bev’s musical journey began at the age of five studying classical piano,
which she continued through high school. At age fourteen, she began
studying voice, which culminated into a four-year vocal scholarship at the
Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. While attending the Conservatory, bev
began her professional singing career with the Teddy Raymore Trio. The
trio performed not only jazz, but comedy, show tunes and popular music, an
invaluable learning experience, giving bev a solid background in show
After the birth of her first son, Greg, bev teamed with gifted pianist Pat
Moran. After the successful duo was featured on Steve Allen’s Tonight
Show, they made their way to Chicago where they added drummer Johnny
Whited and bassist, John Doling, to become the Pat Moran Trio featuring
bev kelly. This was not only a trio playing on their own and backing a
singer, the four musicians also sang four-part harmony.
With a large following of her own devoted fans, bev recorded her first
solo album for Audio Fidelity, “Beverly Kelly Sings,” featuring Pat
Moran on piano, the late Scott La Faro on bass and Johnny Whited on drums.
This album established bev as a ‘bright new star.’ She was nominated
in the Downbeat Jazz Poll in 1958 and 1960, and in the Playboy Jazz Poll
1960 through 1968. Her second solo album "Bev Kelly Love Locked
Out” was recorded on the Riverside label. During this time, bev was
popular in distinguished nightclubs, which included the Cloister Inn,
Mister Kelly’s, and the London House in Chicago; and the Village
Vanguard in New York.
At this point in bev’s career, most of her fans believed she had ‘dropped out of sight.’ In reality, bev made a monumental decision. She did not feel that having a career and traveling mixed well with being a mom to her son, Greg. So she opted for the latter with no regrets. In 1961, she and her husband, Chuck, moved to the Belmont Shore area of Long Beach, California. In 1963, they had another son, Shawn. During these years, bev began writing poetry and music, making pottery, raising German Shepherds, and working on her doctorate in psychology.
Following her creative instincts, bev studied photography. Her credits
include pictures for FDR’s Floating White House; bassist, Harry Babasin
for “International Musician;” the album cover and back liner for
“The Al Williams Quintet Plus One;” photos of various personalities
and musicians; and other PR photos and composites for various artists.
In this ‘down time’ as a performer, bev also worked as a Vocal Coach.
Among her students were Gail Farrell, Mary Lou Metzger, and Cissy King of
the Lawrence Welk Show, and rock star/actor Rick Springfield, among
Eventually, word got around that bev kelly was alive and well and living
in Long Beach, California. She began periodically working in various clubs
with musicians and groups that included Leroy Vinnegar, Frank Rosolino,
Jack Wilson, Mike Melvoin, Hampton Hawes, Al Williams, Teddy Edwards and
other jazz artists in the Los Angeles area. She also sang on several
commercials, which included Chrysler, Continental Airlines, Kentucky
Colonel Chicken, etc. She sang the theme song in the opening and closing
credits for the Robert
Benton film, “The Late Show;” and recorded a
series of albums in London, England that were produced by George Korngold
for Reader’s Digest, with arrangements by Alan Copeland and Dick Grove.
In 1976, bev started
working with drummer Al Williams and his