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March 2, 2023

A Drum Solo by 18-Year-Old Karen Carpenter From 1968

If you’re a fan of singing and drumming at the same time, check this out!

This is a clip of Karen Carpenter from 1968 playing on the set of Your All American College Show. She was just 18 years old at the time! Karen was a rare lead singer of a group who also took on drumming duties when performing with her brother Richard in the Carpenters.

Karen Carpenter is known for her fantastic singing voice, but it can easily be forgotten just how good a drummer she was too. She always considered herself as a “drummer who sang.”

She first became fascinated with the drums after joining her high school marching band to get out of gym class. She reportedly persuaded the band director to let her switch from glockenspiel to the drums, despite concerns that “girls don’t play drums.”

Karen later said: “That is such an overused line, but I started anyway. I picked up a pair of sticks, and it was the most natural-feeling thing I've ever done.”

In the early years of the duo, Karen often performed behind the drums and sang at the same time, but was later advised to give up the drums she loved so much to sing at the front, particularly on ballads.

Her drumming skills were praised by famous drummers Hal Blaine, Cubby O’Brien and Buddy Rich among others.


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