Noted lyricist and music director Alleppey Ranganath passed away late Sunday night in Kerala. He was 73. Ranganath was undergoing treatment for COVID-19 at the Kottayam Medical College Hospital. The eldest among six children of Alappuzha Vezhappra Kunjukunju Bhagavathar and Gana Bhushanam M G Devammal, Ranganath has directed 42 plays and 25 dance dramas.
He wrote and composed music for a play by the Kanjirapally People's Arts Club at the age of 19 and first composed music for the song ‘Hosanna’ from the 1973 film, Jesus. Ranganath recently wrote 10 keerthanas, composed in Carnatic music, based on Bible verses. He had also penned numerous Lord Ayyappa devotional songs and received this year's Harivarasanam Award.
Ranganath made his Mollywood debut in 1973 with the film Jesus which was helmed by director P A Thomas. He rose to fame after singer K J Yesudas starting singing many of his devotional numbers. He is known for his songs in films like Aarante Mulla Kochu Mulla (1984), Principal Olivil (1985), Pappan Priyappetta Pappan (1986), and Mamalakalkkappurathu (1988), among others.
He is also popular for his plays like Ayalathe Amma, Kudumbakshetram, and Amritasagaram. The songs from these plays were also well-known. He has teamed up with singer Yesudas for many Ayyappa songs that became popular even among the Kannada, Telugu and Tamil-speaking populace.
Earlier on December 29, 2021, well-known Malayalam music composer Kaithapram Viswanathan Namboothiri had passed away at a hospital in Kozhikode. He was 58 and had been battling cancer for some time, according to family sources.
The award-winning composer, who carved a niche for himself among the top-rated composers in Mollywood through a limited number of movies, was the younger brother of renowned lyricist-musician Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri.
With PTI inputs