If you look at the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s Tamil movie scenes, T. M. Soundararajan (TMS) was the top male singer, singing a reported 10,138 songs from 3,162 films and over 11 different languages. Image source: Wikipedia
However, when Maestro Ilayaraaja came into the limelight, TMS was not keen to sing for him. Apparently, he did not think highly of this “new” music director. If not mistaken, he only sang about 7 songs for the maestro so it is rather rare to find TMS singing for Ilaiyaraaja’s composition.
Kizhakke Pogum Rail (transl. Eastbound Train) is a 1978 Indian Tamil-language romantic drama film, directed by Bharathiraja, starring newcomers Sudhakar and Raadhika. The film had a musical score and songs by Ilaiyaraaja and was released on 10 August 1978. Image source: Amazon
16 Vayathinile (translated as At Age 16) is a 1977 Tamil movie written and directed by Bharathirajaa in his directorial debut.
The movie included a number of big and new stars namely Kamal Haasan as retarded Chappani, Sridevi as Mayil and Rajinikanth (his famous line – ithu eppendi irruku) who often with his man, the funny Goundamani. K. Bhagyaraj worked in this movie as an assistant director to Bharathirajaa. Image source: Twitter
Kadal Meengal was a 1981 Tamil movie starring Kamal Haasan, Sujatha, Nagesh and Swapna. Kamal Haasan in a dual role as father & son on opposite sides with the younger Kamal Haasan bent on taking revenge. Image source: IMDB.
Unfortunately, this movie was not the highlight of Kamal Haasan in his string of blockbusters but stands out for Ilaiyaraaja’s classic songs.
The 1979 movie starring Rajinikanth titled Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai is still one of the best movies starring Rajinikanth and one great song from Ilaiyaraaja. Yes, life can be unfair, harsh and lopsided and there are plenty of examples in this movie. Poster source: Awesome Machi
Kamal Haasan was already a big star in the Tamil movie industry in the 1970s and have acted in a number of movies which has some of the best songs composed by Maestro Illayaraaja and Maestro MSV. Image source: Youtube
Kazhugu is a Tamil movie that came out in 1981 starring Rajinikanth and was directed by S. P. Muthuraman with music scored by maestro Illayaraaja. It will be 40 years since this movie first came out and yet the songs from that era are still fresh and can still engage any generation of music lovers like it was yesterday. Image source: Rajinifans
(No matter where you are right now, no matter how old you are, I am sure you always have your favorite old songs by these dynamic duo that you don’t mind humming the whole day long. Image source: Silverscreen India)