Jayan-Vijayan twins raised the bar in Malayalam devotional music

K G Jayan and his brother Vijayan with their guru Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar | File Photo

Poet S Ramesan Nair, who created several devotional song albums along with musician K G Jayan, said the musical twins Jayan and Vijayan deserve credit for making Malayalis hum to devotional songs. K G Jayan passed away on Tuesday and was cremated with state honours in Tripunithura on Wednesday.
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The most important album of the genre is ‘Mayilpeeli’, an album from Tharangini in which the songs were rendered by Yesudas. Numbers in the album such as ‘Chembaikku naadam nilachappol…’, ‘Radha than premathodano…’ and ‘Neeyenne gaykanakki…’ are still popular.

Vijayan passed away in 1988 while returning to Kerala from Tiruchirappally, where he had attended an Ayyappa festival along with Jayan. Jayan became depressed following his twin brother’s death. During that time, he visited Ramesan Nair at his rented house at Vellayambalam along with his son, actor Manoj K Jayan. He asked Ramesan if he could stay at his home as he was disturbed by his brother's death.

‘Mayilpeeli’ was composed when Jayan lived in Ramesan Nair’s house. However, the first album composed jointly by Jayan and Vijayan had comedy songs and it was titled, ‘Urumburumbo thannana.’ It was followed by ‘Ishtadaivame Swamy Saranamayyappa’, a devotional song with lyrics by M P Sivam and rendered by P Leela. This song became a hit and Jayavijayan came up with ‘Sri Sabareesa deenadayalo’ by Jayachandran.

Their next devotional songs were ‘Srikovil nada thurannu..’, ‘Ellam ellam Ayyappan…’ and ‘Shanmughasodara…’ sung by Jayan and Vijayan themselves.Other albums by the twins include Ayyappa Suprabhatham, Pallivettapattu and Harivarsanam.

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