Monday, March 27, 2017

"Straight from the Heart (Into Your Life)" by The Coyote Sisters

Song#:  1989
Date:  07/28/1984
Debut:  90
Peak:  66
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Despite the name, this was not a group of sisters with the last name of Coyote. It was a trio of female singer/songwriters that consisted of Leah Kunkel, Marty Gwinn, and Renee Armand. Each of them had been involved in music for a number of years supporting and writing for other artists while also recording their own songs and albums. The three combined their talents and formed this trio, which got the attention of the Motown subsidiary label Morocco. They recorded a self-titled debut album that was introduced by this first single. AC responded positively and the song made it up to #16 on that chart. Its luck at Pop wasn't as good and it disappeared after a couple of months in the bottom third of the chart. A follow-up single, "I've Got a Radio," was able to reach #39 at AC, but it missed out on the Pop chart. Due to this single's AC success, the trio might have been afforded a follow-up LP, but by the end of '84 Morocco was shuttered by Motown and The Coyote Sisters were done. Years later in 2002, the trio was revived in a way. What started out as a solo album for Gwinn ended up involving Kunkel and Armand (as a song contributor only). Gwinn and Kunkel reformed as The Coyote Sisters and released a new album titled Women and Other Visions.

ReduxReview:  This is a nice AC-leaning tune that would reside comfortably next to ones by Carly Simon, Karla Bonoff, and Jennifer Warnes. It's a pretty slice of contemporary California singer/songwriter pie, but the flavor is just slightly stale. Their sound leans towards the late-70s and while that may still have had an outlet at AC, it wasn't gonna do them any favors at Pop in '84. These are talented women and their album is quite interesting. It actually has better tracks than this single. There was a lot of potential here, but I think they just arrived about six or seven years too late.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Out of the trio, Leah Kunkel probably had the most name recognition. As the younger sister of Cass Elliot (Mamas & the Papas), music was a big part of her life early on. She began backing many artists and writing her own songs. Later in 1968, she married famous session drummer Russ Kunkel. Her first attempt at a recording career came in 1974 when her sister's label, Dunhill, flipped the bill for a single called "Billy." For that record she was billed as Cotton Candy. It went nowhere, but a few years later she was signed to Columbia Records and got her first real crack at a solo career. She was able to issue two albums for the label, but neither did any business. After the disappointing returns, Kunkel then found herself as part of The Coyote Sisters, which would end up being her most successful venture. Kunkel continued to write and perform after the Sisters came to an end.


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