April 28, 1931 – March 8, 2022
“The American Nightingale” resident of Los Altos and internationally renowned soprano
Famous soprano Carole Eileen Larsen Galedrige has died at 90
“It’s easy to see why they called her ‘The American Nightingale.’ title was bestowed on soprano, Carole Larsen Galedrige, after a Scandinavian tour in 1959 with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, her voice sounding as “clear [as] golden amber”.
Carole Eileen Larsen Galedrige, born to Ralph Larsen and Lillie Barker on April 28, 1931 in Salt Lake City, Utah, died peacefully at her home on March 8, 2022. Carole celebrated her 90th birthday last spring on her rose bush lined driveway, to the delight of local friends and family. Carole was a longtime resident of Los Altos (1957) and the wife of the late Al “The Barber” Galedrige, owner of downtown for over 67 years.
In a serendipitous twist, the driveway that hosted her 90th birthday party was the path to her chance encounter with Al, who offered work resurfacing the driveway. “What if my driveway cracks after you finish the job?” asked Carol. “Well, I’m the local barber, come find me”. As fate would have it, the driveway eventually cracks, leading Carole on her way to Al’s barber shop. The two quickly fell in love and were married on July 9, 1977. Al preceded Carole in death in 2016.
Music was a family affair and her grandfather, Jesse L. Barker, once a professional singer himself, treated Carole to an evening of “Pirates of Penzance” when she was a young girl. This may have been the seed that gave birth to her vocal talents when she became president of the Santa Cruz High School Music Club in 1949.
“A voice described as ‘melting’ (SF Chronicle) and ‘golden in quality and purity’ (NY Times)”, she performed musical selections and Broadway operas in hand-sewn shimmering beaded dresses designed by her mother. A voice heard around the world, his popularity included performances in Europe, Canada, Japan, as well as the United States. His vocal talents graced events such as the Ed Sullivan Show (NY), San Francisco Symphony, Carnegie Hall, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the White House for a “commanding performance for President Eisenhower and guests.”
“Sing again, with your dear voice revealing a tone of a world far from ours, where music and moonlight and feeling are one”; a verse that Carole chose to have printed next to her name in her high school yearbook. The golden age of this “American Nightingale” still sings in the minds of those she touched.
The funeral will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 190 Jordan Ave, Los Altos, CA at 1 p.m. with a visitation at 11:30 a.m. She will be interred at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park in Millcreek, Utah, March 17 at 11 a.m. Carole is survived by Alaina Paris, Deborah and Robert McCain, Al and Molly Galedrige, Ann Galedrige; and grandchildren Chris and Carmen Anderson, Arlyn Anderson, Alea and Adam Sandefer, Bradley and Erin Galedrige, Alfred Galedrige, Justin Witt and great-granddaughter Alisa.
Published by The Mercury News on March 13, 2022.