Stimulated by her Mother, Jean Carter, Lynda showed a vocation for the arts since her early childhood and specially for singing and dancing. She made her debut at a local talent show at the age of five. At the age of ten she played the guitar and even composed her own songs.
At age 14 she joined a band called “JUST US” which played at the local University of Arizona college hangout called “THE PIZZA INN” four times a week for $90. The band consisted of five people, a marimba player, a congo drummer, an acoustic guitarist, a stand-up bass played by another girl, and Lynda, who was the singer.
At age 17 she joined another group for more “on the road” exposure called “THE RELATIVES” [two members were cousins]. Gary Burghoff, “Radar” O’Reilly in “M.A.S.H.”, was the drummer. They opened at the Sahara Hotel Casino Lounge in Las Vegas for three months, and because Lynda was under 21 she had to enter the casino through the kitchen, as she later mentioned in her first music special. In 1970 she joined the last band she sang with called “THE GARFIN GATHERING WITH LYNDA CARTER” led by Howard
“Speedy” Garfin, who was the second singer and saxophonist, with Ed Johnson, who played the keyboard and Dennis Bush, the drummer.
On one of their first gigs at the “Eight Immortals Lounge”, at the new Holiday Inn at or near San Francisco’s Chinatown in February 1970, the hotel was so new that it had no sidewalk entrance, so the group played every evening to the janitors and whatever guests were able to park their cars in the underground garage. However, Lynda performed so well under such intimidating circumstances, playing to the sparse crowd like it was a packed house every night, that “Speedy” nicknamed her “Wonder Woman”!
In April 1971 Lynda, tired of constant touring, left “THE GARFIN GATHERING” and returned to her family in Phoenix, where she entered the “Miss World USA” beauty contest and won. When she went to England in 1972 for the “Miss World” finals, she had an offer to cut a demo single there, which was pressed but never released commercially because her agent would not let it be released due to performance issues. This single featured two songs: “IT MIGHT AS WELL STAY MONDAY” and “I BELIEVE IN MUSIC”.
Since her early incursion in the acting career Lynda showed in some opportunities her talented skills as a singer. The first one was in the "PANIC" episode of the "MATT HELM" series where she plays a singer named Bobbie Dee and sings the beautiful tune "SUNDAY SUNRISE". Then she did the same for the big screen in the movie "BOBBIE JO AND THE OUTLAW" where she plays the guitar and sings a song called "ARE YOU LONELY LIKE ME?." By the beginning of 1977 Lynda guest stars in an episode of "THE JACKSONS" and performs the song "TREAT ME LIKE A LADY".
During the late seventies and the early eighties many TV stars like Cheryl Ladd ["Charlie's Angels"], David Soul ["Starsky & Hutch"] or John Schneider ["The Dukes of Hazzard"] had their own albums where they wanted to show the world they could sing also, and trying to capitalize on the era of the Variety Shows apogee. Lynda Carter was no exception, but what most of them ignored is that she really was a singer and started her career as such. On May 1978, her debut album called "PORTRAIT" is released for sale. Produced by Vini Poncia for his "Mad Vincent Productions", the album featured 10 songs: "All Night Song", "She's Always A Woman" [Billy Joel's classic tune], "Tumbledown Love", "Just One Look", "Fantasy Man", "Lines", "Want To Get Beside You", "You're The Only One Who Understands", "Put On A Show" and "Toto [Don't It Feel Like Paradise". Three of these tracks were co-written by Lynda Carter herself ["Want To Get Beside You", "Fantasy Man" and "Toto [Don't It Feel Like Paradise]], and two of them were covers [Billy Joel's "She's Always a Woman" and "Just One Look"]. The album was released on LPs, Cassettes and 8-tracks on Epic Records and two promo singles were used to promote the album: "ALL NIGHT SONG" and "TOTO [DON'T IT FEEL LIKE PARADISE]".
A promotional ad, originally published on Billboard magazine, reads: "Nothing Can keep you away from Lynda Carter's 'All Night Song'. Get to Know the real Lynda Carter. Beyond TV's super heroine 'Wonder Woman,' Lynda is making a real name for herself as a more-than-beautiful singer. Her new single, 'All Night Song,' will keep people turned on to radio stations across the country. And within no time at all, it'll bring everyone that much closer to the real Lynda Carter. 'All Night Song,' Lynda Carter's new single from her debut album 'Portrait.' On Epic Records and Tapes." In spite of her amazing singing skills, the record was not precisely top ten material and lacked of significant radio play. The album was also released internationally [e.g. South America, Europe and Japan] but it passed thru without notice. There were some plans for a second album which was supposed to be produced by Paul Anka, but unfortunately it never saw the light.
Soon after the release of "PORTRAIT", Lynda embarked on a successful series of presentations in the mythical and prestigious Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas during July and August 1978. These presentations were a significant success and recognition from the public but also by the skeptical media which was wondering if she could really sing, amazingly for them the answer was: "Yes, Lynda can sing". Lynda left them astonishingly amazed, they were not only dazzled by her incredibly beauty and magnetism, but also by her strong presence on stage and her undeniable skills as a singer. A clear prove of that is the reviews on a Billboard ad:
"Lynda Carter can just about write her own ticket with this expertly produced and paced revue... She's a beauty with personality to match, a tough combination to beat in this tough game. She tosses winning rolls at just about every turn." Bill Willard, Daily Variety.
"Lynda is a knockout with lots of talent. She sings, she dances and makes you smile." Suzy Kalter, People Magazine.
"Lynda Carter is a dynamo on stage. What she does is sing and dance and she's dynamite at both." Barry Morrison, Denver Post.
"Carter's Vegas debut last week was outstanding. She has a strong fluid voice with an impressive range." Dennis Hunt, L.A. Times.
"A Wonder Woman on stage as a musical performer." Las Vegas Panorama.
"Lynda Carter, the dynamic star, in a lavish show spectacle." Las Vegas Sun.
"Lynda Carter... a Wonder Woman in her Caesars Palace engagement. The crowds love her and the girl is talented." The Hollywood Reporter.
Subsequently Lynda continued with her live stage presen-tations for the rest of the 70s until 1987 when she dedicated to her family after giving birth to her first son James Clifford Altman. Besides Las Vegas some of the other venues were Reno, Lake Tahoe, Atlantic City, Los Angeles' MGM Grand Hotel, Monte Carlo and other European venues, and several UK venues [including the prestigious London Palladium] during her September-October, 1980 UK tour.
On the February 16, 1979 episode "AMAZON HOT WAX" from the second CBS season of "THE NEW ADVENTURES OF WONDER WOMAN" Lynda gives the massive public another opportunity to enjoy her singing talents. In that episode Diana Prince infiltrates a record company called "Phoenix Records" posing as a singer named "Kathy Meadows". She aims to put some light into the disappearance of a popular artist called "Billy Dero". As Kathy Meadows she performs two songs from her "PORTRAIT" album: "WANT TO GET BESIDE YOU" and "TOTO [DON'T IT FEEL LIKE PARADISE]".
As a consequence of her presentations as a singer, Lynda lands on Saturday, January 12, 1980 on her first television special for the CBS network in which she gained a considerable success and certainly paved the way for the other four specials during the following four years. This first variety show was simply titled "LYNDA CARTER'S SPECIAL" in which Lynda showed her singing and dancing talents. "That 'Wonder Woman' whirls into exciting new action -singing, dancing, having the time of her life in her first television special" read the TV Guide ad. On that special, Lynda appears dressed as Wonder Woman, introducing "her friend Lynda Carter". Wonder Woman spins and Lynda Carter appears in front of a live audience singing a special version of "Love The One You're With". With Kenny Rogers and Leo Sayer as guest stars, the variety show gained impressive ratings and lead to the second one later that year.
On March 14, 1980 Lynda guest stars on an episode of "THE MUPPET SHOW" where she performs two songs: "RUBBER BAND MAN" and "FLASH! BAM! ALCAZAM!".
The second special was broadcasted on Tuesday, Septem-ber 16, 1980 under the title "LYNDA CARTER - ENCORE!". The show counted this time with guest stars Merle Haggard and Tom Jones, and featured jazz virtuoso John Phillips and classical pianist Donald Yung. The TV Guide ad announced: "Lynda lives out some of your wildest musical fantasies in a dazzling display of talent".
In October 1980, Lynda stars in the telefilm "THE LAST SONG" where she sings the title track for which a single was released in the UK by Motown Records coinciding with her British tour. This same track was featured a few years ago on a Motown Compilation CD ["Motown Chartbusters Vol. 11"].
On Friday, February 2, 1981, Lynda is the host of one the episodes of the fourth season of "THE MIDNINGHT SPECIAL". She performs "THE LAST SONG", "TUMBLEDOWN LOVE" and "FANTASY MAN".
On Monday, May 11, 1981 her third special is broadcasted by CBS. Titled "LYNDA CARTER'S CELEBRATION" the show counted with Jerry Reed, Chris Evert-Lloyd and Ray Charles as her guest-stars. The TV Guide ad read: "Celebrate a dazzling night with Lynda. Tonight she makes beautiful music with Ray Charles, clowns with country singing star Jerry Reed, and hits tennis superpro Chris Evert-Lloyd with some of her best shots." This show proved to be even more successful than the previous ones and the show gained an Emmy for choreography, as well as another nomination for outstanding art direction.
Ten months later, on Friday, March 5, 1982, followed the fourth one called "LYNDA CARTER: STREET LIFE". "Dazzling Lynda Carter celebrates the electrifying rhythms of the street with amazing street corner performers and very special guests", read the TV Guide ad. George Benson and Tony Orlando -who accompanied her in Las Vegas-, guest starred in the variety show, but it was not as much success-
ful as the former ones. Nevertheless it gained an Emmy nomination for outstanding technical direction and electronic camerawork.
Two years later followed "LYNDA CARTER: BODY AND SOUL", the last one of her variety specials. With black actor Ben Vereen and Eddie Rabitt as guest stars, it was broadcasted on March 16, 1984 and gained three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Art direction for a variety or music program, outstanding Lightning direction for a limited series or special and outstanding technical direction, camerawork, video for a limited series or a special. In this special, five years after the cancellation of her "WONDER WOMAN" series, Lynda recalls her days portraying the number one superheroine as well as lovely moments from her childhood. The TV Guide ad read: "Lynda Carter singing, swinging, strutting her stuff. Ranging from the big bands to the soulful sounds of an Arizona ghost town. From a Wonder
Woman tribute to dazzling hi-tech music video." Unfortunately this was the last chance to see her on a quality variety show of her own on television.
Throughout the late 70s and the 80s Lynda made several appearances in variety and talk shows were she also played several songs. She participated on three of the Bob Hope specials ["BOB HOPE BUYS NBC", "HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOB" and "BOB HOPE WITH HIS EASTER BUNNIES AND OTHER FRIENDS"], as well as "THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW", "THE DES O'CONNOR SHOW" in the UK, "THE LATE SHOW STARRING JOAN RIVERS", or "JOAN RIVERS", as well as several others [check out her TV Appearances section within the Biographies section]. On July 21, 1988 sang the National Anthem at the Democratic Convention.
Her last official recording was in 1993 for the movie "LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE" where she sings the song "SOMEHOW I'LL GO ON" by Lex Baxter. This song is played during the ending titles. Unfortunately this track has not been released commercially though it was an official recording made under Capitol Records.
Beyond her stunning beauty, Lynda vastly proved her skills and her capabilities as a real complete artist who can not only act, but also sing and dance, and get involved with her own projects. Yes, the lady can sing and is definitively talented.
PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINKS BELOW for specific information related to Lynda Carter's "PORTRAIT" album, the single releases or the UK Tour Program.
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