Has anyone tried to trace VJ's career in Tamil Film Music? Wouldn't it be interesting to try to list her songs year by year? If it has already been done, please forgive me. For some, it will be a nostalgic trip down memory lane, for others it will be a voyage of discovery - at any cost it is sure to be interesting.
Let us first analyze the Tamil film music scene in the early 70s. TMS and PS were no longer the monarchs of all they surveyed. Their monopoly was over with the 60s. SPB and KJY had made their mark and were definitely better suited for the younger actors. SJ too made her mark, fetchingly, with her "Unnidathil ennai koduthen" - Avalukkendru Oru Manam(1972) - a grand comeback, of sorts, for her. MSV started attempting a few films without PS - Ganga Gowri (1973), for instance. Variety had made a forceful re-entry in Tamil film playback singing, and this time was to stay for good.
Though MSV was still going strong, V.Kumar too was giving great songs (he was given the title "Mellisai Maamani"). Shankar-Ganesh too were making their presence felt. Vijayabaskar, of course, returned to Tamil films with "Kalyanamaam Kalyanam"-1974 (his earlier stint was mostly dubbed films, perhaps with just one original tamizh film-Anbe deivam-1957). G.K.Venkatesh showed the stuff he was made of in Sabadham-1971 and Ponnukku Thanga Manasu-1973. Kunnakkudi Vaidyanathan too was composing for many films.
It was at this opportune juncture that Vani Jairam entered the scene. I don't know much about her career in Hindi films, save Guddi. But this much I can say for sure - to use a oft-repeated cliche - what was Hindi's loss, was definitely Tamizh's gain. And Vani was the best thing to have happened to Tamil film music in ages.
Her first song in tamizh is said to be for "Thaayum Seiyum" - a film which does not seem to have seen the light of the day.
Lets now go year by year:
Or Idam Unnidam - Veetukku Vandha Marumagal
This, by all accounts, is Vani's first song which was released. It starts like this:
VJ: Or idam unnidam
A breezy duet. The movie starred AVM Rajan, Latha, Muthuraman etc. This song was picturized on AVMR and Latha. The film had another duet by AM Raja and Jikki - the opening lines seem to elude me just now.
Malar pol sirippathu pathinaaru - Sollathaan ninaikiren
K.Balachandar's celluloid adaptation of Maniyan's novel (Ilavu kaatha kili?). Starred Sivakumar, Kamal, Srividya, Jayachitra, Subha, Jayasudha and others.
One of the very few films to have songs by 4 great singers - PS, SJ, LRE and VJ. (the other films I can think of- Ninaithaale inikkum-MSV and Thirukalyanam-IR). Of course, the MSV-SJ duet was the pick of the lot. The other songs being "Pallavi endru mannanai"-PS,SJ and "Kalyanam katcheri"-SPB-LRE.
VJ's song is for Jayasudha and her friends.
VJ: malar pol sirippathu pathinaaru
Hark at VJ's play with the word "Sweet" as she repeats "Sweet sixteen". It is really sweet!