(c) all rights reserved · music · Women Music March

Women Music March #9 — Karen Carpenter

Paul Vincent Cannon at parallax reminded me of this beautiful singer and song.  Thank you, Paul.

Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 – February 4, 1983) was an American singer and drummer who, along with her older brother Richard, was part of the duo the Carpenters. She was praised for her 3-octave contralto vocal range. Her drumming abilities were viewed positively by other musicians and critics. Her struggles with eating disorders would later raise awareness of anorexia and body dysmorphia.

Carpenter was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and moved to Downey, California, in 1963 with her family. She began to study the drums in high school and joined the Long Beach State choir after graduating. After several years of touring and recording, the Carpenters were signed to A&M Records in 1969, achieving commercial and critical success throughout the 1970s. Initially, Carpenter was the band’s full-time drummer, but gradually took the role of frontwoman as drumming was reduced to a handful of live showcases or tracks on albums. While the Carpenters were on hiatus in the late 1970s, she recorded a solo album, which was released years after her death.

Carpenter suffered from anorexia nervosa, which was little-known at the time. She was briefly married in the early 1980s. She died at age 32 from heart failure caused by complications related to her illness. Her death led to increased visibility and awareness of eating disorders. Her work continues to attract praise, including being listed among Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest singers of all time.

Carpenter’s singing has attracted critical praise and influenced several significant musicians and singers, including Madonna, Sheryl Crow, Pat Metheny, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, Shania Twain, Natalie Imbruglia, and k.d. Lang. Paul McCartney has said she had “the best female voice in the world: melodic, tuneful and distinctive“. She has been called “one of the greatest voices of our lifetime” by Elton John. Her drumming has been praised by fellow musicians Hal Blaine, Cubby O’Brien and Buddy Rich and by Modern Drummer magazine. In 1975, she was voted the best rock drummer in a poll of Playboy readers, beating Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham.

Close to You is the second studio album by American duo The Carpenters, released on August 19, 1970. In 2003, the album was ranked number 175 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list. The album contains the hit singles “(They Long to Be) Close to You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun”. The former was the duo’s song that gained the Carpenters an international reputation for a decade. The album topped the Canadian Albums Chart and peaked at #2 on the US Billboard albums chart. It was also successful in the United Kingdom, entering the top 50 of the official chart for 76 weeks during the first half of the 1970s.

(They Long to Be) Close to You” was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and produced by Jack Daugherty. Released on May 15, 1970, the single topped both the US Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. It also reached the top of the Canadian and Australian charts, and peaked at number six on the charts of both the UK and Ireland. The record was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in August 1970.

 

 

Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

Why do stars fall down from the sky
Every time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

On the day that you were born the angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold and starlight in your eyes of blue

That is why all the girls in town
Follow you all around
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

On the day that you were born the angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold and starlight in your eyes of blue

That is why all the girls in town
Follow you all around
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

Just like me, they long to be
Close to you

Wa, close to you
Wa, close to you
Ha, close to you
La, close to you
Songwriters: Hal David / Burt F. Bacharach

16 thoughts on “Women Music March #9 — Karen Carpenter

      1. No I don’t think she was in Bonhams league…in rock only Keith and him were…to me in the same ballpark…not counting jazz.
        Bonham was upset by that poll lol. She was good though…and to be able to sing like that also…is something.

        Liked by 1 person

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