The Yesudas era turns 50..

Today is Children’s Day. Also, World Diabetes Day. But for Indian music lovers (Malayalis primarily) this day is extra-special for another reason.  This day, 50 years ago, under the tutelage of composer M B Sreenivasan, a young singer named Kaattaassery Joseph Yesudas made his debut as playback singer by singing the now famous poem beginning with Jaathi Bhedham, Matha dwesham, and an era began in Indian film music. Over the years the man has been part and parcel of every Malayali’s life, he has given us more than enough music to cherish over a life time. True to the first lines he sang, his musical influence has transgressed religion and caste. Having contributd a majority of his classics in Malayalam and Tamil, it was rather unfortunate that a lot of his greatness went unnoticed up North, but in Hindi too there was a fair share of wonderful songs he rendered. In any case, on this 50th anniversary, we present to you an opportunity to listen to at least some of that awesomeness you might have missed, through a compilation of some of his best renditions in the three languages. We had planned to create a playlist of 50, but KJY has too many good songs. And in our defense, 62 in octal system does translate to 50. 😉

(The sketch featured was drawn live by the brilliant Keshav at the Music Academy a few years back. Thanks a lot to him for allowing to use this)