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Calum Kennedy


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Calum Kennedy (born as Malcolm Martin Kennedy on 2 June 1928, Isle of Lewis – died 15 April 2006, Aberdeen) was a Scottish singer.

Kennedy won a gold medal at the Mod (Scotland), singing in Scottish Gaelic. His first major success outside Scotland was his winning the World Ballad Championship in Moscow in 1957.

He had his own television programme, ‘Calum’s Ceilidh’ and was voted “Grampian TV Personality of the Year”. He was married to another Mod gold medallist, Anne Gillies, who died in 1974.

Certainly his finest recording was Islands of Scotland recorded for the Decca Ace of Clubs label in the early 1960s. This contains a version of “Land o’ Heart’s Desire” among other fine songs in English. His most famous recordings were made for the Pye record lable in the 1960’s. Calum’s most famous songs include Lovely Stornoway, Mo Mhathair, Dark Lochnagar and the Stewart Ross lyrical version of the Dark Island.

The BBC produced a programme in the early 1980s called Calum Kennedy’s Commando Course, which documented (in hilarious fashion, although this was originally unintentional) a disastrous tour around the Scottish Highlands in an old bus. As more and more of his cast left the tour, a red marker pen was shown erasing them from a promotional poster. Kennedy was not happy about this programme being shown, as he felt it ridiculed him, but it has since gone down as a piece of classic television.

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