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Carpenter, Karenlocked

(02 March 1950–04 February 1983)
  • Joanna Hawke


Carpenter, Karen (02 March 1950–04 February 1983), singer, was born Karen Anne Carpenter in New Haven, Connecticut, the daughter of Harold Bertram Carpenter, a printing pressman, and Agnes Reuwer Tatum. In June 1963 the family moved to Downey, in southern California. Karen joined her high school band, opting, with characteristic individuality, to learn to play the drums, which soon became a passion. In 1965 her brother Richard, a pianist, formed a pop jazz instrumental group, the Richard Carpenter Trio, with Karen and fellow musician Wes Jacobs. Karen was on occasion required to sing while she drummed. Although her voice was strong and she was taking voice lessons, she was a reluctant regarding herself primarily as a drummer. For a time the trio hired a female vocalist to relieve Karen of singing. Despite this, her voice came to the attention of a local record label company, Magic Lamp, and in 1966 Karen was signed to them as a solo singer. A single, ...

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