Wendy Carlos 1

WENDY CARLOS – Original Story
The first truly audacious use of synthesizers was probably the 1968 album by Walter Carlos called Switched-On Bach, the first classical album to sell one million copies.  For many years, using synthesizers to make music was difficult because of the time-consuming programming involved and the rather primitive mixing equipment of that period.  I saw a “live” performance by Carlos on television once, and as I remember, it was mainly shots of a static Moog Synthesizer
Carlos continued to release synthesizer albums for many years – including the soundtrack for the Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange – though none had the impact of Switched-On Bach.  I noticed an album several years later that was by Wendy Carlosand I wondered if that might be Walter’s daughter.  As it turned out, Carlos is a transsexual who had begun living as a woman in May 1968 and had sexual reassignment surgery in 1972; reissues of her work all have Wendy Carlos on them now. 
Wendy Carlos is not the only transsexual musician that I know of; one of the wildest of the first-wave punk rock stars of the 1970’sWayne County was going by the name Jayne County by 1980
(March 2012)
Last edited: March 22, 2021