As noted in my last post on Beverly Kenney, the singer was a tragic figure. She recorded a clutch of albums for Roost in 1956 and '57 before upgrading to Decca in '58 and '59. Then for whatever reason—insufficient friends in the right places, not enough TV charisma or the general shifting of priorities and budgets at record labels in the wake of rock's rise—she wasn't able to gain traction. Kenney also likely suffered from depression, since at age 28 in 1960 she committed suicide. [Pictured above: Beverly Kenney dancing with Jack Duffy in Toronto, circa 1956]
A couple of weeks ago, JazzWax reader Ken Crooke of Toronto sent along a couple of snapshots of Kenney. Based on her hairstyle at the time, I'm guessing they were taken in 1956 (top and below). Here's Ken's email...
"Back in the '50s in Toronto, we formed a group of jazz fans known as The Town Club. One of the guys in our group was always the guy with a camera at parties. He then made copies for those who wanted them—including me.
"These two photos were taken at a basement party room in an average middle-class Toronto home. Beverly was likely in town to sing at Toronto's Town Tavern, where she was typically backed by the Norm Amadio Trio—Norm on piano, Bob Price on bass, and Archie Alleyne on drums. [Pictured: Beverly Kenney, seated, left, facing the camera]