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|Born||Hoylake, Merseyside, North West England|
Kennerley was born in Hoylake, Merseyside, North West England in 1948. In 1976, he was living in London and working in advertising when he first heard country music, the song "Let's All Help the Cowboys Sing the Blues" by Waylon Jennings. "It really excited me," Kennerley recalls in his artist biography for Universal Music Group. "I immediately hunted down every Waylon record I could find."
Kennerley quit his job in advertising and allowed himself three months to develop his talents as a songwriter.
In 1972, Kennerley recorded an album with a rock band called 'Holy Roller' at Virgin record's newly opened Manor studio, with Tom Newman (Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells etc.) and Philip Newell, and Newman subsequently sang all the songs on the demonstration tapes of the White Mansions album.
Kennerley's first project was White Mansions, a 1978 concept album set in the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. The project was picked up by A&M Records, with Glyn Johns producing. A number of notable artists recorded the music, including Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter, Steve Cash of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils and Eric Clapton.
Neither White Mansions nor Jesse James were commercially successful, but they did establish Kennerley as a serious songwriter. Among his early compositions was "Born to Run", which Emmylou Harris recorded in 1981 for her album, Cimarron, and she continues to frequently perform the song in her concerts.
Kennerly continued to live in London while he wrote songs, but, in 1983, moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he started working with Harris on her semi-autobiographical concept album, The Ballad of Sally Rose, co-writing and producing the album. Kennerley also collaborated with Harris on her albums Thirteen and Bluebird, and writing the songs "In My Dreams" and "Heartbreak Hill".
Kennerley also wrote songs for The Judds ("Young Love", "One Man Woman", "Let Me Tell You About Love", "Cry Myself to Sleep", "Have Mercy" and "Give a Little Love"), Marty Stuart ("Hillbilly Rock", "Western Girls", "Tempted", "Till I Found You", "Little Things"), Tanya Tucker ("Walking Shoes"), Sweethearts of the Rodeo ("Chains of Gold"), Patty Loveless ("Blue Memories"), Juice Newton ("Tell Me True"), The Everly Brothers as well as Carla Olson & John York (First In Line).
Kennerly was married to Emmylou Harris from 1985 to 1993.
Kennerley was named Broadcast Music Incorporated Writer of the Year in 1989.
- 1978: White Mansions (A&M) all songs written by Kennerly and performed by other artists
- 1979: The Legend of Jesse James (A&M) all songs written by Kennerly and performed by other artists
- 1998: Misery With A Beat EP (Spinout)
- 1985: Emmylou Harris - The Ballad of Sally Rose (Warner Bros.)
- 1986: Emmylou Harris - Thirteen (Warner Bros.)
- 1980: Matchbox - Midnite Dynamos (MCA) - track 6, "Southern Boys"
- 1981: Emmylou Harris - Cimarron (Warner Bros.) - track 6, "Born To Run"
- 1982: Waylon Jennings - Black on Black (RCA Victor) - track 7, "Gonna Write a Letter"
- 1983: Dave Edmunds - Information (Columbia) - track 8, "Feel So Right"
- 1983: David Allan Coe - Hello In There (Columbia) - track 1 "Crazy Old Soldier" (co-written with Troy Seals)
- 1983: Emmylou Harris - White Shoes (Warner Bros.) - track 3, "In My Dreams"
- 1984: The Everly Brothers - EB 84 (Mercury) - track 5, "The First Time In Line"
- 1984: Waylon Jennings - Never Could Toe the Mark (RCA) - track 8, "Where Would I Be (Without You)"
- 1985: The Judds - Rockin' with the Rhythm (RCA) - track 1, "Have Mercy"; track 7, "Cry Myself To Sleep"
- 1986: Don Williams - Lovers And Best Friends (MCA) - track 12, "I'll Be Faithful To You"
- 1986: Emmylou Harris - Thirteen (Warner Bros.) - track 3, "Sweetheart of the Pines" (co-written with Emmylou Harris); track 8, "When I Was Yours" (co-written with Emmylou Harris); track 9, "I Had My Heart Set on You" (co-written with Rodney Crowell)
- 1986: Waylon Jennings - Will the Wolf Survive (MCA) - track 9, "I've Got Me a Woman"
- 1986: Class of '55 (Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash - Memphis Rock & Roll Homecoming (American) - track 5, "We Remember The King"
- 1987: Emmylou Harris - Angel Band (Warner Bros.) - track 6, "When He Calls"
- 1987: John Anderson - Blue Skies Again (MCA) - track 9, "Lying In Her Arms" (co-written with John Anderson)
- 1987: Nanci Griffith - Lone Star State of Mind (MCA) - track 10, "Let It Shine On Me"
- 1987: Rosie Flores - Rosie Flores (Reprise) - track 6, "The Blue Side Of Town" (co-written with Hank DeVito)
- 1988: Patty Loveless - Honky Tonk Angel (MCA) - track 1, "The Blue Side Of Town" (co-written with Hank DeVito)
- 1989: Jason & the Scorchers - Thunder And Fire (A&M) - track 11, "Away From You" (co-written with Jason Ringenberg)
- 1989: The Judds - River of Time (RCA / Curb) - track 1, "One Man Woman"; track 2, "Young Love" (co-written with Kent Robbins); track 4, "Let Me Tell You About Love" (co-written with Carl Perkins and Brent Maher)
- 1989: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Will the Circle Be Unbroken: Volume Two (Universal) - track 3, "When I Get My Rewards"; track 8, "Mary Danced With Soldiers"
- 1990: Chet Atkins and Mark Knopfler - Neck and Neck (Columbia) - track 1, "Poor Boy Blues"
- 1990: Emmylou Harris - Brand New Dance (Warner Bros.) - track 4, "Sweet Dreams of You" (co-written with John David); track 9, "Brand New Dance"
- 1990: Tanya Tucker - Tennessee Woman (Capitol) - track 9, "Walking Shoes"
- 1992: Trisha Yearwood - Hearts in Armor (MCA) - track 5, "Woman Walk The Line" (co-written with Emmylou Harris)
- 1992: Wynonna Judd - Wynonna (Curb / MCA) - track 10, "Live With Jesus"
- 1996: Travis Tritt - The Restless Kind (Warner Bros.) - track 4, "Draggin' My Heart Around" (co-written with Marty Stuart); track 7, "Double Trouble" (co-written with Marty Stuart and Travis Tritt)
- 1998: Linda Ronstadt - We Ran (Elektra) - track 8, "Heartbreak Kind" (co-written with Marty Stuart)
- 2000: The Waco Brothers - Electric Waco Chair (Bloodshot) - track 8, "When I Get My Rewards"
- 2003: Emmylou Harris - Stumble into Grace (Nonesuch) - track 7, "Jupiter Rising"
- 2005: Rick Danko - Cryin' Heart Blues (Other Peoples Music) - track 3, "When I Get Just My Rewards"
- 2008: Levon Helm - Dirt Farmer (Vanguard) - track 8, "Got Me A Woman"; track 9, "A Train Robbery"
- 2014: Harry Dean Stanton - Partly Fiction (Omnivore) - track 5, "When I Get My Rewards"
- 2014: Johnny Cash - Out Among The Stars (Columbia / Legacy) - track 10, "Rock And Roll Shoes" (co-written with Graham Lyle)
- Coroneos, Trigger (20 December 2015). "Vintage Album Review – "White Mansions" (Various Artists)". Saving Country Music. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- Cornelius, Jim (20 March 2013). "The Legend of Jesse James". Frontier Partisan. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- Jana Pendragon. "Misery with a Beat: Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- Hurst, Jack (10 March 1985). "More Than A Hint Emmylou Harris Comes Out In `Ballad Of Sally Rose". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- Jerome, Jim (14 January 1991). "Emmylou Harris". People. Retrieved 1 May 2017.