Dead Musicians Directory
AGE 63......... MAY
Royce Kendall, 63, dies, one half of the Kendalls
Royce Kendall, one half of the father
and daughter team of
the Kendalls, died Friday. Mr. Kendall was 63 years old. Mr.
Kendall had suffered a stroke on Wednesday just prior to a
show in LaCrosse, Wis.
The Kendalls had a rare father-daughter duo. The duo, Royce
and Jeannie, scored 11 top 10 hits. Those hits included
Pittsburgh Stealers, It Don't Feel Like Sinnin' To Me and
probably their biggest hit Heavens Just A Sin Away.
Mr. Kendall had just completed their sound check and were
greeting fans when he clutched his chest and fell to the floor.
Paramedics arrived and he was flowen to a Wisconsin
The funeral plans had not been announced as of this time, and
the funeral will take place in his hometown of Harrison, Ark.
© 1998 BMSNEWS /theEnews
Music Central '96
(b. 25 September 1934, St. Louis,
Missouri, d. 22 May 1998)
Royce learned guitar from the age
of five and formed a duo, the Austin Brothers,
with his brother, Floyce. After
serving in the US Army, Royce and his wife Melba
started a hairdressing business
in St. Louis. Their only child, Jeannie, began
harmonizing with her father on old-time
country songs, and they were soon
entertaining family and friends.
Their first record, for a small local label, was
Round Round Round, and their talents
were recognized in Nashville by Pete
Drake, although they simply recorded
country versions of pop hits such as
Leavin' On A Jet Plane, Proud Mary
and You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'.
Jeannie Kendall was among the backing
singers on Ringo Starr's Nashville
album, BEAUCOUPS OF BLUES. The family
moved to Hendersonville,
just outside Nashville, and the
Kendalls had success with Dot Records,
notably Two Divided By Love and
Everything I Own. In the mid-70s,
Ovation Records started a country
division and the Kendalls, who had
a contemporary sound with traditional
overtones, were to test the market.
When a single of Live And Let Live
was released, Ovation found that
country disc jockeys preferred the
b-side, Heaven's Just A Sin Away.
It topped the US country charts
and became the Country Single of the
Year. The father and daughter followed
the record with other ‘cheating’
songs, notably It Don't Feel Like
Sinnin' To Me and Pittsburg Stealers.
They had a further US country number
l with the double-sided, Sweet
Desire/Old Fashioned Love, plus
further Top 10 hits with I'm Already
Blue and Dolly Parton's Put It Off
Until Tomorrow. In 1981, they moved
to Mercury and continued their success
with Teach Me How To Cheat
and If You're Waiting On Me (You're
Backing Up). They had their third
chart-topper in 1984 with Thank
God For The Radio. Jeannie, who takes
most of the lead vocals, married
band member, Mack Watkins.
Dead Musicians Directory