Biography of M.S.Viswanathan/MSV-Tamil Cinema Music Director-‘Mellisai Mannar’


Known As:MSV/Mellisai Mannar (King of Melody/Light Music) Viswanathan

Date of Birth: 24th June 1928 –In  Elappully village, Palakkad, Kerala

Date of Death: 14th July 2015- At the age of 87 years in Chennai

Name of the Father: Manayangath Subramanian

Name of the Mother:  Narayanikutty/ Naanikutty

Name of the Wife:  Janaki (1938-2012)

Children: 4 Sons and 3 Daughters

Education:  NIL(Not Gone To School)

Tamil Cinema Music Director (Specialist is Harmonium, Key Board and Piano), Singer, Actor


When he was just 4 years old,  M.S.Viswanthan lost his father and his mother tried to kill him and commit suicide due to poverty.

Saved and supported by his grandfather, Viswanathan had been selling eatables in cinema theatre and he learned music from Neelakanda Bhagavathar and his first stage music performance was in Trivandrum when he was only 13 years old.

M.S.Viswanathan wished to become a cinema actor and a play back singer and he had acted in small roles in some stage dramas.

The popular Tamil Cinema Music Director and Violinist T.R.Papa introduced M.S.Viswanathan to another Tamil Cinema Music Director S.V.Venkatraman  in whose group M.S.Viswanathan had been an assistant for some time.

Then, M.S.Viswanathan joined as an assistant to  another Tamil Cinema Music Director S.M.Subbaiah Naidu.

Afterwards, M.S.Viswanathan joined the group of yet another Tamil Cinema Music Director C.R.Subburaman as a harmonium player, where he met the violinists T.K.Ramamoorthy and T.G.Lingappa.

When C.R.Subburaman died in the year 1952, M.S.Viswanathana and T.K.Ramamoorthy jointly completed the background music for the movies, such as, Devadas, Chandirani and Marumagal, for which C.R.Subburaman had been composing music.

M.S.Viswanathan had worked as a third music director, along with the music directors  M.S Gnanamani and T.K.Kalyanam for M.G.R.’s movie-‘Genova’.

Then C.S.Jayaraman, who composed music for the songs in the movie ‘Ratha Kanneer’ of M.R.Radha, asked M.S.Viswanathan and T.K.Ramamoorthy to compose the back ground music for ‘Ratha Kanneer’.
From the year 1952 till the year 1965 the duo of M.S.Viswanathan and T.K.Ramamoorthy had composed music for more than 150 movies.

However, after the release of M.G.R.’s movie ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’, M.S.Viswanathan and T.K.Ramamoorthy decided to compose music separately.

After about 30 years, in the year 1995, M.S.Viswanthan re-joined T.K.Ramamoorthy in Sathyaraj’s movie ‘Engirundho vandhan’.

From the year 1965, M.S.Viswanathan had been composing music for South Indian Movies, in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam (mainly in Tamil), independently.

Most of the songs of M.S.V. were written by ‘Kaviyarasar’-Kannadasan and Kavignar Vaali.

In his composition of music for cinema, M.S.V. blended the classical music with western music and disco and he used unique elements such as humming and whistling in his songs.

M.S.Viswanathan had worked with the following popular Cinema Play back singers:








S.P.Balasubramaiam and

Vani Jayaram.

M.S.Viswanathan worked with the following popular Cinema Directors:






A.C.Thiruloka Chander,


Mukta V.Srinivasan,

Chitralaya Gopu,




Vietnam Veedu Sundaram,




Mouli and


M.S.Viswanathan had sung more than 500 songs composed by himself and more than 200 songs of the following Cinema Music Directors:


Sankar Ganesh,


Gangai Amaran,



A.R.Rahman and

Yuvan Shankar Raja.

M.S.Viswanathan composed music jointly with the popular Tamil music director-‘Isai Gnani’ Ilayraja in the following movies:

‘Mella Thirandhadhu Kadhavu’,

‘Senthamizh Paattu’,

‘Vishwa Thulasi’ and

‘Senthamizh Selvan’.

M.S.Viswanathan had appeared in and acted in the following Tamil movies:

‘Kadhal Mannan’ of Ajit,

‘Kadhalaa Kadhalaa’ of Kamal Hassan and

‘Rojavanam’ of Karthik.

Songs sung by M.S.Viswanathan:

In the year 1971, M.S.V. composed music and sang a song ‘Allah Allah Nee Illadha Idame Illai’ in Cho Ramasamy’s movie  ‘Muhammad bin Tughlaq’,

In the year 2002 M.S.V.sang the song  “Vidai Kodu Engal Naadae” , composed by A.R.Rahman, for the  Tamil film “Kannathil Muthamittal”.

In the year 2013, M.S.V.sang a song- ‘Alayae o Alayae’ for the movie’Neelam’, in the music composed by Satish Chakravarthi

In the year 2013, M.S.V. composed music along with Yuvan Shankar Raja for the movie ‘Thillu Mullu’ of the year 2013.

Awards and Honours Given to M.S.Viswanathan:

In the year 1963-‘Mellisai Mannair’/King of Light Music- the music duo of M.S.Viswanathan and T.K.Ramamoorthy were given each, by the hand of ‘Nadigar Thilagam’ Sivaji Ganesan,  the title of ‘Mellisai Mannargal’/Kings of Light Music , in a function held at the Madras-Triplicane Cultural Academy, sponsored by the Hindu Group of Publications, Mr.T.M.Ramachandran and Tamil Cinema Directors C.V.Sridhar and Chitralay Gobu.

In the year 2001- Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South,

In the year 2004-  Life Time Achievement Award by Sangam Kala group,

In the year 2004-‘Isai Perarignar’/Great Scholar of Music by ‘Isai Sangam’,

In the year 2005-  Madhavapeddi Satyam Award by Siva Foundation,

In the year 2005- ‘Gold Remi Award’ for the best music score for movie Vishwa Thulasi,

In the year 2006-Honoray  Doctorate conferred by Sathyabama University,

In the year 2006- ‘Paramacharya Award’,

In the year 2012, on the eve of the 14th year celebrations of ‘Jaya TV’, Selvi. J. Jayalalithaa, the  then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, conferred the title ‘Thirai Isai Chakravarthy’/Emperors of the Cine Music  on both M.S. Viswanathan and T.K. Ramamoorthy and presented them with 60 gold coins and a new car each.

In the year 2013- ‘PBS Puraskar Award’(P.B.Srinivas Memorial Award), along with Vani Jayaram,  presented by Aruna Nithya Gopal Foundation at Ravindra Bharathi, Chennai on 29th Sepetember 2013.

In the year 2013– Asiavision Awards – Lifetime Achievement Award,

In the year 2013-  Honorary doctorate from Tirunelveli-based Manonmaniam Sundaranar University/MSU,

‘Kalaimamani Award’ by the State Government of Tamilnadu

‘Seventh Kamukura Award’ –  by Kerala Cultural Ministry.

It is notable that, inspite of recommendations from the State Government of Tamilnadu in the year 2012, M.S.Viswanathan (along with T.K.Ramamoorthy) were not awarded the Union Government of India’s ‘Padma Awards’.

Share This Post

One Response to "Biography of M.S.Viswanathan/MSV-Tamil Cinema Music Director-‘Mellisai Mannar’"

Post Comment