The Kendals – Heaven’s Just a Sin Away

The Kendals – Heaven’s Just a Sin Away

I’m not much of a country music person. I did not grow up with it, my father being more into the blues, the town itself largely dominated by the single classic rock / modern popular music radio station that I have found in every small town I have ever lived in. But, since I have decided to listen to, repair, and review this collection of eight track cartridges that have come into my possession, I think its time to become acquainted with the genre At the very least, country music as it was in the 1970s.

The Kendalls were father-daughter duo Royce Kendall and Jeannie Kendall. They were active between 1969 and 1998, had a few #1 country hits (the title track from this album also did well on pop charts), and won some Grammy awards. I have never heard of them, nor am I familiar with any songs on this cartridge, but it plays and plays well, so that makes it an excellent starting point

My copy of Heaven’s just a Sin Away was manufactured by RCA for the Canadian marker. It is copyright 1977, with the copyright belonging to the TWS Partnership. It has a catalogue number of OV8-1719, a bilingual price code of SA, and is mastered in Dolby “B”.

Front cover of The Kendalls' Heaven's Just a Sin Away eight track cartridge
The Kendalls’ Heaven’s Just a Sin Away

Program 1
Makin’ Believe
Let me get Lost
Sing Me (Beginning)

Program 2
Sing Me (Conclusion)
I’m a Pushover
Don’t Call me Your Only Sunshine

Program 3
Live and Let Live
Let the Music Play
You’re my Man (Beginning)

Program 4
You’re My Man (Concluded)
Heaven’s Just a Sin Away
Don’t Let Me Cross Over

Most albums, especially one’s from outside your usual music styles, have a song or two, maximum, that really stand out. There are plenty of albums I like where I have difficulty naming a single song, so the presence or absence of these songs aren’t going to make or break a release for me. This particular album has one of these songs. The title track, Heaven’s Just a Sin Away, is the only strong standout for me. I like the song Don’t Call me Your Only Sunshine, I think it is a fun song, but I can’t remember how it goes when it isn’t playing. Its what I look forward to on program two, and know it when it starts, but when its over it disappears into the ether. Its an album with the one song that really work for me, but the rest that are pleasant enough. I really enjoy Jeannie Kendalls’ voice, I’ve poked through my collection and I think this is my only cartridge by The Kendalls, which is disappointing because they would have been something to look forward to. Musically, its country music, and some day I will have listened to enough of these to be able to make proper judgments and comparisons, but today I must withhold comment other than to say that the instrumentation fits the style well.

This is the first time I’ve heard what breaking a song up (labeled beginning-conclusion on this cartridge) sounds like: A fade-out part way through the song, the ca-chunk of the mechanism moving, and fade in. With the physical layout of the tape, it makes sense why this had to be done, it is a feature, perhaps unwanted, of the format. When you combine the way most of the songs drifted into the background with how the fade-out sounds like a song changing, I was often confused as to where I was song-wise. Fortunately these two songs, Sing Me and You’re My Man, were not my favourites, so losses were minimal.

All in all, I like this cartridge, the music is pleasant and the quality is good. I am glad it was one of the first I tried, because it gives me something I can go back to when eight in a row break. If I ever make a compact cassette mix tape from my favourite 8-track songs, Heaven’s Just a Sin Away is going on that cassette, and if I find any of their cartridges or cassettes anywhere, I’m going to be sure to pick them up.

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