Paul Kennerley

b. 1948, Hoylake, Wirral, England. Kennerley moved to London and worked in advertising, ran a small pub-rock booking agency and managed the Winkies. He was drawn to country music after hearing Waylon…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography

b. 1948, Hoylake, Wirral, England. Kennerley moved to London and worked in advertising, ran a small pub-rock booking agency and managed the Winkies. He was drawn to country music after hearing Waylon Jennings sing ‘Let’s All Help The Cowboys (Sing The Blues)’ on the radio. His knowledge of American history was apparent on White Mansions, a concept album about the Civil War, atmospherically produced by Glyn Johns and featuring Waylon and his wife, Jessi Colter. This was followed by The Legend Of Jesse James, which included Levon Helm and Johnny Cash as Jesse and Frank James, respectively, as well as Emmylou Harris and Albert Lee. The album was coincidentally released at the same time as The Long Riders, a film about the James brothers. One song, ‘The Death Of Me’, was later recorded by Emmylou Harris with the lyric altered to ‘Born To Run’. In 1981 the eight-piece Paul Kennerley Band had success at the Wembley Festival. He moved to America, wrote a concept album with Harris, The Ballad Of Sally Rose, and subsequently married her. Kennerley wrote several songs for her and played on her albums. He also wrote for the Judds including ‘Have Mercy’, ‘Cry Myself To Sleep’, both country number 1s, and ‘Give A Little Love’. On her first solo album, Wynonna sang ‘Live With Jesus’ simply by recording her voice over Paul Kennerley’s demo. He has also written ‘Everybody Knows’ (Prairie Oyster) and ‘World Without You’ (Kelly Willis). Kennerley’s marriage to Harris ended, but both he and Albert Lee have been the most successful Brits in country music, and both have found success through Emmylou Harris.