Joshua grew up in and around Los Angeles, California, the younger of two sons.
His mother was of Mexican-American Indian descent. At age 12 he
started playing the piano and subsequently started to write songs.
After his mother died, when he was 15, he received his driver's
license and left home (with the blessing of his father) to become
a travelling troubadour. He later admitted that anger and confusion
over his mother's death drove much of his songwriting during this
time. He later wrote "Mama's Arms" about his pain over losing his mother as a teenager; it was featured on his
first album, Painted Desert Serenade. He did the rounds of piano
bars across the United States for the next decade. Eventually in
the early 1990s he caught the attention of EMI and they signed
According to an early press release by EMI, "His maverick ways paid off in 1993 when EMI released his self-penned debut Painted Desert Serenade, a collection of introspective story songs including the break-through single "Jessie" and "When a Woman Cries," already covered by legends Joe Cocker and Smokey Robinson. "I was so used to being outside of whatever was going on that I didn't even think I'd get a record deal, much less have my songs played on the radio." This, from the young man who received the BMI Award for one of the most played songs of 1994. His international hit "Beautiful in My Eyes" is often played at weddings and peaked at #19 in the U.S. Billboard charts. Painted Desert Serenade went platinum in the US and Germany, and went multi-platinum in Australia and New Zealand". According to The "Guinness book of British Hit Singles" both "Jessie" and "Beautiful In My Eyes" reached the UK Top 40 with Jessie spending 15 weeks in the UK Top 75 with the two releases of the song combined and the album reached number 45. "Jessie" is still often heard on UK radio.
His second album, Delilah Blue, was less commercially successful. (The single Take It On Faith failed to reach a high chart position.) His collection of songs were closer to sonic novels than the ballads featured in his first album; he used John Steinbeck's book "The Pearl" as inspiration for a song of the same name. The single Take it on Faith failed to reach the Billboard Top 10, and shortly after, EMI voided its contract with Kadison. The title track "Delilah Blue" was released as a single in Australia.
In 1998, he published his book 17 Ways To Eat A Mango: A Discovered Journal of Life on an Island of Miracles and the 5-track-album Saturday Night In Storyville on his own label Storyville Records, selling it predominantly from his website. It was well received in Germany, where he continues to have a huge following. In 1999 he released another album via his website called Troubador In A Timequake, which was the first CD to include "My Father's Son." He is quoted to have said that it was a song written about his father, Ellis Kadison, who had recently died.
Shortly after, he signed a new deal with EMI Germany and his album Vanishing America was released. The album, released in May 2001, dealt with his disillusionment with the lost values of America. The album was a collection of songs that told stories about people not realizing their own beauty and full potential. Ironically, the album was never distributed in the United States. The album also included two selections previously used on his late 90's albums, "My Father's Son" and "Cherry Bowl Drive-In" and a solo version of "Dragonfly Queen," re-titled "Begging For Grace."
In 2005, Kadison relaunched his career on his self-run website "Radio Humanity." He later bought back his previous website address and re-launched it. The Venice Beach Sessions was released as a download-only album in two parts, including a selection titled "Over The Sad Songs;" this was thought to be inspired by his recently dissolved relationship.
In 2006, EMI released Essential a collection which included tracks from all three full-length studio albums and three additional selections that had formerly been B-sides.
In 2007 Joshua continued to update his website with regular letters and toured Germany in the Spring.
In 2008 Joshua released the download-only album Return Of The Dragonfly and toured Germany again. During the tour he announced that he would no longer be performing his older songs and would dedicate his time to studying the bansuri, a simple seven-hole bamboo flute.
Wherever possible at his concerts, he allows audience
members to sit on the stage; this is evidenced by various videos
on YouTube. He also has a "requests" and "q and a" sessions at the end.
In 2004, Kadison came out as being bisexual on
his personal website, at which time he also stated he had recently
left a long-term relationship.
1993: Painted Desert Serenade
17 Ways To Eat A Mango: A Discovered Journal
of Life on an Island of Miracles, Hyperion, New York 1999. ISBN
Kemet & Maat
: before Judaism, Christianity and Islam