03 May 2013

His Master's Voice-25

Sirkazhi Govindarajan (Tamil: சீர்காழி கோவிந்தராஜன்; January 19, 1933 - March 24, 1988) was a leading vocalist in Carnatic Music. Govindarajan, born in Sirkali in Madras Presidency)to Siva Chidambaram and Avayambal Ammal in the small town of SIRKALI. Sirkali was the birth place of Thirugnanasambandar, one of the Samaya Naalvar and the 63 Nayanmar of the Saiva faith. It was little wonder that he became a child prodigy performing at the Tirupurasundari Temple at the age of eight on the occasion of the Gnana Paal Festival. His son Sirkazhi G. Sivachidambaram is also a Carnatic singer.

He graduated from the Tamil Isai College in Chennai in 1949 with the Degree 'Isaimani'. He also graduated with the Degree of 'Sangeetha Vidwan'. At the same time, he started rigorous training (Gurukulavasam) under his Guru Sri.Thiruppampuram Swaminatha Pillai, who was then a Professor at the Central College of Carnatic Music, Madras. Under his tutelage and in-depth study, he gained knowledge of the nuances and intricacies of Indian Music, especially, Classical Carnatic Music.

During this period, 1951–52, he won many competitions, conducted by the Sangeetha Vidwat Sabha(Music Academy) and the Rasika Ranjani Sabha. He was the proud recipient of three Gold Medals(First Place) in the austere and hallowed halls of Sangeetha Vidwat Sabha(Music Academy) from Karaikudi Sri. Sambasiva Iyer. "Sangeetha Vidwan" Sirkali won all first places in the three categories: Apoorva Krithis of Sri Thyagaraja swamigal, Ragam-Thanam-Pallavi, and Tamil Classical Songs.

He was conferred the Padma Shri award by the Government of India. The Central College of Carnatic Music was the next institution for his musical enrichment. Govindarajan had also done playback singing in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films. Madras University conferred a doctorate (Honoris Causa) on him in 1983. He died in 1988, aged 55. His high pitch vocal was so hilarious, even today music lovers remember his songs. such as "Ramana avathara" from kannada movie Bhookailaasa the song still has it's own image, which described entire epic Ramayana in less then minutes which is written by the great lyricist Ku Ra Seethaarama Shasthry .

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