Link: Karen Carpenter book
Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and "The Big Bopper" were killed in a plane crash after playing a show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. The travel editor of the magazine I publish (Midwest Today) -- Bob Hale -- was a young man then and was the emcee the night of their last show. Bob appeared on our weekly radio show this week, recounting behind the scenes stories. Buddy and his road band had sampled bratwurst in Wisconsin and had liked it, and got to talking with Bob about it and he said he had some in his freezer. They made plans to come back to Clear Lake a day early next time and have a barbecue, and go out on a power boat and water ski. Bob was also backstage for the coin toss when it was decided who would take the airplane that night. (They'd had trouble with their tour bus and chartered a plane. The pilot was only qualified for VFR flight and took off late at night in bad weather. The plane crashed in a farmer's field a short time after take-off.)
Bob commented that before the show he saw a pensive Buddy gazing upward and a friend had commented that Buddy would be a bigger star than Elvis, because he not only sang he also wrote his songs. Yet mere hours later, his life was snuffed out.
The second sad anniversary is the passing of Karen Carpenter, one of the smoothest singing voices to ever be recorded. Her loss was no less tragic, as she died of anorexia. It is still a disease which is not fully understood.
Her brief life was explored in fascinating detail by author Randy Schmidt, and then he did a follow up to his best-seller, called "Yesterday Once More." It features essays/interviews by top music journalists, and I am proud to say that our daughter, Sara Jordan, wrote the last chapter in the book!
(As you may know, 24 year old Sara also helped edit my 672 page "Jim Reeves: His Untold Story" and gave an assist on the 48 page book that accompanies the 8 CD set, "The Great Jim Reeves." Her writing also appears in several other books and she makes her debut in a prestigious anthology of top authors to appear in the spring. More about that later.)
Randy Schmidt thought enough of Sara's writing to make hers the last chapter in the Karen Carpenter book. It's a fascinating read and I urge you to check it out.
The music business has indeed lost some great talents over the years. It seems like the better they are, the sooner they depart this world.
To read reviews of the Carpenters book, click the link below.
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Link: Karen Carpenter book
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