To Selena, With Love

From Jackie Cantwell
Author:  Chris Perez
To Selena, With Love
Chris wants you to know that he is more than “the widower of the Queen of Tejano music ,Selena Quintanilla Perez.” Chris was the guitarist for Selena’s band. This is a loving tribute to the Latin music superstar who was gunned down by her fan club president in 1995. Selena won Grammy awards and was poised to be a crossover artist in the same way as Gloria Estefan when she died. But her fans loved her not just because of her music. She gave so much of herself in each concert. She spent lots of time signing autographs after her concerts and made a special effort to reach out to her young fans and those who were sick or disadvantaged. She also adopted animals, including several dogs. Chris tells of her adventurous and daredevil side, where she learned how to ride a motorcycle, went bungee jumping, and loved to drive her cars fast.  She also loved celebrating Christmas and the simpler things like cooking and cleaning the house.  As a child of divorce, Chris never thought much of marriage. But Selena broke down his defenses and taught him how to love.  She had the most exuberant spirit and loved to try new things. He says her laughter was contagious. Chris’s first love was rock and roll and heavy metal music, which he has returned to since Selena’s death. This book is a rare glimpse into the life of a multi-faceted performer.

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Little girl blue: the life of Karen Carpenter

From Jackie Cantwell
author: Schmidt, Randy L.
Little girl blue: the life of Karen Carpenter
 This is an extremely well-written and well-researched biography of Karen
Carpenter, the singer of The Carpenters.  Full disclosure: I grew up on
her music and to this day, when I hear her voice, I’m completely
transported to another place and time.  Mr. Schmidt delved into the early
days of the group, with her brother, Richard.  A biography of Karen is
also a biography of Richard, so inextricably were their professional and
personal lives entwined.  Richard was immensely talented in music as a
child, so his mother Agnes nurtured that, and even relocated the family to
California to expand his opportunities.  As it turns out, Karen was
talented as well, in drums and as a singer.  Karen and Richard both
attended California State University at Long Beach, which contributed to
their early success.   Laymen will learn a lot about the music business.
Readers will learn how Richard was adept as an arranger, composer and
pianist and how he was always on the lookout for songwriting talent.
Sadly, both brother and sister had turmoil in their personal lives.  I
knew that Karen died from anorexia and laxative abuse, but she also abused two other substances as well.  Highly recommended for a complete picture of a supremely gifted musician.