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Mr. Ali Khan' "Old Songs Research Center" Over 94,000 TFM songs Mr. Ali Khan' "Old Songs Research Center" Over 94,000 TFM songs

Topic started by Gyani (@ on Sun Aug 8 22:39:50 EDT 2004.
All times in EST +10:30 for IST.

Infinite joy in knowing someone has been doing what I wished I could!!!!! Ultimate news for me, of course only IR' Tiruvacakam can match this one. Did you all know, MSV has composed for 1400 movies? Also, no one has recognized Mr. Khan' priceless efforts. Read on, please....

Want to know who sang the first Tamil film song? Want to hear the melodious numbers of M K Thiyagaraja Bhagavathar, S Viswanatha Das, T P Rajalakshmi, K B Sundarambal, S D Kitappa, T R Mahalingam, T M Soundararajan, Seerkazhli Govindarajan or S P Balasubramaniam? Then, head to Old Songs Research Centre located at 169, Arcot Road, Vadapalani.
A 63-year-old-man, Ali Khan, founder, Old Songs Research Centre, has in his possession not just a handful but around 94,000 songs, sure to floor one.

'Great men like Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer, Kannadasan, Marudhakasi, GNB, Dhandapani Desikar, Maharajapuram Viswanathan, K B Sundarambal and T R Mahalingam

'My collection includes the first ever Tamil film song sung by Viswanatha Das in 1931 for the movie Kalidas. My research centre houses songs of over 360 Tamil music directors, numbers rendered by 250 male playback singers and 175 female singers and songs penned by 636 lyricists', he says.

According to Khan, 'it all started as a hobby in 1959. I loved listening film songs aired on Ceylon Radio then. It sparked off an interest to collect gramophones of these songs. In a couple of years, I had with me hundreds of such gramophone records. Slowly my hobby turned into a passion. I collected many more. Today, I have in my kitty more than 94,000 songs, which I have converted into cassettes and CDs, in a bid to preserve and pass it to future generations. Almost all songs rendered by Bhanumathy, P Leela, M S Rajeswari, S Varalakshmi, P Suseela, S Janaki and Jikki, finds a place in my showcase'.
'I had been to a remote village in Thenkasi to collect a gramophone record of the movie Thigambara Samiyar, released in 1949 and similarly I ventured to few interior villages down south to collect songs of K B Sundarambal'.

Asked about his favourites, Ali Khan, a retired government employee, says, 'among my collections my favourite are the songs in the film Laila Majnu set to tunes by C R Subbarayan'.

Ali Khan, who possess songs of almost all the 1,300 films set to tunes by music maestro M S Viswanathan says, he was a phenomenal music composer, who gave a mix of Hindustani classical and mellisai. Unfortunately, he had never introduced any singer in his career, he recalls.

On lyricist Kannadasan, Khan says perhaps he (Kannadasan) was the only lyricist encompassing the entire Indian cinema who penned songs for all situations.

'Among the singers, I admire Thiyagaraja Bhagavathar, whose dynamic voice with immaculate modulation attracted one and all'.

On the general criticism that old melodies still linger fresh in our minds, while the new peppy numbers fade away soon, he says, 'it is true. Old songs soften our hearts and enthuse our minds. The songs had life in them, then. The manual instruments used by the composers in those days, appealed to our spirits. Unfortunately, the contemporary music composers are at the mercy of electronic instruments which dies after entering our ears. Moreover, the music accompanied the lyrics in old numbers, while these days, it has overtaken the lyrics'.

'Though I take pride in preserving such monumental collections, I feel let down as none from the film industry or the State government has taken notice of the treasure'.

'Besides paying the rent for my premises and electricity charges, I end up spending a lot to maintain the rare collections. I sincerely hope the State government takes due consideration of my hard work and provides financial support and encourages me in my endeavour', Khan says and adds, 'I am ready to hand over all my valuable collections to the State government as they may take the proper steps to preserve them for the benefit of the younger generation. I am confident that Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa would consider my case and do the needful'.

'The Tamil film industry should also take note of my hard work and they support me in making this a right destination for music lovers'.

Without any help, the golden voices of P U Chinnappa, T R Mahalingam, Kitappa, Rajappa, MKT, compositions of G Ramanathan, C R Subbarayan, Subbanaidu, C R Pandurangan, K V Mahadevan and M S Viswanathan, would die with with me after a few years, he says.


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