The famous Indian Music director, Upendra Kumar or T Upendra Kumar, who was noted for his works in Kannada and Oriya films, was born in 1941 to a Telugu speaking Brahmin family in Bhubaneswar, Orissa. His father Lakshman Swamy was an astrologer by profession. After completing 7th grade, he chose to learn music on being motivated by his uncle, Apparao. He learned Hindustani Classical and Indian and Western instruments. He did his graduation from Utkal University of music in BA music with a first grade. He made his debut at the age of 25, in a Kannada film Katari Veera which was directed by Y R Swamy. Renowned Kannada actor and singer Rajkumar starred in this movie. Kumar’s association with Rajkumar began from there, and later he continued his Musical pair with Rajkumar’s sons too.

Upendra Kumar-Rajkumar combination gave numerous hit songs to Kannada film industry. His debut Oriya film was Manika directed by R Asrar. He has worked in around 210 films including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Tulu along with Kannada and Oriya films. His works are distinguishable with the prominence of Mandolin and Sitar as instrumentation. He is very much fond of Kafi raga, which is evident in those songs he composed. Premada Kanike song Idu yaaru bareda kathayo was based on this raga. His major songs include Naa Bidalaare Ninnanu from Premada Kanike (1976), Naa Ninae Asae from Ravichandra (1980), Aralide Thanu Mana from Apoorva Sangama (1984) and Ganga Yamuna Sangama from Anuraga Aralithu (1986). He composed numerous devotional songs during the 1980’s which got life through Rajkumar’s voice.

These musical albums were in the names of Saint Raghavendra Swamy and deities like Hanuman. Kumar won Karnataka State film award for the best music director for three times, in 1990, 1992, and 1993. The songs from Raghavendra Rajkumar starrer, Nenjudi Kalyana brought him State Film Award for the first time. He received the best music director award yet again in 1992 Karnataka state film awards for Hrudaya Haadithu (directed by MS Rajasekhar) and in 1993 for Jeevana Chaithra (Directed by Dorai-Bagavan). Rajkumar won National award for best playback singer for the song Nadamaya from Jeevana Chaithra. He died of jaundice on 24th January 2002 at M S Ramaiah Hospital Bangalore, Karnataka. His film Gramadevate released a week before his death. Vishwamithra, a Kannada movie, was the last film that he worked in and was released after his death. The last Oriya movie he composed for is Punar Milana.

Vijaya Bhaskar

Vijaya Bhaskar was an Indian music director who scored music for more than six hundred south Indian movies filmed in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Tulu, Malayalam, Marathi and Konkani languages. He contributed to all the popular movies directed by K.S.L. Swamy and regularly associated with Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Puttanna Kanagal. He was born in 1924 in Bangalore, Karnataka. He started learning music from an early age, practicing in the art of Hindustani classical music under the mentorship of Govinda Bhave. He also honed his skills in Carnatic music and playing the piano. He moved to Mumbai, where he assisted legendary music directors, Madan Mohan, and Naushad Ali. He was once eating at a restaurant in Matunga when he met director B.R. Krishnamurthy in serendipity. One talk led to another and Krishnamurthy eventually proposed that Bhaskar compose the music for his next film “Sri Rama Puja” (1953), thereby making Bhaskar the first original music composer of the Kannada film industry. Inspired by Mukul Mehta and R.C. Boral, Bhaskar developed his own musical style. He introduced theme music into Kannada songs, creating some of the best melodies ever scored. A proponent of folk music, Bhaskar was as comfortable at working with minimal instruments as he was with an orchestra. His broad spectrum specialties stretched from light songs to complex ghazals. He derived inspiration from the works Kannada poets like D.R. Bendre and used it to compose impactful euphonies such as ‘Moodana Maneya’ from “Belli Moda” (1967) and ‘Uttara Dhruvadim’ from “Sharapanjara “ (1971), both of which were based on poems by D.R. Bendre. He also directed the background scores and Malayalam songs for Adoor Gopalakrishnan, who admired the music director ever since he added music to the film “Mathilukal” (1965). His Tulu and Tamil magnum opuses in “Koti Chennaya” (1973) and “Krishnaveni” (1974) are resounded to this day. Some of his most famous soundtracks include “Naandi” (1964), “Rani Honnamma” (1960), “Gejje Pooje” (1970), “Mana Mechida Madadi” (1963), “Santha Thukaram” (1963), “Neela” (2001), “Naagarahaavu” (1972), “Shubhamangala” (1975) and “Malaya Marutha” (1986). He was honored with the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Music Director six times, the Dr. Rajkumar Award and the Sursingar Prashasthi. He passed away on the morning of 3 March 2002 due to cardiac arrest at his home in the J. P. Nagar locality of Bangalore. He was 77 years old and was survived by his wife, three children, and five grandchildren. Another Version Of This Bio Vijay Bhaskar (often referred to as BRK) was an Indian music director, instrumentalist, and composer, remembered by the audience for his work on the soundtracks of movies like Abachurina Post Office (1973), Upasane (1974), Shubhamangala (1975), and Besuge (1976). Mostly known for his predominant involvement in the music albums of Sandalwood movies and feature films, he won the National award for the film Santha Thukaram. Born in 1924 in Bangalore, Kingdom of Mysore, British India, he started his training at a very early age. During his childhood, he learned to play the Piano, Carnatic classical music, and Hindustani classical from his guru Govinda Bhave. The initial stages of his career saw him assisting music directors like Madan Mohan and Naushad. He came to Bombay in 1953 to establish himself as a music director. Over the years, he scored music in nearly 700 feature films. As a music director, Vijay was honored with many awards like Dr. Rajkumar Award (2011), Karnataka State Film Award for Best Music Director, etc. Before passing out on 3rd March 2002 due to a cardiac arrest in his residence at Bangalore at the age of 77 years, he was happily married with two daughters, a son, and five grandchildren."

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Vijaya Bhaskar Kannada Actor