Leah Kunkel

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Leah Kunkel
Birth name Leah Cohen
Born (1948-06-15) June 15, 1948 (age 69)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter
Years active 1968–present
Associated acts
Website www.coyotesisters.com

Leah Kunkel (born June 15, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter and entertainment law attorney.


Leah Kunkel was born Leah Cohen on June 15, 1948 in Baltimore, Maryland. She is the younger sister of Cass Elliot from the folk rock vocal group The Mamas & the Papas.[1] In 1968 she married American drummer and music producer Russ Kunkel.[1] Following her sister's death in 1974, Kunkel was given custody of Cass Elliot's daughter, Owen. The couple also raised their son, Nathaniel,[2] an Emmy Award winning sound engineer.

After being signed to Dunhill records, Kunkel recorded her first record Billy under the name Cotton Candy.[1] She performed with a few bands and continued growing as a singer and songwriter. In 1972, she wrote the counter-melody (sung by David Crosby) for "From Silver Lake" on Jackson Browne's eponymous debut album.[1][3] Following additional session work with Stephen Bishop, Carly Simon, and Arlo Guthrie in the early 1970s, Kunkel appeared on JT (1977) by James Taylor. That same year, she appeared on Watermark by Art Garfunkel, who relied on her vocal harmonies for his subsequent albums Fate for Breakfast (1979), Scissors Cut (1981), and Lefty (1988).[3] Garfunkel became a mentor to her, and helped to get her a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1979.[1]

In 1979, Kunkel released her first album for Columbia Records,[3] which featured several of her own compositions.[1][4] The self-titled album produced one single, "Step Right Up".[3] The following year she released her second solo album for Columbia, I Run With Trouble.[3]

In 1980, Kunkel teamed up with Marty Gwinn Townsend to form the Coyote Sisters.[5] They released their first album The Coyote Sisters in 1984 on Lorimar Records.[3] A follow-up album, Women and Other Visions, was released in 2001. The Coyote Sisters continue to perform, [5] with Kunkel, who also continues to appear as a solo performer.[6]

Following her initial period with the Coyote Sisters, Kunkel qualified as an attorney and has been in private practice for over twenty years. She is a member of the Bars of California and Massachusetts, with a practice concentration in entertainment law.[7]


Solo albums[edit]

  • Leah Kunkel (1979) Columbia Records
  • I Run With Trouble (1980) Columbia Records

With the Coyote Sisters[edit]

  • The Coyote Sisters by the Coyote Sisters (1984)
  • Women And Other Visions by the Coyote Sisters (2001)

Vocal appearances[edit]

Kunkel has appeared as a guest vocalist on the following albums:[3]

  • Jackson Browne by Jackson Browne (1972) on "From Silver Lake"
  • Careless by Stephen Bishop (1976) on "Rock and Roll Slave"
  • Another Passenger by Carly Simon (1976) on "In Times When My Head"
  • Amigo by Arlo Guthrie (1976)
  • JT by James Taylor (1977) on "Handy Man"
  • Watermark by Art Garfunkel (1977)
  • Bish by Stephen Bishop (1978)
  • Craig Fuller / Eric Kaz by Craig Fuller and Eric Kaz (1978) on "'Til You Come Back" and two other songs
  • Fate for Breakfast by Art Garfunkel (1979)
  • An American Dream by The Dirt Band (1979) on "Dance the Night Away" and one other song
  • Scissors Cut by Art Garfunkel (1981)
  • Power of Love by Arlo Guthrie (1981) on "If I Could Only Touch Your Life" and one more song
  • Angel Heart by Jimmy Webb (1982)
  • Walk On by Karen Brooks (1982) on "Any One Who Had A Heart" and one more song
  • Creationland by Jonathan Stevens (1987) on "Of Time and the River"
  • Life is Good by Livingston Taylor (1988) on "Loving Arms"
  • Lefty by Art Garfunkel (1988)
  • The Way In by Jeff Richman (1992) on "Sledgehammer" and one more song
  • Suspending Disbelief by Jimmy Webb (1993)
  • Soul & Inspiration by Barry Mann (2000) on "Here You Come Again"
  • Across the Landscape by Steve Yanek (2005) on "Dance With You" and 8 more songs
  • Dave Mason & Cass Elliot by Dave Mason and Cass Elliot (2008)
  • Sleeping with Girls by Stephen Bishop (2010)
  • Wisdom by the Susan Angeletti Band (2011)


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Leah Kunkel". AllMusic. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  2. ^ Weller, Sheila (2008). Girls Like Us. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 471. ISBN 978-0743491471. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Leah Kunkel". Discogs. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  4. ^ 1979 Leah Kunkel – sessiondays.com
  5. ^ a b "About Us". The Coyote Sisters. Retrieved February 8, 2014. 
  6. ^ @amyfairchild1 (2016-01-08) "Save the date western MA! @MatthewSzlMusic @ParlorRoomMusic Fri Apr 15th 8 pm! #leahkunkel" - twitter.com
  7. ^ Leah Kunkel - Advice and Advocacy for The Artist; noholegal. Retrieved 2017-04-08.

External links[edit]