Joyce Kennedy

About Joyce Kennedy

Joyce "Baby Jean" Kennedy was born in Anguilla, Mississippi, in 1948 and raised in Chicago. It's unclear how Andre Williams became her early mentor, but he produced nearly all her early sides on Ran Dee, Fontana, and BlueRock Records. She notched a local hit with 1963's "Darling I Still Love You," which was co-written by Williams. A second release on Ran Dee, "Can't Take a Chance," also failed to perform. Kennedy then appeared on Fontana Records with "Paddle My Own Canoe." With Williams still at the helm, she released "I'm a Good Girl." The boisterous single became her second local hit. A second BlueRock release, "My Hi Fi Albums and Me," is sought after by some collectors and is found on some Northern soul compilations.
Though the recordings ended, she still performed in the Chicago area. She met singer Glenn Murdock, an ex-Vondells member, and the soulful duo embarked on tours across the country. After marrying, the two formed the rock band Mother's Finest in 1975. They had a steady stream of album releases, all critically acclaimed, but only scrounged up a couple of small hits. After the band broke up in 1984, Kennedy signed with A&M. During 1984 and 1985, she enjoyed a string of hit singles, led by the Top 40 "The Last Time I Made Love" (a duet with Jeffrey Osborne), but also including "Stronger Than Before," "Lookin' for Trouble," and "Hold On (For Love's Sake)." ~ Andrew Hamilton