S. Janaki
  • "Poonthendral Isaipaada" from Thaayin Karunai by P. B. Sreenivas
  • "Netru Nadanthathu" from Thaayin Karunai by A. L. Ragavan & S. Janaki
  • "Thoduvathenna Thendralo Malargalo" from Sabatham by S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
  • "Then Sindhudhe Vaanam"from Ponukku Thanga Manasu by S. P. Balasubrahmanyam & S. Janaki
  • "Naan Paartha Rathidevi Enge" from Kannil Theriyum Kathaigal by A. L. Raghavan
  • "Maasi Maadham Muhurtha Neram Medai Mangalam" from Pennin Vaazhkkai by Jayachandran & P. Suseela
  • "Azhagiya Sennira Vaanam" from Kashmir Kadhali by S. P. Balasubrahmanyam & S. Janaki
  • "Azhagiya Malarkkodi Pazhagiya Manikkili" from Inaindha Kodugal by K. J. Yesudas & Vani Jairam
  • Some compositions of G. K. Venkatesh in Telugu include:

  • "Paadana Tenugu Paata Paravasanai Mee Eduta Ee Paata" from America Ammayi by P. Susheela
  • "Raasanu Premalekhalenno Daachanu Aashalenno Neelo" from Sridevi by S. P. Balasubrahmanyam & S.Janaki
  • "Ravi Varmake Andani Oke Oka Andanivo" from Ravanude Ramudaite by S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
  • References

    G. K. Venkatesh Wikipedia