V. Dakshinamoorthy is a veteran carnatic musician and music director of Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi films, predominantly in Malayalam films. He has set scores for the songs in over 125 films. He is now retired from film music direction but is still active in classical music.
Dakshinamoorthy was born on 22 December 1919 as Venkateswaran Dakshinamoorthy, to D. Venkateswara Iyer and Parvathi Ammal in Alappuzha, Kerala, India. His interest in music was nurtured by his mother who taught him keerthanas of Thyagaraja Swamikal when he was still a child. After finishing S.S.L.C., he learned carnatic music form Venkatachalam Potty in Trivandrum. He learned more about carnatic music and became an expert of it. He debuted in the film industry with Nalla Thanka, produced by Kunchacko and Koshy under the banner of K & K Productions. The hero of the film was Augustin Joseph, father of renowned singer K. J. Yesudas. The film also had songs sung by Augustin. Dakshinamoorthy went on to set scores for K. J. Yesudas and his son Vijay Yesudas (for the film Poomukhappadiyil Ninneym Kathu, directed by Bhadran) as well, thus achieving a rare treat. He set the scores for many songs written by Sreekumaran Thampi, forming a famous musician-songwriter duo like the Vayalar Ramavarma - G. Devarajan and P. Bhaskaran - Baburaj duos. He had R. K. Shekhar, father of the music director A. R. Rahman as his assistant for a few films, who later became a musician in his own right. He went on to direct music for over 125 films including Navalokam, Seetha, Viyarppinte Vila, Sri Guruvayoorappan, Kadamattathachan and Indulekha. His evergreen compositions include Swapnangal... Swapnangale ningal...(Kavyamela), Pattu padiyurakkan njan...(Seetha), Uthara swayamvaram...(Danger Biscuit), Kattile pazhmulam...(Vilaykku Vangiya Veena) and Vathil pazhuthilooden...(Idanazhiyil Oru Kalocha). He was guru of many singers and Music Directors including P. Leela, P.Susheela, Kalyani Menon and Ilaiyaraaja. In 1971 he won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Music Director.