When music director G. Devarajan passed away recently, all the articles were talking about his association with Vayalar and the beautiful songs they made Yesduas sing. A little known fact is that Devarajan was responsible for grooming up the music director Johnson.Johnson started his career by singing in the female voice in ganamelas. Then he learned how to play the harmonium and violin and formed a troop called the Voice of Trichur. Once he went to Chennai to buy an accordion for his troop.
Voice of Trichur’ used to give accompaniment music to P Jayachandran and Madhuri in their ganamelas in Kerala. This connection brought music director G Devarajan across their path.”I came to Chennai 1975 to buy an accordion for our troupe. Devarajan Master asked me to remain here. I couldn’t think of not returning to Kerala. But master wouldn’t relent,” says Johnson.
“I knew Master had a programme in Kerala after a few days. So, I stayed here with a dream that I would run away when we went to Kerala for that programme.”
But he could not escape. Devarajan Master met Johnson’s parents and convinced them of his talent and brought him back to Chennai to make the youngster his assistant director. Master taught him Carnatic music and appointed Dhanarajan to teach him western music, violin and piano.[Play on Johnson]
Thanks to Devarajan’s ability to identify talent we got beautiful songs in films like Chamayam, Ee Puzhayum Kadannu, Mazhavil Kaavadi, Njan Gandharvan, Oru Minna Minunginte Nurungu Vettam, and of course, Kaneerpovite from Kireedam.
Johnson started his film career by composing the background music for Aaravam, a film which we have not seen. Recently in the movie Padom Onnu Oru Vilapam we were very irritated by Johnson’s background score and hope that he composes more songs and stays away from background scores.