When it comes to female vocalist there are many who get mentioned a lot and deservingly so, no doubt. Whitney Houston, Mariah Carrey, Celine Dion, and Aretha Franklin are the ones I most hear about. My personal favorite when it comes to female vocalists does not get mentioned a lot and in my opinion, she sang so beautifully and with such feeling. Like Elvis, she could turn a song written by someone else into her own because I think she felt most of the lyrics. The Carpenters were a duo of brothers known for their musical and vocal arrangements, and they made easy listening to music. I don’t know why they are not mentioned enough, they were successful and Richard Carpenter is a great musical composer and arranger. I wanted to bring Karen into the spotlight where she belongs among those other great female vocalists.
She began as a drummer, she along with her brother had a band around the 1960s (Wikipedia,2020). In an audition and not really planned Karen tried singing and from there on she was more than just a drummer. The band mostly performed songs by other artists, Richard wrote music with a lyricist like John Bettis. The magic of her voice for me comes through because I believe she either chose songs she could relate to or simply had the ability to express through her voice the emotions written in the words.
I heard them through a vinyl record my dad had at home and I just found an old record player and wanted to try it out so I took all the records my dad had and one of them was Horizon by the Carpenters. I fell in love with the songs and her voice. She sang the Eagles song Desperado and it spoke to me, the album also had Only Yesterday and other great songs. From that, I started to buy compilation records from Love Songs to the Singles Collection. I also have a few of their vinyl records.
Sadly, she struggled with an eating disorder that took her away way too soon. I think what happened to her created awareness about anorexia nervosa. Years of not eating caused her to die from heart failure at 32.
Her legacy remains in her music, I think she is one of the best singers ever and she could really sing love songs.
The world misses your voice, Rest in Peace Karen.