Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Karen Anne Carpenter: Carpenters "Nowhere Man"



Karen Anne Carpenter (March 2, 1950 – February 4, 1983) was an American singer and drummer. She and her brother, Richard, formed the 1970s duo Carpenters, commonly called The Carpenters. Her skills as a drummer earned admiration from her peers, although she is best known for her vocal performances. She had a contralto vocal range.

Carpenter suffered from anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder which was little known at the time. She died at age 32 from heart failure caused by complications related to her illness.Carpenter's death led to increased visibility and awareness of eating disorders.

John Lennon...""I just want to tell you, love, that I think you've got a fabulous voice"

Carpenter was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the daughter of Agnes Reuwer (née Tatum) and Harold Bertram Carpenter. When she was young, she enjoyed playing baseball with other children on the street. On the TV program This Is Your Life, she stated that she liked pitching. Later, in the early 1970s, she would become the pitcher on the Carpenters' official softball team. Her brother Richard developed an interest in music at an early age, becoming a piano prodigy. The family moved in June 1963 to the Los Angeles suburb of Downey.

When Carpenter entered Downey High School, she joined the school band. The conductor (who had previously taught her older brother) gave her the glockenspiel, an instrument she disliked. After admiring the performance of her friend, Frankie Chavez, she asked if she could play the drums instead. She and her brother made their first recordings in 1965 and 1966. The following year she began dieting. Under a doctor's guidance she went on the Stillman Diet. She rigorously ate lean foods, drank eight glasses of water a day, and avoided fatty foods. She was 5' 4" (163 cm) in height and before dieting weighed 145 pounds (66 kg; 10 st 5 lb) and afterwards weighed 120 pounds (54 kg; 8 st 8 lb) until 1973, when the Carpenters' career began to take off. By September 1975, her weight was 91 pounds (41 kg; 6 st 7 lb).

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