K.V.Mahadevan was born in tamil iyer family in Kanyakumari.A contemporary of Mr. M.S. Viswanathan,. His full name is "Krishnangoyal Venkatachalam Bhagavathar Mahadevan". After the movie "manchi manasulu" with the song, "mama.', he is fondly called mama by every one. He first got noticed in Telugu with the movie, "mundadugu", made by Kongara Jaggayya in 1958 (though his debut film was "dongalunnAru jagratta" in 1958). With ANR movies such as manchi manasulu and muga manasulu, he started stealing the Telugu people's hearts and he kept on doing it for three decades. He successfully withstood a tough competition from S. Rajeswara Rao & Pendyala in the 60's, Sathyam, Chakravarthi & Ramesh Naidu in the 70's and Chakravarthi & Ilaya Raja in the 80's and remained as the ONE AND ONLY ONE long-lasting music director in the Telugu Film Industry for three continuous decades. As far as I know, he was the only one music director who was credited with a birudu (Swara Bhahma) in the movie titles.
KVM has scored music for over 600 films, spanning four decades, after starting his career in the 50s with Avan Amaran. Health reasons hastened the end of his career in the mid- nineties. His last film is 'murugane thunai' in 1991. During this period he scored music for about 250 Tamil,Telugu films.
The special features of his compositions were: giving primary importance to lyrics and composing music that is perfectly suited to lyrics; always keeping a base in the Carnatic music systems; and giving independence to singers and other assistants to freely contribute ideas for improving his compositions.Some of the famous Tamil movies for which he composed include Adimai Penn, Thiruvilayadal, Vaanampadi, Thillaana Moganambal, Kandhan Karunai, Muthalali.
His most famous and recent composition in Telugu was in the movie directed by K.Viswanath, Swathi Kiranam (1991).
He produced many hit songs collaborating with legendary directors K. Viswanath including the multiple national award winning "Sankaraabharanam". He is clearly the director with the most number of musical chart busters in more than 60 years of Telugu music and most of his movies went on to create box-office records as he was a part of the best technical teams of highly successful directors as K. Viswanath, Adurti Subba Rao, V. Madhusoodana Rao, V.B. Rajendra Prasad, K.S. Prakash Rao, Bapu, Balachander, K. Bapaiah to name a few.
He is known as one of the very few to bring the purity of classical music into the masses. His songs gave primary importance to lyrics, an important attribute that made the songs stand out time. His lyricists included all-time greats such as Acharya Atreya, Arudra, CNR, Sirivennela, Veturi, Kosaraju, Dasaradhi, SriSri, Devulapalli and Mysore Vasudevachari. He regularly directed maestro singers Ghantasala, P. Suseela and Leela.
He was very reserved with the usage of singers thus giving numerous opportunities in grooming greats such as SP Bala Subramanyam, Yesudas, Janaki, Chitra & Vani Jayaram, some winning the national award for best playback singing multiple times with his songs.