Kalyanam Raghuramaiah was an actor as well as a singer in Telugu theatre
. He was born Venkatasubbaiah in Suddapalli, Guntur district in 1901 in the Indian state
of Andhra Pradesh
. Kalyanam Raghuramaiah debuted on stage at the age of 8 as Raghurama in Bhakta Ramadas i.e. "Ramadas the Devotee". This became an instant hit owing in chief to his singing.
Career of Kalyanam Raghuramaiah
As Kalyanam Raghuramaiah grew up, he became inspired by such legends as Bal Gandharva
and Yadavalli Suryanarayana. Kalyanam Raghuramaiah acted in mythological, historical, as well as social drama, and as mythological heroes in over 100 films. This great Telugu theatre personality created the role of Sri Lord Krishna
in Tirupati Venkata Kavulu`s Mahabharata
plays. Kalyanam Raghuramaiah recorded around forty discs. His phenomenal whistling, which extended to classical Carnatic music
, enthralled audiences into nicknaming him Ilapata or "Whistling" Raghuramaiah. When Rabindranath Tagore
heard him perform as Shakuntala
in 1928, he named Raghuramaiah "the Koel of the Andhra stage".
Kalyanam Raghuramaiah died in 1975 at the age of 74.
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