The Anniversary of a Tragedy
26 years ago today a woman named Agnes Carpenter heard a noise in the room where her daughter, Karen Carpenter, had been sorting through old clothes and was now getting ready for a busy day. Karen was lying on the floor and never regained consciousness.
I did not realize the magnitude of this tragedy until several years later when I began to realize just how incredibly talented this lady was. As a human woman she had her flaws, but most of the people who knew her liked her and until anorexia nervosa had taken its toll she was full of energy and life. She could sing just about any style of music and her recordings included mellow music, 40s style swing music, old time rock and roll, country western, traditional Christmas Carols and general pop. To my knowledge she never recorded heavy metal but those who knew her said that she could sing to it as well and amongst friends sometimes did.
Not only was she unequaled as a vocalist, but she was considered an extraordinarily gifted drummer as well, and from what I understand she enjoyed playing the drums more than she enjoyed singing.
No she was not a beauty queen, but before anorexia devastated her appearance, only a fool would have said that she was not attractive, and she possessed a rare gift that no bikini model that I know of could have ever begun to even dream of. She could sing circles around almost any other singer and I could only name maybe half a dozen female vocalists who could even hold a candle to her, OK maybe 7 or 8 with the most recent one being Celine Dion with the closest being Whitney Houston or Patty Page. Such a voice comes along maybe once a decade. While her voice will not be raised on earth again until the resurrection, may she amongst us, but recordings of her voice will be heard as long as there are humans and recording devices.
Update Donald Douglas also has a tribute to Karen Carpenter and gives me a H/T which I am returning.