Karen Carpenter had a magical voice with so much feeling.
She displayed great control over her vocals and perfect pitch
throughout her career. It came to her naturally and when
you hear her sing, you can feel the sadness in her voice.
While still in high school, Karen was encouraged to keep
interest in singing by Richard. He would bring her to voice
lessons with Frank Pooler on Saturdays. Richard saw the talent
in Karen. Bruce Gifford, the Downey High School band instructor,
saw changes in Karen's talent with her brother molding her.
He said "She was never a solo singer here in school,
but Richard saw the talent that was in her and brought it
out of her. After Richard encouraged her, she sang with our
group periodically. She was not really impressive at first,
but Richard saw her potential and she'd do everything he
said. And that's what Richard needed....someone to do what
he wanted them to do."
By 1966, The Richard Carpenter Trio worked at weddings and
dances while polishing their sound. Jacobs said, "Karen
could sing and play drums at the same time, quite remarkably." She
had always regarded herself as a drummer who sang.
In May of 1966, Karen just 16 years old, went to Joe Osborn's
garage studio with Richard. As the night went on, Karen sang.
Everyone fell in love with that voice. She recorded so well
and her voice was said to be "wonderful from that
first moment I (Joe Osborn) heard her."
In 1969, Herb Alpert with A & M Records heard their
demo and fell in love. He said he had felt as if she were
singing right to him. As Herb Albert said, "Karen's
magical God-given voice gave the world a sound that will
always be remembered." They were then signed with
A & M and the rest is history.
Her good friend Olivia Newton-John states, "There's
a kind of loneliness in her voice."
"There's a warmth there, but also a kind of longing
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