S. Rajeswara Rao was an Indian music composer whose span spread in the South Indian film industry for about five decades. He was also a vocalist and harmonium player. He was born on 10th October 1922 in Sivaramapuram village near Salur in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh. His father was Sanyasi Raju and he was a famous mridangam player.
His elder brother Saluri Hanumantha Rao was also a music director who worked in the Kannada and Telugu film industry. S. Rajeswara Rao married Rajeswari Devi and had five sons and four daughters. His first four sons, Saluri Ramalingeswara Rao, Saluri Poornachandra Rao, Saluri Vasu Rao and Saluri Koteswara Rao are also associated with music industry. His youngest son Saluri Koti Durga Prasad is out of film industry.
S. Rajeswara Rao entry into cinema field was unexpected. He was a child prodigy and could identify Carnatic music ragams when he was only four. He started to give stage performances when he was seven.
Huchins Recording Company spotted his talents and took him to Bangalore where he recorded Bhagawat Gita.
The film producers P. V. Das and Gudavalli Ramabramham were impressed by his talents and brought him to Madras. He was made to act as Lord Krishna in their film Sri Krishna Leelalu in 1934. He became very popular in Andhra Pradesh after the release of the film in 1935. Then he acted in the role of Abhimanyu in the film Maya Bazaar in 1936.
He became a disciple of Kundan Lal Saigal and studied Hindustani music and sitar and surbahar. He formed his own music troupe in 1938 and worked as assistant to Jayaramayyar in the Tamil film Vishnuleela. He played the role of Balarama in that film. He used light music in Telugu films like Thummeda Oka Saan, Kopamela Radha, Podarintilona, Rave Rave Koyila, Challa Gaalilo and Paata Paduma Krishna.
He joined Gemini Studios and remained there for about ten years. Then he got an opportunity to work with B. N. Reddy in Malleswari in 1950. Then more than a hundred musical hits followed in Tamil and Telugu and also a few in Kannada. He died on 25th October 1999.