Malayalam music maestro Johnson died!

Master music composer of Malayalam cinema Johnson has died of a heart attack at Chennai, family sources said Friday. He was 58.

He died late Thursday and is survived by his wife and two children.

The body is expected to reach Kochi later in the day and will be laid to rest in his home town near here Saturday evening.

A winner of two National Film Awards and five state awards for his music, Johnson’s several songs have now become part of the collection of every music lover.

It would be his beautiful melodies that would now remain etched in the memory of anyone who has heard his music.

Some of the films this ace musician worked on include ‘Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal’, ‘Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam’, ‘Vadakkunokkiyanthram’, ‘Perumthachan’, ‘Amaram’, ‘Njan Gandharvan’, ‘Ponthan Mada’ and ‘Bhoothakkannadi’.

Starting his music career in his childhood when he became part of the music troupe of his home parish (church), Johnson scaled heights because of his immense talent.

Since 1968, when he formed the music club in his home town here and named it as the ‘Voice of Thrissur’, Johnson never looked back.

Johnson started tasting success when he first met with one of south India’s most popular music composer G. Devarajan in 1974.

And in 1978, Johnson announced his arrival by independently composing his first film score in ace director Bharatan’s ‘Aravam’. Since then, he became the delight of music lovers.

Johnson later got associated with master director Padmarajan. In the film ‘Koodevide’ the song ‘Aadiva Kaatae’ went on to be recognised as one of the best ever musical compositions in the history of Malayalam film industry.

The association with Padmarajan continued for 17 of Johnson’s films, including his last one, ‘Njan Gandharvan’.

In his long career he worked in more than 300 Malayalam films.

In the late ’90s he took a break but returned to the industry after a few years.

Leading lights of the film industry, besides Chief Minister of Kerala Oommen Chandy, Leader of Opposition in the assembly V.S. Achuthanandan and numerous politicians have condoled the death of the master craftsman.(IANS)

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