Hal Blaine on Karen Carpenter - JazzWax

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May 07, 2012


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Diane Sampson

It seems to me that Hal Blaine is taking credit for an awful lot here other than his drumming. It was HIS idea to get Karen to sing in a lower register? He had to teach Richard how to hold a tempo on the keyboards? Did he ever HEAR their album before "Close To You"? If he had,I doubt that he'd be making those claims. I'd like to hear what Joe Osborn and Richard Carpenter would have to say about this article.


I had the Schwinn Lemon Peeler :)


Hal Blaine, hero in the shadows. And though I understand Diane's concern, recording sessions are certainly also about cooperation, so there's a good chance it happened that way. Well, and isn't history always a mix of different perspectives? Feels good to hear a proud artist speaking.

Ed Pettersen

Very insightful and well done. Kudos! I'm sure there are many perspectives from that period and unfortunately Karen isn't with us but it's still fascinating to get Hal's POV. Thanks.

John Cooper

I had a Schwinn and then I had a Schwann.

jOhn Cooper


I have yet to read or hear an interview with a studio player from that era who does not take credit for everything from arrangements to technical invention to turning the artist onto the corn beef sandwiches from the deli down on the corner...it's all good...certainly makes for interesting reading

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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