Rest_In_Peace's current selection is:
Bhavayami Gopalabalam
by vocalist Radha Viswanathan, with accompanists
Radha Viswanathan (1934 to 2018) was an Indian 'Carnatic' vocalist. Radha Sadasivam was born in Gobichettypalayam in the then British India (now Tamil Nadu, India) on December 11th 1934. She was the eldest daughter of Thiagarajan Sadasivam, and was brought up with him and his second wife (the singer M S Subbulakshmi) after her own mother died from the effects of a scorpion attack. She had her earliest training in music from T R Balasubramaniam, Ramnad Krishnan and Mayavaram Krishna Iyer, and was already accompanying her stepmother vocally on stage by the age of five. She also trained with Vazhavoor Ramiah Pillai to become a 'Bharatanatyam' dancer, making her public debut in 1945. She once performed a dance recital at the Carnatic Music College, Madras, for the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, and also appeared at Birla House before Mahatma Gandhi. At the age of 21 however, Sadasivam gave up dancing to concentrate exclusively on singing. She went on to sing with her stepmother during concerts, and they both learned 'Kritis' (a 'Carnatic' music type) from Musiri Subramania Iyer, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and K V Narayanaswamy, plus 'Padams' (another 'Carnatic' music type) from T Brinda. They then had further intensive training in Hindustani classical music from Siddheshwari Devi of Benares and Dilipkumar Roy. She had made her debut in Indian films when she was just six years old, first in the movie "Shakunthala", and then in "Meera" (directed by Ellis R Dungan and produced by her father's 'Chandraprabha Cinetones' company). Sadasivam accompanied her mother on frequent concert tours and recording engagements, all over India and across the world including Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. In 1966, they toured Europe and then embarked on a coast to coast tour of the US, thus becoming some of the first 'Carnatic' music vocalists ever to perform there, and including appearances at the United Nations building in the October. In 1980, they released recordings from the "Annamacharya" series - they released five volumes from it called the "Balaji Pancharatnamala", which included classical and devotional music, and from which the royalties were donated to various charities. In 1977, during their second tour of the US, they performed at Carnegie Hall, and in 1982 appeared at the Festival of India held at the Royal Albert Hall in the UK. However, following a bout of tuberculosis meningitis in the same year, Sadasivam had to stop singing for a year. Her health deteriorated once again in 1992, so she retired from singing completely. She did reunite with her very elderly stepmother in 2007 for a series of more than 20 concerts, including some in the US, then ceased singing for a final time. She had married Guruswamy Viswanathan very early on, and they had two sons and a daughter together. Radha Viswanathan died in Bangalore on January 2nd 2018, aged 83.
Posted: 9th February 2018
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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