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Tony Gauci


Tony Gauci, born on October 27, 1945, in Żurrieq, Malta, left an indelible mark on the local folk music scene. Affectionately known as "Il-Kampanjol," he captivated audiences with his soulful melodies. Gauci's journey began at the tender age of 14 when he joined the Valletta Premier Orchestra, igniting a passion for music that would define his life.
During his career, Gauci was a member of several local bands, with notable mentions including Helians and Scorpio.

In the mid-1970s, Gauci skyrocketed to fame with his rendition of the iconic song "Qalb ta' Kampanjol," penned by Alfred C. Sant. This hit not only earned him widespread acclaim but also bestowed upon him his beloved nickname, "Il-Kampanjol." His musical prowess extended beyond this single, as evidenced by other popular tracks like "Qatt Ma Kont Daqshekk Ferħan," "Żgur, Żgur, Żgur," and "Il-Kalendarju."

Beyond his musical endeavors, Gauci's entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish a gastronomic haven known as "Il-Kampanjol" restaurant in Qajjenza, Birżebbuġa.

Gauci's generosity knew no bounds; he selflessly donated all proceeds from his debut album, "Qalb ta’ Kampanjol," to Id-Dar tal-Providenza, demonstrating his commitment to charitable causes.

Throughout his illustrious career, Gauci's talents transcended borders as he embarked on international tours, enchanting audiences in Australia, Canada, and the USA. His final musical offering, the album "Malta Gawhra tal-Ħolqien," served as a heartfelt tribute to Maltese emigrants worldwide, showcasing his enduring love for his homeland and its diaspora.

In 1982, a pivotal moment in his career emerged with the release of a collection of his greatest hits aptly titled 'Successi'. This compilation, backed by the Scorpio band, showcased the breadth and depth of his musical prowess. Pressed by Columbia/EMI Records in Homebush, the album bore witness to a collaboration that resonated with audiences worldwide. Recorded at Studio 7 Smash Studio, each track exuded a distinct energy and artistry. The production, orchestrated for the Topaz Apartment Hotel Malta, underscored a dedication to excellence. With backing vocals by Catherine Vigar and Joan Vassallo, the album stands as a testament to his enduring legacy and musical ingenuity.

In his personal life, Gauci found solace and joy in his marriage to Bernardette, with whom he shared the blessings of parenthood, raising two sons, Keith and Nicholas.

On March 10, 2010, the world bid farewell to a musical luminary. Gauci's legacy lives on through the melodies that continue to echo in the hearts of his fans and the flavours that linger on the palates of those who had the privilege of experiencing his artistry.

His funeral, a poignant celebration of his life and legacy, took place on March 12, 2010, at St. Catherine's Church in Zurrieq, where family, friends, and admirers gathered to pay their final respects to the man fondly remembered as "Il-Kampanjol."



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