As we stride ever onward, now into a summer that promises to be one like we have never experienced before, we continue to take a moment each day with music. Throughout these next few months, look for some more offbeat choices, many more of your own community selections and comments, and as ever, a little injection of faith, hope, and love into your day.
Got a song you just love? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell Jeff about it!
In the pantheon of great singing voices, Karen Carpenter’s must be one of the most legendary. Her buttery-smooth and ocean-deep alto is indelibly printed on our collective soul with such undying hits as “Merry Christmas, Darling,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” and “(They Long To Be) Close To You.” But we’re not going to hear her sing today.
What many don’t know is that Karen was quite a reluctant singer in the beginning. Shy and spotlight-averse, she was at first much more taken with the drums. In 1965, when her brother, pianist Richard, was in college and Karen was but a 15-year-old high schooler, she agreed to be the drummer for The Richard Carpenter Trio, a jazz group he put together to make a little extra dough, along with his college pal, bassist Wes Jacobs. According to Richard’s liner notes, she had only begun playing the drums a matter of months before this recording took place in their living room.
The language of music knows no bounds and begins and ends wherever it is allowed. Within a year or two, Karen had been convinced to use her voice as well, but what a treat it is to hear where The Carpenters began. The scope of the siblings’ talent is truly unique, making pop hits throughout the ‘70s with orchestral, velvety adult contemporary music - against the mainstream rock, folk, and disco. Richard’s arrangements and Karen’s undeniable voice could not be silenced for their out-of-place sounds at the time. But their origin story tells of talent deeper than we could have guessed, and what Karen has on the drums is more than a knack. Listen as they jam their way through this Duke Ellington classic. Let’s give thanks today for lesser-known gifts, for hidden talents and origin stories, for the lasting joy of new discovery and exciting truth, even long after Karen’s tragic and untimely death. May her memory, and her wicked amazing drumming, be for blessing.
Holy Musicmaker, Thank you for the breadth of your gifts, to the individuals who share them and to us who listen.
We also lift up the following prayers shared during last Sunday's worship service:
For Dustin’s brother officially becoming a sailor in the armed forces.
For visiting friends and witnessing different stages of life.
Even in our separation, God, help us to feel the deep delight of your love for all. Amen.