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Other Female Singers

JohnFB

Well-Known Member
Oh, and Alison Krauss!
Yes, she must be mentioned and showcased here - I've been a big fan for years & have seen her in concert a couple of times - one of the most unique and lovely voices ever - often said to have the "voice of an angel' (where did we hear that before?) - here she is doing one of James Taylor's biggest and best at a tribute concert to him while he watches from the audience - that's the absolute master of the Dobro Jerry Douglas accompanying her.

 
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JohnFB

Well-Known Member
Personal note: only one other artist has a bigger place in my CD collection than Ella - Frank Sinatra.

Glad to see another member with love for Ella. Ella takes the top prize for CDs in my house; don't let anyone else on this forum know I have more of her music than the Carpenters.:shh:
Don't worry - I can't give you up because I'd incriminate myself - guilty as charged!
 

John Adam

"Two Lives"
Tennille seemed to be enjoying the duet with Ella as much as Karen did when she sang with her on the TV special - and why not, singing with a legend - I think both were not only very excited but deeply honored by the opportunity, as they should have been - Ella still had it at 60+ years old, everything that made her one of a rare kind and so great for so many years -Tennille was a strong vocalist

The difference here (and I’m sure that’s what was alluded to above in the original comment with the video) is that Toni Tennille is singing live alongside Ella - and sounds amazing. There is absolutely no reason Karen should not have sung live and the scene would have been all the better for it. There’s a very easy, natural chemistry between Toni and Ella, almost as if they were real pals. The costumes and stage set are also stunning in this clip; sheer class.
Some random thoughts:

Labelmates on A&M, Carpenters and C&T. The latter had Ella on their special "first." It seemed very natural for them to sing "live" together, and it really was quite enjoyable!

We have been told that Richard and Karen preferred to studio record vocal tracks because that was the best avenue to bring out Karen's "gift." But as I have stated in other threads, I would have enjoyed it (live) regardless of it's imperfections, just to know they were actually singing together! Did A&M request to have Ella sing with Karen with hopes to repeat the magic that her and Toni had? Or was it their choice.....or a decision made, after hearing Ella and Toni's performance?

Plus for the Olivia (Newton-John) fans here, did anyone notice that Tennille had Olivia's 76-77 hairdo? I never saw her with that look before.
 

JohnFB

Well-Known Member
We have been told that Richard and Karen preferred to studio record vocal tracks because that was the best avenue to bring out Karen's "gift." But as I have stated in other threads, I would have enjoyed it (live) regardless of it's imperfections, just to know they w"The First Lady of Song".ere actually singing together!
A better word might be "limitations" rather than imperfections, but I fully agree - that medley (which I just watched again) consisted of soft, easy standards and didn't require any "belting" from either singer, and you would think that if anything could be done live it would have been this - be that as it may, I thoroughly enjoy this duet every time I watch it - they both sound so very good singing separately or together and I wish it had been much longer - and just like with Toni you can easily see that Karen (a very attractive, fully mature woman now) is having a thrill singing with "The First Lady of Song".
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I agree that Toni Tennille has always been underrated as a singer. In that category of underrated singers includes Helen Reddy and Karen Carpenter.
Interestingly enough, Toni's style has never clicked with me (likewise, Anne Murray), but there is no denying her talent.
Perhaps the Captain & Tennille Television series was instrumental in sealing her fate, much as the Carpenters' TV series did virtually nothing
for their career--in fact, I contend that most of those TV specials harmed Karen's chances of being taken seriously as a vocalist.
Also, had Karen not been ill for so many years previous to her Medley with Ella, then perhaps she would have performed "live,"
however, it can't be denied that Karen's illness took a toll on her from a physical and vocal standpoint.
It is hard to be 'perfect' when your health is failing.
 

JohnFB

Well-Known Member
...
Also, had Karen not been ill for so many years previous to her Medley with Ella, then perhaps she would have performed "live,"
however, it can't be denied that Karen's illness took a toll on her from a physical and vocal standpoint.
It is hard to be 'perfect' when your health is failing.
True enough - one can only speculate about what effect her illness had on the quality and clarity and power of her voice over time - we have recordings for comparison, but they're inconclusive mostly - for example, she sounds like her normal wonderful, gorgeous self on "Now", one of her last recordings, but on much of the so-called Solo Album I think she sounds weaker, or a tad restrained or just not characteristically like "Karen" - maybe on there it had more to do with the general substandard choice of material, although on several tracks like "If We Try" and "If I Had You" she really kicks some serious vocal butt...
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Personal note: only one other artist has a bigger place in my CD collection than Ella - Frank Sinatra.

Glad to see another member with love for Ella. Ella takes the top prize for CDs in my house; don't let anyone else on this forum know I have more of her music than the Carpenters.:shh:

"Personal note: only one other artist has a bigger place in my CD collection than Ella - Frank Sinatra."



In My Opinion, Francis Albert Sinatra is the greatest pop vocalist of all time, male or female.

Karen runs a very close 2nd.

But, Frank had a long career with multiple "comebacks". I believe if fate would allowed it, and Karen had the same longevity, she would be in the #1 position. With that voice, her body of work could've been amazing. All wishful thinking of course...
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Here is the best rendition of Autumn Leaves I have heard. By an artist named Cecile Bredie (sorry don't know how to put the accent mark on her name}. Anyone familiar with her music? That piano accompaniment is awesome!

Check it out;

 

JohnFB

Well-Known Member
"Personal note: only one other artist has a bigger place in my CD collection than Ella - Frank Sinatra."



In My Opinion, Francis Albert Sinatra is the greatest pop vocalist of all time, male or female.

Karen runs a very close 2nd.

But, Frank had a long career with multiple "comebacks". I believe if fate would allowed it, and Karen had the same longevity, she would be in the #1 position. With that voice, her body of work could've been amazing. All wishful thinking of course...
Among all of his albums that I have my favorite is the one from the mid-50s entitled "Songs for Swingin' Lovers" - all upbeat standards arranged brilliantly by the great Nelson Riddle - this is the album that contains what many consider his best recorded vocal performance ever - Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin". I keep this CD in my truck at all times (along with some Ella, Four Freshmen & Carpenters)!

Is it true that Frank once said that Karen was the only singer that he would actually pay to see in concert?
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
MY SINATRA STORY

I don't claim to be any kind of super fan of Frank Sinatra, but I do appreciate his vocal prowess and long career. When I was in my teen years, Frank's records were kind-of considered a bit "old-fogey", but he was still able to generate some big hits that got played on most of the top-49 radio stations. Things like "Cycles", "My Way", "Strangers In The Night", and "New York, New York." And he had a big hit with daughter Nancy, "Somethin' Stupid", so I got to hear his music alongside the other pop hits of the day. But I was never enticed to run out and buy a Sinatra record.

In the 70s, I was working in radio and our station was clearing out all of the old records that were never played anymore. That was like a motherload for this young worker as I scooped up a boatload of albums from all sorts of artists. I think I used the criterion that if I ever heard of the artist, I'd grab whatever was there. And there was a huge amount of Sinatra records which I promptly filed in my "S" section and then checked out other records by more "relevant" artists.

And there they sat through the rest of the 70s. Through the 80s. They moved with me to an apartment, to my first house, to my second house, and then to my current house in retirement in Florida. The number of albums was a significant chunk of record-cabinet space, so I left them in the moving box that got them here to Florida.

One Sunday morning, sometime around 2010 or 2011, I stumbled on an Internet forum thread praising a title I recognized from my Sinatra stash. It was called Watertown.

So I dug out my copy of the album and in the quiet of a Sunday morning, listening with headphones to not awaken the wife, I was overwhelmed by the album. The gatefold album had lyrics printed inside and I followed along on this themed album and was totally blown away.

Apparently there are many Sinatra fans who totally dismiss WATERTOWN as one of Frank's lesser outfits - some who will tell you how thoroughly awful it is. But there's another group of fans who've discovered its wonders and claim it as a true favorite. I must be one of those, even though I can't claim to have heard very much of his massive output.

WATERTOWN has become a favorite, one of those desert-island discs that I wouldn't want to be without. If anyone out there reads this and has never heard the album, find a copy and sit some Sunday morning, follow along with the lyrics, and see if it doesn't wash over you the way it did me.

WatertownLP.JPG
 

JohnFB

Well-Known Member
Very interesting story Harry - can hardly believe I didn't know about "Watertown" until now - Wiki says it's the only album where he voiced over pre-recorded tracks, and the only album that didn't make it into the top 100 - the songs are a series of soliloquies telling a story of a man from Watertown, NY (home of Fort Drum, where a grandson of mine was stationed) - the full album is available on YouTube, so I will have a listen asap...in the meantime check out his "Songs for Swingin' Lovers" album - it has a concept of it's own: the tempo of every song is at the pace of a heartbeat (more or less)...
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
The Bugaloos (featuring Caroline Ellis) "The Senses Of Our World" (from their only self - titled 1970 TV soundtrack album)
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
The Bugaloos (featuring Caroline Ellis) "Castles In The Air" (from their only self - titled 1970 TV soundtrack album)
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
This was the hit version of ‘Superstar’ in Australia, released about five months before Carpenters’ version here. Carpenters’ version wasn’t as big. Colleen Hewett’s version charted two months before Karen and Richard’s version hit the US Billboard Top 40.

 

JohnFB

Well-Known Member
WATERTOWN has become a favorite, one of those desert-island discs that I wouldn't want to be without. If anyone out there reads this and has never heard the album, find a copy and sit some Sunday morning, follow along with the lyrics, and see if it doesn't wash over you the way it did me.

View attachment 6106
I listened to this today - I'm fascinated that he did this because it's so different from just about everything else in his extensive catalog, even from what are considered his other "concept albums" that were recorded in the 50s - this was a saga or continuous story told through a series of interrelated somber songs about the pain of a man whose wife has left him and their 2 sons and gone off with someone else to the big city - his other earlier albums contained songs by a number of composers that were all great standards from the American Songbook and were only related by how they carried the overall general theme of the album - for example, 1955's great "In the Wee Small Hours" was an album full of songs about sadness and loneliness because of lost love and 1956's even greater "Songs for Swingin' Lovers" contained upbeat, positive songs about love at it's most joyous and enervating.

This wasn't an easy listen, and perhaps one has to be in that situation and emotional state to fully appreciate it or relate to the atmosphere it creates. The one song that stood out for me was "For a While", which is a little more lyrical and melodic than the rest - in fact, it would fit right onto the "Wee Small Hours" album I mentioned above. Other than that there were a couple of just good pieces that I enjoyed, but overall I wouldn't want to listen to the whole album very often. It's just too much of a "downer" for someone who is generally happy - or at least content.

I will note that his prime vocal years when his voice was at the very peak of it's power and appeal is generall y considered to be in the mid 50s, but he still sounds pretty damn good on this 15 or so years later with a lot of the command that used to be. And I must acknowledge the outstanding work on the composition, in part, by Bob Guadio of the group "The Four Seasons".

Again, I recommend to all a listen to the 2 Sinatra albums I mentioned above - at least. He was never better.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I'm also a generally happy person myself, always looking for the positives in all of life, but I also appreciate pathos. My wife likes movies with happy endings - and I do too, but I also find the more tragic ones very powerful.

John, I'm glad you gave it a listen. Don't be surprised if it creeps up on you. When I worked in radio, the song that our station played from the album was "I Would Be In Love (Anyway)"

The story in WATERTOWN plays like one of those tragic movies with a gut-wrenching ending. The unfolded gatefold cover essentially marks the very ending of the story and the song, "The Train". (Some versions of the CD tacked on a bonus track that some feel fits - I don't. It's a more devastating ending on the original album with "The Train.")

WatertownWallpaper.jpg

There's a fairly thorough website devoted specifically to this album, featuring the artwork, interviews, reviews, etc., at

I recommend perusing it if you're interested.
 

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
I keep hearing about "Watertown".. I'm definitely going to have to give it a listen now. Thanks.

For me personally, I prefer Sinatra's 60's/70's recordings. Perhaps its due to the technical sound improvements compared to his earlier stuff.

Keeping to the theme of other female singers.. I adore this duet of Frank & Ella

 

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
Another fun duet by these two, this time on Bobbie Gentry's "Ode To Billie Joe" and "Goin' Out Of My Head" by Little Anthony and the Imperials. I can imagine the Carpenters doing the latter, not sure why, but it gives me "Hurting Each Other" vibes.

 

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
So I gave "Watertown" a listen last night and enjoyed it (if that's the right word). The final track "The Train" was so cruel!

I'm really into Bobbie Gentry at the minute and listening to this song right now it occurred to me that it wouldn't be out of place on "Watertown". It's the B-Side to Bobbie's 1974 single "The Girl From Cincinatti" which was her final release for Capitol Records.

 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
So I gave "Watertown" a listen last night and enjoyed it (if that's the right word). The final track "The Train" was so cruel!

I'm really into Bobbie Gentry at the minute and listening to this song right now it occurred to me that it wouldn't be out of place on "Watertown". It's the B-Side to Bobbie's 1974 single "The Girl From Cincinatti" which was her final release for Capitol Records.

What a great song! I can totally hear KC doing this.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
One artist that I have not seen mentioned, or maybe missed, is Enya. I think her voice is spectacular and she can belt out a song or croon. There seems to be no limit to her range, singing in English, irish or Latin.
I have all her albums on CD.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
One artist that I have not seen mentioned, or maybe missed, is Enya. I think her voice is spectacular and she can belt out a song or croon. There seems to be no limit to her range, singing in English, irish or Latin.
I have all her albums on CD.
I very much liked Enya’s first album, ‘The Celts’ and was also taken with her second album, ‘Watermark’, which seemed a bit different and a bit of a shift. However, after that, she seemed to just repeat the same formula over and over and didn’t ever change or grow. Her sound is quite pleasant and inoffensive, though, so I don’t mind her.

I prefer the voice of her sister, Maire. Marie has a beautiful voice. With her band, Clannad, Maire has explored a scope of different styles, over the years. However, like Enya, once they found a formula that worked, Clannad kept coming back to it. On every album since 1982, they’ve had at least one ‘Harry’s Game’ soundalike.

Probably the most interesting thing Maire has ever done was her first solo album, ‘Maire’, when she first stepped in a major way into songwriting, also having major input into the concept, arrangements and production.

Her solo works after that stagnated a bit and her lyrics sometimes come across as a bit twee.

One thing is for sure, though - whether thinking about Enya, Clannad or Maire solo, this is a family that has certainly brought some beautiful musical sounds to the world. And I love the way that Clannad has preserved old, traditional Irish songs that might otherwise have been lost, in the Irish Gaelic language.
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
French actress & singer Julie Delpy "A Waltz For A Night" (from 2004 "Before Sunset" movie soundtrack) (audio only)
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Never heard this song until it was brought up in this forum. Of course, love the Carps version and Karen's lead. Covered by so many, this version by Ella Fitzgerald stands out. So glad the two legendary divas were coupled on that Music, Music, Music Special (even though Karen's parts were lip-synced :confused:) ;

Beautiful performance;

 
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