Pranavam's recent show, Five Star Hits, was an engaging experience for connoisseurs of Tamil film melodies.

A distinct air of confidence marked the recent light music show of C.A. Raja's Pranavam's ‘Mayakkum Maalai Pozhudhu' series, titled ‘Five Star Hits.' This time the highlight was the effervescent melodies of five actors of the past – Gemini Ganesan, Muthuraman, Jaishankar, Ravichandran and Balaji. The scintillating cascade that flowed at the Kamaraj Hall that evening made lovers of timeless Tamil music realise that it was these five actors who had mouthed many of them!

Taking cue from the comment by members in the audience about the audio quality, Raja requested those handling the mike system to balance the sound. “This is a melody show. Make it aurally soothing,” he said. His response went down well with the crowd.

C.A. Raja, the singer, conductor and emcee of the evening was his usual modest self, as he thanked VIPs such as P.B. Srinivos, for their presence. But the surprise came from singer Subramaniam, who generally looks serious and tense. This time he made a conscious effort to appear cheerful as he sang many of PBS's unforgettable songs – the duet, ‘Anubhavam Pudhumai …' (‘Kadhalikka Naeramillai'), along with another capable stage singer, Deepashika, for example. Kovai Murali is so adept at the art and at home on the stage that he rarely sought the help of lyric books.

Special talent

Close your eyes and listen to C.A. Raja sing A.M. Raja's numbers and you'll think it's the latter who has returned to sing for you. Everyone on the light music circuit is familiar with this talent of C.A. Raja. “When I first approached Lakshman Shruti and sang a Jesudas number for the troupe, it was Lakshman who suggested that I try out A.M. Raja's voice too. I'm glad he's here to bless me today,” acknowledged Raja, who never misses a chance to thank Lakshman for the idea, whenever he's on stage.

Not just the sound system, there were a few other noticeable hiccoughs too. Like when singers went off key at places, forgot their lines or swapped stanzas. But that C. A. Raja himself, whose singing is generally error-free, slipped once or twice, was intriguing. When he said, “I'm flying to Singapore tonight for a concert. So I think my anxiety is evident,” viewers seemed to understand.

As Raja pointed out, regulars at light music shows can vouch for the fact that most of the numbers presented that evening are rarely heard on stage. The scintillating ‘Kaettadhellaam Naan Tharuvaen …' from the Muthuraman-Jayalalitha starrer, ‘Thikku Theriyaadha Kaattil,' was one such.

An excellent choice of numbers from Pranavam!