The NFAI kicked off the series with the singer’s soulful rendition of timeless classic Manushyan Mathangale Srishtichu from 1972 film Achanum Bappayum (1972), which won Yesudas his first National Award. The song had also won Vayalar Ramavarma the National Award for Best Lyricist. The NFAI has curated an interesting selection with the next one being an excerpt from the song Suruma Nalla Suruma from the 1966 film Kayamkulam Kochunni, in which the singer makes an appearance – without his trademark beard. And would any Yesudas list be complete without the semi-classical “Harimuraleeravam from Aaraam Thampuran? The song was composed by Raveendran and penned by Gireesh Puthenchery for the 1997 action drama, featuring Mohanlal and Manju Warrier.
The next couple of the songs celebrating the ‘gana gandharvan’ as he is fondly called, are his Bollywood tracks, including peppy romantic number Jaaneman Jaaneman Tere Do Nayan from 1976 film Chhoti Si Baat composed by Salil Chowdhury, Ka Karoon Sajni Aaye Na Baalam from 1977 film Swami, and Gori Tera Gaau Beda Pyara from Chitchor. Apparently, composer Ravindra Jain, with whom he worked on the Hindi tracks, said that if he regains vision, the first person he wants to see was Yesudas. The selection also includes his Telugu track from Akasha Desana from Megha Sandesam.
The singer is currently residing in the US.
Check out the Kayamkulam Kochunni song here: