Raghavan master was born in Thalassery on 1914 December 2 as the son of Krishnan Narayani. The attraction to music accounts for his early departure from formal education. He started as the disciple of Thalassery Thiruvangaadu P.S. Narayana Iyer. He was a good football player and even got the invitation to become a professional with a good remuneration. But he refused the offer without even a second thought because of his affection to music. In 1940, he took the profession as Tamburu artist in Madras Akashavani and was transferred to Delhi after 2 years. He came back to Kozhikkodu when radio station was established in 1950 and continued there until retirement.
The turning point in his life was the aquaintance with P.Bhaskaran who wrote the lyrics for the film "Neelakkuyil". Raghavan master had to compose the songs following the compelling from Bhaskaran master. Also the producer Pareekkutty made him to sing the song "kaayalarikathu valayerinjappol". Thus he was the star as composer and singer in his first film. In fact he had worked for two other movies before -- kathiru kaanaakkili and pullimaan. However since these two films were never released, "Neelakkuyil" became his first venture. He got the first state award for composing the songs of the movie "Nirmalyam" in 1973. It was repeated after four years through the film "Poojaykkedukkaatha pookkal". Another award was won in 1986 through the drama "Panchali". Other awards include kerala sangeetha nataka academy fellowship, awards in memory of Kamukara purushothaman, Baburaj etc. In 1997, the state honoured him with J.C. Daniel award that is the biggest award in the film field. The last film he worked was "Shashinas"
Some of his Favourite songs are 1. Manjubhaashini (kodungallooramma) 2. Manjanippoonilavu (nagarame nandi) 3. Shyama sundara pushpamae (yudha kaandham ) 4. Maanathe mazhamukil (kannappanunni) 5. Appozhum paranjille (kadamba) 6. Parvanenduvin (thurakkaatha vaathil) 7. Neelamala poonkuyile (ponnum poovum) 8. Sri mahadevan thante (Nirmaalyam) 9. Engane nee marakkum kuyile (neelakkuyil) 10. Kaayalarikathu (neelakkuyil)
Raghavan master's era initiated a new trend in Malayalam film songs. He is the pioneer in using malayalams own music. He utilized folk songs, pulluvan songs, mappila songs instead of copying the tunes from other languages.