Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
Jeannie Kendall (The Kendalls)
A father-daughter duo from St. Louis, Missouri, The Kendalls had an impressive twenty-year chart run, which featured many big hits and two indisputably country classics. Singing lead on those hits was Jeannie Kendall, daughter and musical partner of Royce Kendall.
Royce had been involved in the music business for twenty years before he teamed up with his daughter. His first act was also a family one. With his brother Floyce, he was one-half of the Austin Brothers, and they were regulars on the TV show Town Hall Party back in the 1950′s. But it wasn’t until Royce paired up with his daughter that the family finally made a splash on the national scene.
After a few ill-advised folk covers, including “Leaving on a Jet Plane”, failed to make an impact, the duo broke through in a big way with the Jerry Gillespie song, “Heaven’s Just a Sin Away.” It was something of a shocking record back in the 1970′s. Even though “Help Me Make it Through the Night” had been a #1 single a few years earlier, a woman singing about giving in to sexual temptation was still a rarity on country radio. Couple it with the fact that her harmony partner while singing the lines “I think I’m giving in” was dear old Dad, and you can understand why some feathers were ruffled.