Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

KENNEY, Beverly

(b 29 January 1932, Harrison, New Jersey; d 13 April 1960, New York City). Singer. She sang telephoned birthday greetings for Western Union, then moved to NYC, toured with the Dorsey Brothers, worked clubs with George Shearing, Don Elliott, Kay Winding, Lester Young. She made six albums to critical acclaim between 1956 and 1960, with talent guitarist Johnny Smith, arranger Ralph Burns, pianist Jimmy Jones, pianist Ellis Larkins, arranger Hal Mooney, saxophonist Jerome Richardson. She sang on an episode of the Playboy after Dark TV show (available on Youtube under 'Beverly Kenney sings for Hugh Hefner').

Gifted with a flexible sweet and sour voice, swing and precise enunciation, she was by her own account born too late: on her appearance on the Steve Allen Show in 1958 she sang the self-penned 'I hate Rock and Roll' ('…What is the answer to a teenage prayer? Frankly speaking, I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care …). Her third attempt at suicide was successful.

Like many of the more obscure jazz artists, dead or alive, she has in Japan the dedicated fans she never had in her home country.