K P Udayabhanu - soulful voice for sombre expression

K P Udayabhanu Malayalam singer
1936  - 2014
Famous playback singer K P Udayabhanu now no longer with us but his soulful voice still gives smiles on face of every Malayalee. At the age of 77, he breathed his last at his residence in Thiruvananthapuram. 

 It past six year for the memories of K P Udayabhanu Malayalam songs that considered as paragon for sombre expression.

He was considered as the most senior playback singer in Malayalam cinema.

K P Udayabhanu put forward his steps in Malayalam music world as an announcer with All India Radio (AIR) in 1955. He was also the nephew of freedom movement leader and founder
chief editor of 'Mathrubhumi',  K P Kesava Menon. 

Musician maestro born to N S Varma and Ammu Nethyaramma, on June 6 1936 at Palakkad, Kerala. He spend his childhood days at Singapore, where family was based. After the death of his mother, K P Udayabhanu and siblings brought up under the care of maternal uncle K P Appukutta Menon.

 He learned the lessons at Thyagaraja Sangeetha Vidyalaya and his stint at All India Radio, brought him closer to the legends of Malayalam industry like P Bhaskaran and K Raghavan

 During this time he met musicians like K Padmanabhan Nair, Thikodian and Santha P Nair. His first break came with the movie "Nairu Pidicha Pulivalu" in 1958. 

 In the film, he sang the song "Enthinithra Panchasara" composed by K Raghavan and lyrics were written by P Bhaskaran, who also directed the movie.

 Later on several movies got his soulful voice, which include songs like "Kaanana Chayayil", "Vaavaa", "Thamarathumbi", "Anuraga Nadakathin". 

 K P Udayabhanu had also composed the songs for the movies "Samasya" and "Mayilpeeli", in which the song "Kili Chilachu" from the movie "Samasya" is still considered as finest composition. The song was sung by K J Yesudas with the lyrics of O N V.

 K P Udayabhanu also launched the music troupe named "Old is Gold" in 1984, in context to preserve the golden era of Malayalam music. 

 He also served as PRO to chief minister K Karunakaran. He served as the member in Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy, Kerala Kalamandalam, Kerala State Film Awards committee, Film Censor board, Audition board of All India Radio.

 K P Udayabhanu was conferred with prestigious Padmashri award in 2009.

 Rajeev Udayabhanu is the son and KP Udayabhanu's wife Vijayalakshmi left to heavenly abode on 2007.

Published - Jan 5, 2015            last updated : Jan 10, 2020

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