Following details are found in Maestro’s interview to Kalyan (Kannada film lyricist).
“GKV has scored music for Sampathige Savaal. Ilaiyaraaja was his assistant. PB Srinivas was supposed to have sung for Dr Rajkumar in that movie. But GKV’s assistant didn’t prefer the song ‘yare koogadale, oore horadali’ to be sung by PB Srinivas. He had told his guru GKV about this. Then they both discussed and decided that it should be sung by Dr Rajkumar only. That laid the base for Dr Rajkumar to become one of the best playback singers in Kannada field. Are you surprised that the credit for this should go to Ilaiyaraaja? But then, that is history.
Once a song was to be sung by PB Srinivas. That film was Sampathige Savaal. I told GKV ‘anna, this song would be very soft if sung by PB Srinivas. It would be nice to have this in a bold and bright voice.’
He asked who can sing it then. ‘Shall we ask Muthuraj to sing?’ I asked. Muthuraj means Dr Rajkumar sir. I asked GKV if he could sing. ‘hey, he has worked in the drama company, he can sing excellently even without a mike. He is the best choice, let us have this sung by him.’ I was very happy. He asked ‘but why PB Srinivas should not sing this?’ I said PB Srinivas is singing all the songs in the movie. I feel this song will come out nice if sung by PB Srinivas.
He said ‘if Muthuraj said ok, I don’t have any objection.’ Next scene, Dr Rajkumar has come to the recording theatre. As per situation, I had to teach him the song. GKV used to forget the tune often. I used to remind him ‘anna, this is not like this, like that’ etc. He said ‘then you yourself shall tech this song to Dr Rajkumar.’ He was a senior artist. I was a small boy. He just looked at me, I couldn’t go a step near him. He was a great soul and had a charisma. With mutual rapport between us, the recording went on well. ‘yare koogadale, oore horadali, ninna nimmadhige bhanga illa’ – this song was picturised on Dr Rajkumar, sitting on a buffalo and singing. You all know how well it clicked. It started the practice of his singing in his films. There is another evergreen song in my heart ‘thamma manuvu indhu nandhayithu’.”
Today, I am presenting three songs from Nee Nanna Gellalaare.
This is a pathos-mixed romance song. Dr. Rajkumar has a very unique voice, well utilized by Maestro.
A beautiful duet with a nice female chorus. The prelude humming reminds me of Engengo sellum song from Pattakathi Bhairavan.
Music Magazine has analysed this song very well here.
Rajkumar has been the leading hero in Kannada cinema for five decades, but he emerged as a singer only mid-way in his career, when he sang the energetic and wildly popular Yaare koogadali in the 1974 film Sampatthige Sawal. Legends presents this song in Volume 1.
Ilaiyaraja made the music for one Rajkumar film, Nee Nanna Gellalaare, and Legends features two songs from it -- Anuraga enaaythu and Jeeva hoovayithu. Both are notable for their unorthodox tunes and interludes. In the second song, Ilaiyaraja gets Rajkumar to sing on parallel tracks and achieves a warm, fugue-like effect, with the voices beginning at unexpected points and overlapping one another like waves.
Nanna Neenu Gellalare:
The situation here is a song competition between hero and heroine. Maestro has used Shrutibhedam concept, with various ragas.
This excerpt is from an article by Chaya Rao in www.raaja.com, which will help you to understand the song very well.
“A song in Kannada called Nanna neenu Gellalare (Movie - Nee Nanna Gellalare), he has used this range for the Shruthibhedham. It fits very well to the mood of the song. The subject in the song is that the hero and the heroine are competing with each other, arguing who amongst them has higher music knowledge. The song starts in Hindola and stays that way. In the second interlude the singers (S. Janaki & Dr. Rajkumar) start the swara alapanas.
S. Janaki Starts this sanchara - Sa Ga2 Ma1 Ga2 (Pure Hindola),
Dr.Rajkumar Replies - Pa Ni2 Sa1. Ni2 (Pure Shuddha Dhanyasi),
It goes on like this -
S. Janaki : Sa Ga2 Ma1 Dha1
Dr. Rajkumar: Pa Ni2 Sa Ga2 S
Janaki : Sa Ga2 Ga2 Ma1 Ma1 Dha1 Dha1 Sa Ni2 Ni2 Ni2
Dr.Rajkumar: Pa Ni2 Ni2 Sa Sa Ga2 Ga2 Pa Ma1 Ma1 Ma1
S. Janaki : Ga2 Ma1 Dha1 Ni2 Ni2 Sa Ni2 Dha1
Dr.Rajkumar : Ni2 Sa Ga2 Ma1 Ma1 .Pa Ma1 Ga2
and it goes on and on.
After which Dr. Rajkumar sings the Mohana swaras (Sa Ri2 Ga3 Pa Dha2 Sa) - Hindola equivalent (Dha1 Ni2 Sa Ga2 Ma1 Dha1), Madhyamavathi Swaras (Sa Ri2 Ma1 Pa Ni2 Sa) - Hindola equivalent (Ni2 Sa Ga2 Ma1 Dha Ni2), then Hindola swaras, followed by Suddha Saveri (Sa1 Ri2 Ma1 pa Dha2 Sa) - Hindola equivalent (Ga2 Ma1 Dha1 Ni2 Sa Ga2) and finishes with Suddha Dhanyasi Swaras. Brilliant composition! who else but Raaja can do something this good!. "