Origin:
Harrison, NJ, USA
Decades:
1932-1960

Beverly Kenney (January 29, 1932, Harrison, New Jersey - April 13, 1960, New York City) was an American jazz singer.

Kenney worked early in life for Western Union as a telephone birthday singer. After moving to New York City, she recorded a demo in 1954 with Tony Tamburello; these were not issued until 2006 under the title Snuggled on Your Shoulder. By the end of the year she had moved to Miami, where she landed a recurring engagement at the Black Magic Room. Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey heard her and took her on tour in the orchestra they co-led; she worked with them for several months before breaking off to move back to New York.

Upon her return, she worked in clubs with George Shearing, Don Elliott, and Kai Winding; After a short tour of the Midwest with Larry Sonn, she signed to Roost Records and released her first album in 1956. Her second release, Come Swing with Me, saw her working with Ralph Burns, and Jimmy Jones led an ensemble behind her for her third and final release for Roost in 1957. Moving to Decca Records, she released three further LPs between 1958 and 1960.

Kenney was a critically acclaimed musician, but she saw little widespread acceptance, due at least in part to the burgeoning rock & roll movement. She had an intense personal dislike for this music, even going so far as to compose a song called "I Hate Rock and Roll", which she performed on the Steve Allen Show on May 18, 1958. She had a failed relationship with Milton Klonsky late in the 1950s, and became moody and emotionally distant according to family and friends, though the exact reasons why are not clear. On April 13, 1960, Kenney committed suicide through a combination of alcohol and Seconal. She was 28.

Kenney has been more or less forgotten in the United States, but remains a cult figure in Japan, where her albums have been reissued to CD.