Bev Conklin writes and performs the Blues from her own life's lessons. She has collaborated with Wayne Smith (former keyboardist for Jay & The Techniques), her band director, for most of her more than 30-years performing career.
Bev lived abroad and across the U.S. during her father's service in the Army. Her grandfathers, Dr. Joseph A. Hardin and Dr. Beverly V. (BV) Baranco, from New Orleans and Baton Rouge, respectively, were noteworthy leaders politically and socially during the early to mid-20th century. She comes from a legacy of family musicians to include Leontyne Price, Lil (Hardin) Armstrong and Wilbert Baranco. She learned during her Grandfather BV's funeral that he went to school with and was a long-time friend of Kenny Neal's father, Rapheal. During that time, Kenny was dating her Aunt's best friend Pat until she passed from a return of breast cancer. Bev met Kenny and Pat through Kevin McCann (Little Red Rooster) at a Blues concert he put together in Doylestown PA when BC & The Blues Crew started performing beyond the Lehigh Valley. So, while she was unaware of her family ties to Opera, Jazz and Blues, Bev has found her niche in music through circumstance and extraordinary connections to the Blues.
Her role was to be a highly educated, contributing member of society. She received three degrees from Penn State, including her masters in Public Administration before considering law school. Beyond that, she had no idea what she wanted to be. Through life and perseverance to achieve at something, she found the Blues (... or did the Blues find her).
Bev Conklin, fondly known as BC, has been called the Lehigh Valley's Queen of the Blues with her award-winning band BC & The Blues Crew.
She has received Lehigh Valley Music Awards year over year for Female Vocalist, Blues Vocalist, All-around Performer, Director's Award, Community Award and more. The Blues Guild of the Lehigh Valley presented Bev with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020.
She performed with Lonnie Brooks at Mayfair (who’s bass player Biscuit dubbed her "the girl with the golden voice"), Ray Charles at Franklin & Marshall's alumni concert, billed with Koko Taylor and Tonya Brown at Mayfair's Union Terrace Stage, Ronnie Earl at the PA Blues Festival, Carl Weathersby at Kingston Mines, Shemekia Copeland at Sellersville, Saffire at Godfrey Daniels and more.
In 1997, BC & The Blues Crew won the local International Blues Competition (IBC) for the Billtown Blues Association in Williamsport PA. The band then went to Memphis TN during the Blues Foundation's IBC and became one of the seven Finalist from their repertoire off their award-winning UNFINISHED BUSINESS CD.
Bev volunteered and traveled across county and state lines to learn about the Blues at festivals and events. She worked on the boards of numerous organizations in the Lehigh Valley and held most all the positions, including as President of the Lehigh Valley Blues Network. She eventually began writing for several Blues publications. Eventually she found her passion in supporting women in the Blues.
Buddy Fox (Manny's Carwash) and Darryl Bridges (Terra Blues) was about to manage the group when Bev was hit in a head-on car accident that brought the band's momentum to a sudden halt.
Bev maintained her corporate job until retiring in 2022. She and Wayne changed the name of the band to THE BC COMBO in 2008. She established the Women's Blues Alliance and started the Lehigh River Blues Jam festival that ran for 15 years up until the pandemic.
Bev Conklin was sought after to perform at concerts, the Sands casino (an 8-year collaboration) and on recordings with some of the region's wealth of talented artists while performing with her own band and working her corporate job.
Bev was the highest award-winning, Female-led Blues band in the Lehigh Valley with BC & The Blues Crew up until the car accident that eventually led to a hiatus from their touring days. Bev Conklin remains one of the top performing, female-led Blues bands in the region as well as being an advocate and ambassador for the Blues. Her main focus is to perform to a broader exposure beyond the Lehigh Valley.
Bev is focusing on her songwriting and working with The BC Combo and BC Blue. With the recent news of MoMojo Records signing Bev Conklin, the re-distribution of previous recordings are under way. Three new recording projects are also in progress.
RECORDINGS TO DATE: - Baby It's You I Adore - Final Chapter on You - Hey Hey - I Found the Blues - I Just Want - Only You - Searched So Long - Smoker's Blues (Too Many Gone) - Unfinished Business - You Better Stop - You Must Think I'm Blind
*Photo: PA Blues Festival 2014 Courtesy of Joseph A. Rosen