Let’s Take A Moment Day 351

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

March 2021 Blog

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

The Carpenters have the distinction of being one of the greatest duos of all time thanks to the talents of siblings Richard and Karen Carpenter. Their sound was distinctive thanks to Richard’s knack for song writing, his ear for pop melodies punctuated by layered arrangements that highlighted the absolute beauty of his sister’s voice. Karen was born on March 2, 1950 in New Haven, CT. Her family relocated to Downey, CA in 1963 to help Richard, a musician from childhood, pursue a career in music.

Karen went through a few instruments before deciding on the drums, making her one of the first female percussionists to rise to prominence. By 1965 they were playing as a jazz trio with an upright bass player. After he departed the siblings continued together. In 1969 they signed to A&M Records after label co-founder Herb Alpert heard their demo. Karen was 19 years old and it was her vocal tracks that would help make the duo achieve the international success that followed.

It began with a cover of The Beatles song, “Ticket To Ride” followed by the song that launched their career, “Close To You”, written by the iconic songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It went to #1 for four consecutive weeks in the summer of 1970. After that a slew of hits followed, including today’s song, which was a #2 hit in 1971.

Alpert was the one who convinced the duo to record their first #1 song. In a 2011 interview he gave to “CBS Sunday Morning” he spoke about Karen, who died in 1983 from complications related to an eating disorder. He said, “She never realized how great she was. She never really accepted the fact that she really had it”. Alpert also got choked up thinking of her, because even though nearly 30 years had passed since Karen’s death, he still found her loss incomprehensible. I think that pretty much sums up how all her fans feel.

What I’ve got they used to call the blues
Nothin’ is really wrong
Feelin’ like I don’t belong
“.

Carpenters-Horizon-Cover

Karen and Richard Carpenter circa 1971. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

The Carpenters: “Rainy Days & Mondays” (1971, written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 16

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

christmas_village_streetview_640

(Original source unknown.)

Tall, dark, handsome & sexy are a few ways to describe this artist.  Unbelievably talented is another.  He paints, sculpts, writes, arranges, produces & performs great music for himself & other artists.  He also plays one mean trumpet.  He co-wrote “Wonderful World” which was initially made famous by Sam Cooke, sang one of my all time favorite Burt Bacharach songs ever (“This Guy’s In Love With You“) which hit #1 in 1968 and was the A of A&M Records which signed the The Carpenters in 1969.

This man had several hits in the 1960’s with his band, the Tijuana Brass (“A Taste Of Honey“, “Whipped Cream” and “Spanish Flea“, which is also known as “The Bachelor’s Theme” from The Dating Game).  On his own he hit #1 again in 1979 with “Rise” (also known to “General Hospital” fans as the song that was playing in Luke’s disco when he raped Laura) and #5 in 1987 with “Diamonds“, with one of his A&M singers, Janet Jackson, on vocals.

He has won all the awards, done all the shows and continues to make great music.  This year he treated us to two releases:  “Music Volume 1” came out in July with some really great new music as well as a lovely cover of the Beatles’ “Michelle” and an absolutely beautiful version of John Lennon’s “Imagine

“A Christmas Wish” came out in the fall, and all of the songs are wonderful.  But I really like this one since it was originally recorded in 1970 by his old friends, The Carpenters.  I think it shows this man’s heart, loyalty and love of a good song.

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Richard & Karen Carpenter with Herb Alpert circa 1971 (original source unknown)

Herb Alpert:  “Merry Christmas, Darling

The Carpenters:  “Merry Christmas, Darling” (original 1970)

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

Christmas Song Of The Day #11

Hello, Vixens & happy Sunday to all of you!!!  As we continue our countdown to Christmas, I hope you enjoy another one of my favorite holiday songs!!!

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Source:  worshiphousemedia.com

Every once in a while a singer comes along who changes the game and takes it up much more than a notch.  Sometimes its the timing that’s perfect, or the song, or the arrangement or the singer.  Sometimes, when the voice is really spectacular, it’s all of those things combined.  That was the certainly the case with Karen Carpenter.

As one half of the brother and sister duo, her voice became the sound of soft romantic music in the 1970’s.  Even if their music was not your particular favorite, there was no denying the beauty or subtle power of Karen Carpenter’s voice.  Her brother, Richard, knew exactly how to write and arrange music that perfectly suited her vocal range, which only added to the magic of the recordings they made together.  Add in the fact that she was also one of the first drummers in an all male setting made Karen Carpenter a real hero to so many women and little girls, me included.  In fact, I started to learn how to play the drums in fourth grade because of her, and stayed with it throughout elementary school as the only girl playing drums with the boys.

If I think about her life too closely, it is hard not to feel sorry for how things unfolded for her:  a rigorous touring schedule that left her little time for a personal or social life, a failed marriage when she just wanted to be happy and have a family like most women her age and a battle against a disease that would eventually claim her life at the age of 32.

So I’d rather focus on the beautiful music she left us, from “Superstar” (remember Chris Farley & David Spade singing this in “Tommy Boy“?), “Rainy Days and Mondays“, “Close To You” (also featured in the movie “Parenthood“), “Goodbye To Love“, “Yesterday Once More“, “We’ve Only Just Begun” and so many more.

The Carpenters also made several holiday recordings but my favorite one is The Christmas Song.  Karen’s voice is crystal clear, soft and completely mesmerizing.  She had an incredible gift.

Please remember I do not own the rights to anything, I am just sharing my favorite songs with you.

Enjoy!!!

la-re-place-carpenters18feb18-3[1]Source:  latimes.com