Welcome to the
Who Says Turtles Are Slow?
Once Upon A Time there was a woman who loved music. She earned a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from the Crane School of Music and a Master of Music with an emphasis in opera from Temple University. She loved to sing. She was very happily married. Her name was Karen Cunningham.
One day, while visiting her younger brother in Virginia, he stopped to help a turtle cross the road. Karen never saw the turtle, but all the way home to Brooklyn she kept asking her husband Dick, "Wouldn't it be NEAT to have a turtle!?"
Karen had caught "the turtle bug." She went to the pet store and got her very first turtle, a red-eared slider. She became consumed with learning about turtles. She left the music world and entered the turtle world! She joined the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society. She volunteered at the Bronx Zoo Reptile House and received training there for 9 months.
Then in 1989 Dick and Karen heard about a house for sale in Cape May County. Dick had always wanted to live by the sea. And the Cape May County Zoo needed a new reptile keeper at their new reptile house. They moved to Cape May County! Karen worked at the zoo for nearly 3 years and was put in charge of the reptile house. She acquired three zoo donation turtles for her own: Rocky, a three-toed box turtle, Gracie, a travancore tortoise, and Big Black Bart, a red-footed tortoise. She sang once a year as a soloist in the Cape May "Messiah" sing-along.
Then tragedy struck. Dick was diagnosed with lung cancer, and underwent chemotherapy, radiation and holistic treatments. Karen left the zoo to spend more time with him, and she left the turtle world and entered the music world again. She became a private vocal instructor. She taught all ages and abilities and walks of life. After becoming cancer-free for 3 years, Dick died suddenly of pneumonia in 1996.
After a period of great mourning, Karen met Charlie. Karen and Charlie were married in September, 1999. A new woman evolved. Her name is Karen Buckley.
Then, on May 1st, 2000, Karen's music and turtle worlds came together, and the Turtlesinger Phenomenon began! Karen started writing songs about Rocky, Gracie and Bart, and turtles she has seen around the world. She became the Turtlesinger, (and Charlie became the Turtletoter!) and she has written over 50 songs in all kinds of styles about turtles. Now, after 141 events, The Turtlesinger & Turtletoter have performed for over 12,000 turtle lovers! She is licensed by the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife to bring Rocky, Gracie and Bart along, and to let you feed them! She now earns her living showing her turtles and/or singing her turtle songs for people of all ages at schools, parks, nature centers, churches, birthday parties, restaurants, fairs, street malls, and festivals. . .
. . . And they all live happily Ever after!
Would you like to be a part of this
fairy tale? Call (609) 553-5353!
Turtlesinger events are rated "A"
For Anyone And All!