Chris Malcolm

Chris Malcolm (Photo courtesy Grant Gillanders Collection)

Chris Malcolm was born in Wellington towards the end of the second world war. His mother was a kiwi and his father a serving American soldier. After the war, the family moved to Florida, where Chris grew up. During this time he played in a few garage bands and began writing songs. When Chris was in his 20's he embarked on a musical tour of the U.S. before ending back in Wellington in 1967.

He had switched from guitar to autoharp and began singing in coffee lounges, where he was noticed by HMV producer, Nick Karavias. Nick was looking for new material for his latest group, the Avengers, and set up a meet with the group. Chris played some songs and they liked what they heard.

The Avengers recorded six songs that Chris had written, "Everybody's Gonna Wonder", "Only Once In My Life", "Water Pipe", "What Price Love", "Night Time" and "Summer Set Morning".

By the time the first Avengers album was released, Chris had moved on and had travelled to Sydney in May 1968.

In Sydney, Chris connected with the Atlantics. The Atlantics’ career had started in Australia in the early sixties, as an instrumental group. They had recently formed their own label, Ramrod and signed Chris as a performer and songwriter. With the Atlantics backing him, Chris recorded the single, ‘Hurt, Love And Fire’/'Trip On Life’ on the Ramrod label.

He also wrote the Atlantics’ single 'What Is Love' and a single for Johnny Rebb, 'Patterns On the Wall', all appearing on Ramrod. A second single for Chris on Ramrod was "Like A Happy Child"/"Your Mother Ain't You".

Chris next headed to the Gold Coast where he played in several local clubs before heading back to Miami after approximately five years away. Chris recorded one more single in 1971, "Yes, They All Came Around"/"Child", for A&M Records, arranged by the former rockabilly star Jack Scott, before embarking on a career in music management and then graphic design and printing.

 Chris Malcolm died on 6 December 2019.


Two Chris Malcolm songs can be found on the following compilation:-


New Zealand Music