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Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter

August 19, 2010
Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter

Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter

For anyone who lived through the turmoil of the 1970s, songs like Close To You, Superstar, and Rainy Days and Mondays are a part of your history. Some people openly enjoyed the music of the Carpenters, others called them “cheesy” and “bubblegum” — but secretly listened to and fell in love with the velvet voice of Karen Carpenter. The way she sang so effortlessly of life and love betrayed the fact that she was barely more than a teenager. She was my first crush, and I am not ashamed to say that I still love her and the music that so deeply touched my heart as a youngster.

A biography on the late Karen Carpenter was recently completed by my dear friend Randy Schmidt, a music educator in Texas. The title of the book was taken from a Rogers and Hart tune of the same name, an unreleased track that Karen Carpenter recorded for a television special in the late ’70s but wasn’t released until years after her death. The book is called Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter.

Little Girl Blue is an honest, intimate look into the tragic life and death of Karen Carpenter. She has been called simply “The Voice” and described as being “phonogenic”; and while there have been many documentaries produced about the music of Karen Carpenter, there has never been an honest, in-depth look at the life of Karen Carpenter. Now for the first time, we can see inside this beautiful woman, through the eyes of those closest to her. This book reveals many poignant details about her – about the performer, and about the little girl inside who so desperately wanted to be loved.

We all know the music; it is a tapestry of our childhood, our adolescence, our life. Most of us have heard the story, we know about her battle with anorexia nervosa. Now, we can learn about the person who gave us the beautiful music – the drummer who always thought of herself as an instrumentalist who happened to sing, rather then the tender vocalist she was. Karen Carpenter will go down in the annals of music history as one of the greatest vocalists of her generation and will join legends like Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and Ella Fitzgerald as one of the greatest vocalists of any time. While it may sound cliché, when she died at the age of 32, she had “only just begun to live…”   It is an honor and a privilege for me to recommend this new biography to you.

Click here to get more information about the book.

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Randy Schmidt is considered an expert on the music of the Carpenters and has served as creative consultant for several television documentaries on their lives and music, including the E! True Hollywood Story, A&E’s Biography, and VH1’s Behind the Music. He has also previously published a book entitled Yesterday Once More: Memories of the Carpenters and Their Music.

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Culture

Summer Travels

May 26, 2010

As musical activities for the year slow down, thoughts of summer fun, additional learning and exciting travel enter the thought process. While the possibilities are endless, there are some destinations and events musicians may want to consider.

I’ll start with the obvious.   We’d love you to stop by and visit your local Pepper store, or attend one of our more than 40 summer music reading sessions this summer.   It’s a nice addition to any trip you have planned,  and you’re likely to find inspiring music to consider for next season.  So, if your travels take you our way and you have time, put us on your itinerary.

Summer events: http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/events

Locations:  http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/services-stores.jsp

There are also some very interesting music museums throughout the country to consider.  Halftime Magazine recently provided information on some unique musical destinations to get you started:

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum – Cleveland, OH – www.rockhall.com

Musical Instrument Museum – Phoenix, AZ – www.themim.org

The Grammy Museum – Los Angeles, CA – www.grammymuseum.org

Museum of Making Music – Carlsbad, CA – www.museumofmakingmusic.org

Rhythm Discovery Center – Indianapolis, IN – www.rhythmdiscoverycenter.org

Experience Music Project – Seattle, WA – www.empsfm.org

You can find more unique possibilities by entering a Google search for Music Museums.

While you are busy exploring the possibilities, the Pepper staff will be preparing for your next musical year.  We wish you happy and safe travels!