10 Classic Country Albums Turning 40 This Year

From Tanya Tucker's decidedly Outlaw 'T.N.T' to Waylon Jennings' romanticizing 'I've Always Been Crazy'

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The Kendalls, 'Old-Fashioned Love' (Ovation)
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The Kendalls, 'Old-Fashioned Love' (Ovation)

Cheapo greatest-hits sets aside, the Kendalls' catalog isn't downloadable or available for streaming. This isn't surprising – most of their albums never even made it to compact disc – but it's more than a shame. Father Royce Kendall and daughter Jeannie updated classic country themes and traditional sounds for a time when country radio was beginning to transition from beloved pop-country Outlaws to too-easily-maligned pop-country Urban Cowboys. Old-Fashioned Love is the Kendalls' finest album and among the best of its era. On "Pittsburgh Stealers" (not about the NFL franchise), Royce and Jeannie trade illicit lines as they play blue-collar cheaters. More typically, as on "It Don't Feel Like Sinning to Me" or the chart-topping "Sweet Desire," Jeannie sings lead, abetted by Royce's sympathetic close harmony, in a voice that splits the difference between guilt and joy, bluesy power and airy delicacy. Seriously, Jeannie Kendall is one of the best singers you've likely never heard.  

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