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|Origin||St. Louis, Missouri, United States|
|Past members||Royce Kendall|
The Kendalls were an American country music duo, consisting of Royce Kendall (born Royce Kykendall in Saint Louis, Missouri, September 25, 1935 – May 22, 1998) and his daughter Jeannie Kendall (born October 30, 1954). Between the 1960s and 1990s, they released sixteen albums on various labels, including five on Mercury Records. Between 1977 and 1985, 22 of their singles reached the top 40 on Billboards country singles charts, including three number one hits, "Heaven's Just a Sin Away" (also a No. 69 pop hit), "Sweet Desire", and "Thank God for the Radio"; eight additional singles reached the Top Ten.
Royce Kendall and his brother Floyce Kendall were raised in Missouri, with family roots in the Arkansas Ozarks. As young men, the brothers formed a duet and moved to California where they recorded and performed on regional West Coast country television shows as The Austin Brothers. When they broke up, Royce and his wife Melba moved back to Missouri.
Royce and Melba Kendall's daughter Jeannie proved to be musically talented from an early age, and as a teenager she became her father's duet partner. In 1969, when Jeannie was 15 years old, The Kendalls recorded an album for Stop Records, from which a single was released in 1970: a cover of John Denver's "Leaving on a Jet Plane" (previously a hit for Peter, Paul & Mary). The Kendalls' version narrowly missed the top fifty on the U.S. country charts.
The duo signed with Dot Records in 1972, and released an album and two singles, "Two Divided By Love", (a cover version of The Grass Roots' pop hit) and "Everything I Own", a cover of Bread's 1972 hit.
The Kendalls parted with Dot before signing with the independent Ovation label in 1977. Their first single for the label, a cover of the Kitty Wells hit "Making Believe," made the lower regions of the charts but was largely overlooked because Emmylou Harris' version of "Making Believe" hit the U.S. country charts around the same time.
It was the Kendalls' second single on Ovation, a "cheating" song called "Heaven's Just a Sin Away," that proved to be their breakthrough. The song topped the country charts, was a minor crossover pop hit, and won the 1978 Grammy for Best Country Vocal by a Duo or Group.
Subsequent hits included "Just Like Real People," "It Don't Feel Like Sinnin' to Me," "Sweet Desire," "You'd Make an Angel Want to Cheat," and a cover of Dolly Parton's "Put it Off Until Tomorrow." (Jeannie Kendall's powerful soprano has often been compared to Parton's.) In 1981, after Ovation Records closed their doors, the duo signed with Mercury Records, and continued to have hits with the "Teach Me To Cheat" and "If You're Waitin' On Me (You're Backin' Up)," which both made the country top ten. More hits followed with "Movin' Train" and "Precious Love," which made the Top 20.
Their last number one country hit, 1984's "Thank God for the Radio," was also their last single to reach the top ten. Their last Top 20 hits came in 1984 and 1985 with "My Baby's Gone" and "I'll Dance Every Dance With You." In 1986, they signed with MCA Records, where they scored three mid-level hits. In 1987, they signed with Step One Records, where they scored several minor hits. In 1989, they signed with Epic Records, where their last chart single, "Blue, Blue Day" made the Top 70.
Jeannie Kendall was married to Mack Watkins. In the early 1990s The Kendalls built a supper club in Gulf Shores, Alabama, which featured nightly performances by them; the club closed down two years later. Afterward, they began performing in Branson, Missouri, where the two families had built homes next door to each other. The Kendalls continued to tour and perform and released several CDs, until May 22, 1998, when Royce Kendall died from a stroke while on tour in Marquette, Iowa.
Jeannie Kendall's solo career
In the years since her father's death, Jeannie has pursued a solo career, recording two solo albums, including a self-titled acoustic/bluegrass CD on the Rounder label that featured two songs recorded with Royce and several guest artists. These guest artists included Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, and Johnny Long, who had been the Kendalls' backup singer on the road. The second was "All The Girls I Am," a much harder edged pop/country CD released in 2005 on Golden.
Jeannie continues to tour and perform.
|US Country||CAN Country||US||CAN|
|1971||Meet the Kendalls||—||—||—||—||Stop|
|1972||Two Divided by Love||—||—||—||—||Dot|
|1977||Let the Music Play / Heaven's Just a Sin Away||5||—||Gold||Platinum||Ovation|
|1978||Old Fashioned Love||16||6||—||—|
|1979||Just Like Real People||12||1||—||—|
|1980||Heart of the Matter||24||—||—||—|
|Lettin' You In On A Feelin'||42||—||—||—||Mercury|
|1984||Two Heart Harmony||27||—||—||—|
|1986||Thank God for the Radio||59||—||—||—|
|Fire at First Sight||47||—||—||—||MCA|
|1987||Break the Routine||51||—||—||—||Step One|
|1995||Make a Dance||—||—||—||—||Lonesome Dove|
|US Country||US||CAN Country|
|1970||"Leaving on a Jet Plane"||52||—||—||Meet the Kendalls|
|"Please Tell Me Why"||—||—||—|
|1971||"Love Love Love"||—||—||—||Non-album song|
|1972||"Two Divided by Love"||53||—||—||Two Divided by Love|
|"Everything I Own"||66||—||—|
|1973||"You and Me"||—||—||—||Non-album songs|
|"I Wanna Live Here in Your Love"||—||—||—|
|1975||"Love Do or Die"||—||—||—|
|1977||"Making Believe"||80||—||—||Let the Music Play / Heaven's Just a Sin Away|
|"Heaven's Just a Sin Away"A||1||69||1|
|1978||"It Don't Feel Like Sinnin' to Me"||2||—||2||Old Fashioned Love|
|"Old Fashioned Love"||flip||—||—|
|1979||"I Had a Lovely Time"||5||—||4||Just Like Real People|
|"Just Like Real People"||11||—||4|
|"I Don't Do Like That No More"||16||—||33|
|"Never My Love"||flip||—||—|
|1980||"You'd Make an Angel Wanna Cheat"||5||—||17||Heart of the Matter|
|"I'm Already Blue"||5||—||25|
|"Put It Off Until Tomorrow"||9||—||5|
|1981||"Heart of the Matter"||26||—||31|
|"Teach Me to Cheat"||7||—||42||Lettin' You In On A Feelin'|
|1982||"If You're Waiting on Me (You're Backing Up)"||10||—||—|
|"Cheater's Prayer"||30||—||—||Stickin' Together|
|"That's What I Get for Thinking"||35||—||—|
|1983||"Precious Love"||19||—||—||Movin' Train|
|1984||"Thank God for the Radio"||1||—||16|
|"My Baby's Gone"||15||—||35|
|1985||"I'd Dance Every Dance with You"||20||—||—||Two Heart Harmony|
|"Four Wheel Drive"||27||—||—|
|"If You Break My Heart"||26||—||30|
|"Two Heart Harmony"||45||—||—|
|1986||"Too Late"||42||—||31||Fire at First Sight|
|"Fire at First Sight"||60||—||—|
|1987||"Routine"||54||—||—||Break the Routine|
|"Dancin' with Myself Tonight"||51||—||—|
|"Still Pickin' Up After You"||62||—||—|
|1988||"Rhythm of Romance"||57||—||—|
|1989||"Blue Blue Day"||69||—||—||20 Favorites|
|1995||"Make a Dance"||—||—||—||Make a Dance|
- A"Heaven's Just a Sin Away" also peaked at No. 37 on the RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks chart and No. 59 on the RPM Top Singles chart in Canada.
|1985||"One Big Family"||Heart of Nashville||61||non-album song|
|1985||"If You Break My Heart"||Bayron Binkley|
|"One Big Family" (Heart of Nashville)||Steve Von Hagel|
|1994||"Make a Dance"||Michael Killen|
- Mansfield, Brian (13 March 2003). "Jeannie Kendall, rekindled". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
- "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. January 28, 1995.
- "New Videoclips" (PDF). Billboard. August 24, 1985.
- "CMT : Videos : The Kendalls : Make A Dance". Country Music Television. Retrieved September 29, 2011.