Saluri Rajeshwara Rao (11th October 1922 -October 25, 1999), popularly known as S Rajeshwara Rao was a popular music director of Telugu cinema from the 1940s till 1980s. He was a pioneer of light music in South Indian films. It was the time when Telugu film song was evolving from stage poetry to modern lyric, Rajeshwara Rao through his own set of songs set a new trend of light music in Telugu.
Rajeshwara Rao’s tryst with the movie field came as unexpectedly in the form of talent-scouting Hutchins Recording Company to his native place. He was a child prodigy who accompanied his father Sanyasi Raju and started giving stage performances at the age of just Seven.
Hutchins Recording company was impressed by his voice and recorded the “Bhagavadgita” in Rajeshwara Rao’s voice and the news spread all across, his mellifluous voice attracted the filmmakers and offered him a role as an actor in “Sri Krishna Leelalu” (1935) and he became the household name across the State. After appearing in few movies like “Mayabazar” 91936), and “Keechaka Vadha”, he felt music is his first love and has given up acting ever since.
He became a full-fledged music director with “Jayaprada” (1939) and became one of the most influential music directors in the South. Rajeshwara Rao was the first music director who introduced the Western mix with the Indian music for “Chandralekha”.
Some of the most memorable films of S Rajeshwara Rao are “Allauddin Adbhutha Deepam”, “Dr. Chakravarthy”, “Chitti Chellelu”, “Balanagamma”, “Missamma”, “Pavitra Bandham” and “Thandra Paparayudu”.
His son Koti is a renowned music director in Telugu.