|CMSI Ref Number||MA-MAL-010-DCS-235|
|Author of text||Fr. Cherian Kunianthodath, CMI.|
|Composer of melody||K.J Joy|
|Date of composition of text/melody||1977|
|Recordings||Deccan Records, Bengaluru, India. EDEC 1002. 1977.
|| MA-MAL-DC-235 A
|Comments||The trajectories of events that led to the release of my first gramophone record are interesting. In 1976, I was a theology student at Dharmaram College, Bangalore. Fr. Isaac Alappatt, CMI, who returned from the USA after his media studies, visited the college, and happened to attend one of my stage performances. He was impressed by my singing and thought my voice had commercial potential. Fr. Isaac knew Mr. George Thangiah who was the managing director of H. M. V. in Karnataka and had his office at the retail outlet on St. Marks Road. He was in the process of launching his own record label, the Deccan Records Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Thangiah took Fr. Isaac’s recommendation seriously and asked me to meet him at his office at the record store on St. Mark’s Road. I had already sung for All India Radio, Bengaluru and the Vanamudam program by Christian Arts in Chennai (the songs were broadcast on a short wave band from the islands of Seychelles). After listening to some of the recordings, Mr. Thangiah offered to sign a contract with Deccan label and sing for an EP (45 rpm) record. The choice of songs and music director was left to me. Fr. Cherian Kunianthodath, CMI, my senior at the Seminary was easily accessible. He wrote three lyrics. At this time, K. J. Joy was at the prime of his new found career as film music director in Malayalam. One of the seminarians at Dharmaram knew a friend of Mr. K. J. Joy, and introduced me to Mr. Joy during one of his trips to Bengaluru. Mr. Joy readily agreed to compose the songs. He taught me the first song at the music room at Dharmaram College and then invited me to go to Chennai for further learning and arrangements of the recording. While in Chennai, I stayed at his home; his loving mother cooked several meals for me and treated me as a member of the family. The Deccan Recording Studios at Indira Nagar weren’t ready, yet. So, Mr. Thangiah hired the H. M. V. studio at Gemini Circle in Chennai as well as the studio musicians. The records were pressed at the facility of the Gramophone Company of India in Kolkota. The song on side two, "Kalleriyan," about the woman caught in adultery, became an instant hit. This was also the time when churches in Kerala used to play gramophone records over the public address system in the morning and evening. It was indeed a pleasure to wake up in the morning listening to my own voice in several cities in Kerala. The commercial success of this record prompted Mr. Thangiah to offer me a Long Play record (331/3) in the very next year, a great honor for an upcoming artist. That is the subject matter for another story. Let me end this story by paying my tribute to Mr. George Thangiah and Mr. K. J. Joy as well as Fr. Mathias Mundadan and Fr. Thomas Kalayil for encouraging and trusting me to go through the entire process on my own. May God bless them.|