Beverly Kenney: Died 52 Years Ago, Still Making New Fans

The late Beverly Kenney a jazz vocalist that is gaining new fans after her unexpected death 52 years ago.

Last week I visited David Gasten’s website This Is Vintage Now website and listened to Beverly Kenney a singer I had never heard sing previously.

As soon as I heard her sing the first few words of Tea For Two I knew she was special and that her voice reminded me of Joni James.

Beverly Kenney sings the American songbook classic, More I See You:

Beverly Kenney was born January 29, 1932 in Harrison, New Jersey and got her start working for Western Union singing Happy Birthday over the phone.

The Dorsey Brothers heard her sing and signed her and she sang with them for several months on the big band circuit. Big band leaders were very particular about the singers who sang with their orchestra so that tells me she was a very good singer.

She recorded her first album with Johnny Smith on Decca Records named Beverly Kenney Sings For Johnny Smith.

Rock and roll may have made a lot of singers rich but  Beverly Kenney was a victim of rock and roll since her music no longer got the airplay and recognition it deserved.

Along with many others who sang jazz vocals rock and roll ended any dreams of stardom for Kenney. It is safe to say that  Kenney may have been a star for years in the jazz vocals field before the advent of rock and roll.

Instead her life ended tragically on April 13, 1960 after overdosing on alcohol and Seconal. Fifty-two  years have passed since her death but the internet has made it possible for a whole new legion of fans to discover her music.

Beverly singing ‘Tis Autumn with Johnny Smith playing the guitar accompaniment to her vocal:

She has left a legacy of her music for her present fans and those who will discover her music in the future thanks to people like David Gasten who are keeping her memory alive with his This Is Vintage Now website.

Her music isn’t cheap since Ebay currently has some of her recordings priced from $4.25 to $488.69 as of today (December 31, 2012).


Bobby Vinton: Christmas Eve In My Hometown

Bobby Vinton singing Christmas Eve In My Hometown one of my favorite Christmas songs but it has not had the recognition it deserves in my opinion. Kate Smith recorded the song  back in the 50’s and sang it on Hollywood Palace with Bing Crosby introducing her many years ago.

Kate Smith who was most famous for singing God Bless America sings Christmas Eve In My Hometown.

This song along with I’ll Be Home For Christmas conjure up thoughts of Christmases past during the 50’s and 60’s.

William Shatner: Actor, Singer and Pitchman

William Shatner looked a lot different in this publcity shot early in his career and made his first television appearance in 1954 on Canadian television when he portrayed Ranger Bob in a Canadian version of Howdy Doody in 1954.

William Alan Shatner was born on March 22, 1931 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Shatner made his movie debut in 1951 in The Butler’s Night Off portraying a crook in a Canadian movie that grossed $35,000.

Shatner now has been in show business for 50 years and has seldom gone more than a year without being in a movie or television show.

He was in live stage productions when television presented live plays. He has one of the most extensive resumes ever since he has appeared in several different television shows as a guest star and he appeared in the Defenders from 1961 to 1965 acting in one episode in each season portraying a different character in each season.

William Shatner as he appeared portraying Capt. James T. Kirk on Star Trek which has been the most significant role in his career.

His big break came when got the role of Capt. James Kirk in Star Trek in which he appeared in 79 episodes during the 1966-1969 run.

Star Trek returned to television in 1973-1974 and Shatner starred in 22 of those episodes. He starred in Star Trek the Motion Picture in 1979. He appeared in five more Star Trek movies with his last Star Trek movie appearance being in 1991 in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Shatner was seen in either a Star Trek television series or movie intermittently from 1966 to 1991 spanning 25 years.

Heather Locklear and William Shatner as they looked during the five year run of T.J. Hooker.

Shatner’s next long running TV series was T.J. Hooker in which he co-starred with Heather Locklear from 1982 -1986. Shatner appeared in 90 episodes of the show.

Adrian Zmed and the singer James Darren also were in the cast.

The shows can be seen on the Universal HD channel presently since he has been on the channel since September of 2010.

Both Shatner and Locklear have been seen on television for many years and should be seen for many years to come with Shatner now 79 and Locklear who is 30 years younger than Shatner is now 49.

James Spader and William Shatner in a scene from Boston Legal television series.

William Shatner would have another long running series in Boston Legal which ran from 2004-2008. He has a series being shown today on CBS network but the name is one of the worst names ever for a television series so won’t even name it.

William Shatner has reportedly been paid well for his appearances in commercials seen on television.

The great singer William Shatner singing Rocketman one his biggest hits. One of his albums at is ranked 414,000th in sales. At least he will never have to worry about making an acceptance speech at the Grammy Awards show. He still may be a shade better of a singer than the immortal William Hung of American Idol fame.

Eric Clapton: Sunshine of Your Love

This Eric Clapton had just ended but after demands for an encore Eric and the band return to the stage to treat the crowd to a rousing rendition of Sunshine of Your Love with David Sanborn also joins in on the final song.

Joe Bonamassa, Eric Clapton: Further On Up The Road

Joe Bonamassa and Eric Clapton sing Further On Up The Road. While the vocals are great the musical interludes between the verses are even better as the two top notch guitarists show off their guitar skills.

84th Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

The 1924 Macy's Christmas Day Parade was later called the Thanksgiving Day Parade and this year's parade will the 84th annual parade despite the parade starting in 1924.

The 84th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade will be shown on NBC starting at 9AM EST and will conclude at 12PM EST and will be shown from 8AM CST till 11AM CST in the Central time zone.

The parade was suspended from 1942-1944 because the rubber and helium used for the balloons were needed for the war effort.

The 2010 parade will feature Jessica Simpson and Kanye West and many lesser known names. The official website gives history and the parade lineup tomorrow morning:
My dad was 10 years old when the first parade was held and will be 96 on Friday so he has been alive for the entire run of the parade.

Happy Thanksgiving to all readers of  Nostalgia and Now.

The parade is featured in Miracle On 34th Street and was the first major film in which Natalie Wood appeared. She was nine years old when the movie was released.

Diana Krall: So Nice

Diana Krall has been my favorite singer since she released her The Look of Love album in 2001 just one week after the 9/11 attacks. It was a soothing album at a time when Americans needed soothing music and not the usual rock and roll music of the time.

Krall sings So Nice at her Live in Rio concert in Rio de Janeiro in 2008. She is backed by some great musicians with Anthony Wilson on guitar, Jeff Hamilton on drums and John Clayton on bass. The orchestration is superb which has become a staple in her albums. In addition to her singing Diana Krall is also an excellent pianist.

She studied with pianist Jimmy Rowles who advised her to become a vocalist to enhance her piano artistry and now she has been recording since 1993 and won a Grammy for Best Female Vocalist for her album When I Look in Your Eyes in 2000.

Diana Krall singing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas from her appearance on the Tonight Show on December 9, 2005. Her rendition of this song is by far the best I have heard.

She married singer Elvis Costello on December 6, 2003 and three years to the day she gave birth to twin sons on December 6, 2006.

If you listen to the following short clips of the songs from her The Look of Love album you will hear some of the most soothing music ever recorded from both the vocals and the orchestration.