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NPR article on Ella Fitzgerald mentions Karen / Music Music Music

crescentnoon

New Member
Thread Starter
"In 1980, on the TV special The Carpenters: Music, Music, Music, Karen Carpenter, painfully thin in a black satin pantsuit, shared a medley of a marimba-based "This Masquerade," "My Funny Valentine," "I'll Be Seeing You," "As Time Goes By" and "Someone To Watch Over Me" with the elder songstress, who wore another chiffon overlay gown. Though born decades apart, a sisterhood between them transcends age, looks and the fact that the tomboy drummer and the former numbers runner were not born into the clothes they wear. Though many of the songs the pair sing together are sad, they pull you in and make you feel better, comfortable, okay in emotions you might not want to feel. Kind of like wearing fancy clothes when you know you're just a gawky kid – and don't think you can pull off the chic. Their effortlessness wasn't lost on a 10-year old, who recognized that Carpenter and the lady closer to Nana's age both applied the same principles to defy fashion magazine dictates. They pulled it off, especially the spirited legend, so I could, too.
"I compare her to Ella Fitzgerald," USC professor Karen Tongson, who authored Why Karen Carpenter Matters, tells RJ Smith in a 2019 Los Angeles Times piece. "Ella can be singing a sad song, but you always heard the smile in her voice. Well, Karen, she can be singing a happy song, but you hear the sadness in her voice. I think it mimics a kind of heaviness in ourselves."
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
First, welcome to the forum!
I loved hearing them trading off on This Masquerade. It makes this already classy version elevated even higher.
And the standards they sang, Karen and Ella knocked them out of the park! Of course Ella was singing them live though and Karen was not.
 
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A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
That’s true, but as Richard commented years later, ‘Karen might as well have been singing ‘live’ because she did it all in one take’.
 

crescentnoon

New Member
Thread Starter
Thank you for welcoming me 🙂
I wanted to add to the discussion about Karen not singing this live. I have seen comments seemingly faulting her for this but I don't think that's fair to her. She probably would have sounded just as good had it been live. There is a moment during 'Someone To Watch Over Me' in the duet where Ella says to Karen what seems to be 'so pretty'.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
What Karen was faulted for was the way she presented herself on stage meaning the way she held her mic or moved a certain way. I highly doubt the producer would have said anything to Ella like he did to Karen. Karen was in awe of Ella so it’s not surprising she wanted to record her vocals instead of performing them live. Look at everything else she had to deal with. It’s evident in all the outtakes.
 

crescentnoon

New Member
Thread Starter
What Karen was faulted for was the way she presented herself on stage meaning the way she held her mic or moved a certain way. I highly doubt the producer would have said anything to Ella like he did to Karen. Karen was in awe of Ella so it’s not surprising she wanted to record her vocals instead of performing them live. Look at everything else she had to deal with. It’s evident in all the outtakes.
There are outtakes? I have not seen these. Is there somewhere I can see them?
 

crescentnoon

New Member
Thread Starter
Super kind of you to post these. I don't know why I didn't think to just look on YouTube. Thanks very much. I have actually seen the John Davidson one before, maybe 10 or so years ago. Forgot about it until now.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
There are outtakes? I have not seen these. Is there somewhere I can see them?
In the early 2000s there was about three hours of these outtakes available for download online. I managed to get them at the time but they’re on a laptop that is long since gone. I wish I’d burned them to DVD for posterity.
 

crescentnoon

New Member
Thread Starter
In the early 2000s there was about three hours of these outtakes available for download online. I managed to get them at the time but they’re on a laptop that is long since gone. I wish I’d burned them to DVD for posterity.
Wow! 3 hours... someone must have the video somewhere. Way back when I was an active member on the leadsister forum and there were some very cool things people shared on there. It would be nice to have access to some of that stuff again. A quick web search shows a DVD for sale of outtakes but only 87 minutes. If I ever order it I will certainly share it all with you guys.
 

PaulinUK

Member
Wow! 3 hours... someone must have the video somewhere. Way back when I was an active member on the leadsister forum and there were some very cool things people shared on there. It would be nice to have access to some of that stuff again. A quick web search shows a DVD for sale of outtakes but only 87 minutes. If I ever order it I will certainly share it all with you guys.
There’s another wonderful outtake here. What I find so marvellous about this clip is that Karen’s natural funny warmth is on display - she cracks Richard up, she never takes herself seriously, but she’s a consummate professional. Truly adorable, unguarded and real.
 
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