After a long break of 10 years, ( there were no movies produced between 1941-1948 in Malayalam, from what we know now) it was production back to normal, averaging 6 movies every year, for the next decade. The films in this decade had a few firsts (it was bound to be), with Malayalam’s first box-office hit Jeevithanouka(1951), which established a set formula and format for a ‘winning story’ at the box-office and gave us our first megastar –Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair! Janova (1953), was the first and last film which saw MGR in a Malayalam film!
It would be kind of missing the point to say that the amazing repertoire of Salilda‘s contribution to Malayalam Cinema, more or less revolves around Chemmeen‘s soundtrack, every single one of them. It was close to around 25 films, the last being Vellam (1984), produced by actor Devan ( his first and last stint in production). What is not commonly known to most who deeply love Salilda’s music style was his dexterity in adapting his tunes across Indian languages which would have given anyone else the ants-in-pants syndrome. Not that all were successful. I always wince everytime I listen to Kadali, Chenkadali from Nellu, rendered by Lata Mangeshkar for Salilda in Malayalam. Surely, S. Janaki or P.Susheela were available, weren’t they?