you're reading...
Australian History

On this day (Australia): In 1934, singer and recording artist Kamahl was born in Malaysia


On 13 November 1934, singer and recording artist Kamahl was born in Malaysia.

Kandiah Kamalesvaran CM, AM, better known by his stage name Kamahl, is a Malaysian-born Australian singer and recording artist.

His highest charting Australian single, “Sounds of Goodbye” (1969), reached the top 20 on the Kent Music Report singles chart. Another single, “The Elephant Song” (1975), peaked at number one in both the Netherlands and Belgium.

Generally, his repertoire comprises pop and adult contemporary music.

Kamahl was born in Kuala Lumpur to Ceylonese Tamil and Malaysian Indian Hindu parents, the second eldest of six children, in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. His father was head of the local Tamil music school. 

Kamahl studied at the Victoria Institution. He arrived in Adelaide, South Australia, in April 1953, to receive a higher education at King’s College (later renamed Pembroke School).

Music career

At his early public performances, from 1958, he shortened his name to Kamal, but successive masters of ceremonies announced him as “camel”; so he changed its spelling to Kamahl. 

Rupert Murdoch was an early important sponsor and tipped Kamahl £10 at an Adelaide concert in December 1958 and encouraged him to move to Sydney. Without asking, Murdoch arranged for Kamahl to perform a six-week season at the Australia Hotel in Sydney. 

After that season, he boarded with the Murdochs for two years. Kamahl was a finalist in the Sydney Eisteddfod Sun Aria in 1966 singing Verdi’s “Ella giammai m’amò” and Mussorgsky’s “Farewell and Death of Boris”.

Kamahl co-wrote and sang the theme song for a feature film, Journey Out of Darkness, made through the services of Supreme Sound Studios in Paddington, Sydney, and filmed in Orange, New South Wales.[4] He also appeared in the film, acting as an Aboriginal Australian.

He has performed at the London Palladium and Carnegie Hall as well as pubs and clubs throughout Australia.

His first album, A Voice to Remember, was released in Australia in October 1967. He released singles and albums in the United States, Canada, Britain, New Zealand, South America, India, Singapore, Malaysia and Germany (in German), as well as in the Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavia.

From 1967 onwards in Australia, his records, tapes and CDs were primarily on the Philips label, but he also recorded on EMI, Mercury, Festival, Dino and Reader’s Digest.

In 1975, his single, “The Elephant Song”, (composed and produced by Hans van Hemert) reached number one on the Dutch Top 40, the Nationale Hitparade (currently Single Top 100) and the Belgian BRT Top 30. This song was part of the soundtrack of a World Wildlife Fund TV documentary.

He has been in the Australian music industry over for fifty years and during that time has made some memorable TV and film appearances, as well as concerts. He was one of the first people to appear in concert at the Sydney Opera House.

He was a particularly popular guest on the variety show Hey Hey It’s Saturday. In 2004, he appeared at the Big Day Out rock festival, and the year before he had cameos in the Australian films Harvie Krumpet and Fat Pizza.

In 2005, he has made appearances as a judge on The X-Factor and has a sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola.

On 19 September 2007, he appeared on The Chaser’s War on Everything on ABC TV where he sang for a “newly-wed couple” who turned up uninvited at his door.

In early 2008, Kamahl reunited with his old school, Pembroke (then Kings College), and went on tour in the United States with the Pembroke Symphony Orchestra.

In recent years, Kamahl has released albums through ABC Music. A compilation Christmas album entitled Peace On Earth, and a three-CD collection of favourites entitled Heart and Soul: For Lovers Of Life.

Television appearances

In 1988, Kamahl appeared in a television commercial for Dilmah tea. In 2007, he made commercials for the Australian cable channel Fox8, advertising its WWE programming.

In 2009, he citicised the Australian TV show Hey Hey It’s Saturday for its treatment of him during his appearances. His feelings were revealed to the Australian public shortly after Harry Connick, Jr. complained of a “black faces” skit for the show’s “Red Faces” segment. In April 2021, the former compere Daryl Somers wrote a lengthy apology to Kamahl and to those who found the show’s content offensive.

Kamahl appeared in an episode of the Australian TV quiz show Spicks and Specks, first broadcast on 8 September 2010.

In 2012, Kamahl made appearances in Prime’s show The Unbelievable Truth. In May 2013, an Australian drama, Offspring, broadcast an episode which had Kamahl in a minor role as a medical specialist.

Personal life

In 1967, Kamahl married an Indo-Fijian woman, Sahodra, of whom his family did not approve. “There was no way my parents would’ve given their blessing. They have two children, Rajan (born c. 1969) and Rani (born c. 1971). Rani had a singing career flourishing in the late 1990s.

Source: Wikipedia

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.


One thought on “On this day (Australia): In 1934, singer and recording artist Kamahl was born in Malaysia

  1. What an amazing story

    Posted by Shanti | April 3, 2022, 21:41

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 15,358 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

United States outmanoeuvres Russia once again? 

In a recent briefing, the US Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Avril Haines warned, “I would characterize it as the Russians aren’t winning, and the Ukrainians aren’t winning, and we’re at a bit of a stalemate here.” So, where is the Russia-Ukraine war heading? What is Russian President Putin planning next? Is Europe ready for […]

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

China is defying global order to expand power, US admiral warns

The Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are destabilizing international order in an effort to expand their global power, Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the Indo-Pacific Command, warned lawmakers during a House hearing on Tuesday. In his written testimony submitted to the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, Adm. Aquilino explained that the Department […]

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

China – Autocracy and decoupling technical tests

We have noticed that the embrace with China had become suffocating in the last twenty years. The West universe of consumers and China the factory of the world. We started with modest and low value-added materials and products, to refine the trajectory and revolution to the most refined and complex technologies, such as 5G and […]

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

Four ways China is growing its media influence in Southeast Asia

As President Biden welcomes leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to a special summit this week in Washington, D.C., his administration is affirming Beijing as the U.S.’s main rival and underscoring the region’s importance in U.S.-China competition. The two-day event is part of the U.S effort to woo ASEAN members caught in a […]

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

Confronting Russia will deter China, says Japanese defense minister

A strong international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine is critical to deterring China from embarking on territorial conquests in Taiwan or the South China Sea, said Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. “China has been carefully observing the current situation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and they are paying particularly close attention to what […]

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

How Russia-Ukraine copied Finland war without lessons

Finland is a unique country with a distinct language and culture. However, its possession was always contested between Sweden and Russia. Though Finland mainly remained under Swedish control in 1809, it was annexed by Russia. Using the end of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution in late 1917, Finland declared its independence from the […]

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans system to take out asteroids hurtling toward earth

China plans to develop a system for monitoring asteroids that pose a threat to earth, highlighting the nation’s growing ambitions for its space program. The country will also explore ways for taking out asteroids that endanger the planet, Wu Yanhua, deputy director of the China National Space Administration, said in a TV interview, according to […]

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Russia-Japan tensions flare anew over the Kurils

Formally, Russia is not at war with Ukraine, where it claims to be conducting a so-called “special military operation.” But with Japan, given that Moscow and Tokyo never signed a peace treaty officially ending World War II, the two Asian neighbors remain technically at war. And after Japan recently described four Kuril islands whose ownership […]

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with China

Solomon Islands has Washington in state of alarm after a security pact with  China

A tiny island chain in the South Pacific has Western governments scrambling after it agreed to a security pact with China that the United States and its allies fear could enhance Beijing’s military power in this strategically important region.  The deal between China and the Solomon Islands, a nation of 700,000 people that had deadly […]

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

China says its ‘future helicopters’ will be equipped with ground-breaking technologies

Militaries all around the world are looking at integrating modern technology into their military weapons. China, as usual, appears to be making serious efforts to prepare for the future battleground, this time, with plans to include artificial intelligence and high-speed features in its future choppers. During a recent public lecture, a prominent Chinese military helicopter […]

%d bloggers like this: