`Radio Annayya' comes alive for listeners
Dance dramas, songs bring back old memories N. Raghava Rao became a household name among children since the 1940s, through his programmes in the All India Radio .
CHENNAI: `Radio Annayya' came alive again for the Telugu listeners on Sunday.
The Telugu audience was flooded with nostalgic memories as songs and dance dramas of N. Raghava Rao, fondly known as `Radio Annayya,' (Radio Brother) were performed as part of his centenary celebrations. He was popular since the 1940s among the children through his programmes in the All India Radio and became a household name.
People of yesteryear had gathered at the Andhra Balananda Sangham School (Radio Brother) for the centenary celebrations and the 40th anniversary of the school organised by the Andhra Balananda Sangam Educational Trust at Burkit Road, T. Nagar.
Versatile personality `Radio Annayya,' who had acted in Telugu films such as `Malleswari' and `Swapnasundari,' composed songs and radio plays for children and created a number of characters such as `Radio Annayya', `Radio Akkayya' (Radio Sister) and `Radio Thatayya' (Radio Grandfather) to appeal to children whose only entertainment was radio then. His wife, N. Kameswari, was popular as `Radio Akkayya.'
He also published the first Telugu children magazine, Bala, in 1940. `Radio Annayya' later established the Andhra Balananda Sangham in Chennai and places in Andhra Pradesh such as Hyderabad and Guntur to provide a platform for children's talent and for developing their personality through extracurricular activities.
The Sangham also contributed to the Telugu film industry through child artistes.
He also produced various children movies such as `Balanandam', which was directed by K.S. Prakasha Rao. The special feature of the film was that the star cast comprised only children. Many such artistes of yesteryear had assembled at the celebrations to pay their tribute to `Radio Annayya.'
The Sangam in Chennai, which has about 100 members, runs a school and also conducts dance and drama classes for children.
M. Umamaheswara Rao, who enacted in radio plays and is fondly known as `Radio Thattaya,' was honoured on the occasion. He was then working in All India Radio in Chennai. Eminent personalities, including film artiste and writer, Gollapudi Maruti Rao, playback singers, S. Janaki and P.B. Srinivas, and actor Peketi Sivaram participated.
Courtesy: The Hindu