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Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Tony, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I suspect because Richard controls most of what's left of their story, as well as their music. I do not mean that to be read in a negative way.
  2. MissK

    MissK Active Member

    It seems to me that the only person who can authorize a bio is the subject of that bio. Since this is a bio of Karen Carpenter only she could authorize it. Richard has no standing to do so. IMHO.
    djn likes this.
  3. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I'm sure you're right, but he could have made some big waves. I wasn't speaking legally, just that he has tried hard to protect Karen's image - and that of the Carpenter family - since Karen passed. For example, when Richard was told of the movie being made of Karen's 'story', he opted in because the movie would be made with or without him, and he wanted a say in what was portrayed. Likewise the Coleman bio was authorized by Richard. It's unusual for there to be info out there that he hasn't had a hand in until recent years, isn't it?
  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Yes, and thank the lord for Karen's friends like Frenda, who finally felt able and compelled to tell her story without the shackles of the Carpenter family. My overriding memory of reading Randy's books is this passage in the author's note:

    "Franklin, more than anyone, was vocal about wanting someone to finally do justice to her best friend's story, and as our interview drew to a close, she gave me a quick hug and kiss, patted me on the back and whispered, "Do good for Karen".

    The telling of that moment moved me so much.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Amen to that, Stephen!
  6. djn

    djn Well-Known Member

    and the rest of the story....??? I just wonder if Randy Schmidt hooks a good screenplay writer and a damn-to-the- dirty- truth director and spill the beans giving Karen her voice. Her voice never before spoken. The open door to her recovery. Speculative sure. Fact based hopefully. There are those close to Karen that for whatever reason are hushed or respecting Karen's end. Still with all the misgivings, convenient LIES and cover-ups and gossip, Karen deserves to have her dignity restored. AM I wrong? Think NOT! Lets get on the stick gang. All of you! Like it or not powers that be. Integrity is an asset to behold. Perhaps at Karen's behest there's a call to action. Like the solo effort KAREN CARPENTER Karen has been shelved to collect dust and rumor. Travesty and shame on and on. Who, where and when will validate this broken soul? So Kudos, thank yous and God Bless Randy for his painstaking works thus far. That's courage folks. I'd bet my left/right or both potatoes Randy's efforts weren't represented for monetary gain but rather conviction and devotion gave us his insightful reading. Randy, ever been called a trailblazer?

  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Book review: The Karen Carpenter connection
    Author's own struggles, fascination brings new truth, depth to Karen's sad saga
    By Sarah Perry
    The Dallas Morning News

    "Schmidt began researching Carpenter's life. He spent hours in his school library poring over dusty encyclopedias.
    His mother took him to thrift shops, where he spent his weekends rummaging through bins of cassette tapes and vinyl records."
    "It's actually Schmidt's second book on the subject: In 2000, he published "Yesterday Once More: Memories of the Carpenters and Their Music,"
    a collection of articles and reviews he'd found over the years. It's now out of print."
    In contrast, "Little Girl Blue" was making its second round at the printer before it was officially released in stores, and rights have been sold for a British edition.
    Kirkus Reviews called the book a "dense, fact-filled treatment, which carefully skirts sensationalism while exposing new truths." Critics and fans have praised Schmidt for confirming the contentious relationship between Karen and her mother, Agnes Carpenter. He shares an e-mail from Frank Pooler, the Carpenters' orchestral director and Karen's vocal coach.
    "I am astounded by the depth and understanding that you have had for Karen," Pooler wrote. "Thanks for letting me relive an important part of my life . . . you have indeed done 'good for Karen.' "
    In a phone interview, Pooler says he thinks Schmidt "knows Karen better than she knew herself," and that his book had captured her spirit well."
    "The Carpenters, once scorned by critics for their pop music, have influenced scores of musicians today."
    " Karen's voice is regarded as transcendent and versatile."



  8. I bought LGB (different cover) a few months ago. (I'm a new fan, new here too). It's a wonderful book. All I'd ever want to know about my favorite singer. A sometimes difficult story handled and presented well. A book that needed to be written, at least for a new generation of fans. It speaks the truth, in love. As an accomplishment in itself, LGB shouldn't be underestimated.
  9. Welcome aboard, Apollo!

    It sounds as thought you have the UK edition of LBG, which I've not got around to getting yet but I must make a point of doing so I think.

    You are right that it is a difficult read at times, but essential for anyone who's a fan of Karen to go through those difficult times with her. It brings her back to life for those few hundred or so pages. What is also great is the Randy Schmidt is actively part of the Karen's online community of fans and very easy to engage with.
    kacfansue and Jamesj75 like this.
  10. Yes indeed, wideawake, I've had a number of communications online with him, and he's always very helpful. He's no doubt shown much patience as I've asked him various questions time and again!!
    wideawakeat4am likes this.
  11. Not really sure which topic to put this under, but because I didn't see this person's name in Randy's book, I am going to assume it wasn't true and/or the guy's nuts... Have any of you heard of this person named Stewart Epstein who claims that he was engaged to Karen when she was 19? I have seen him post under the "Little Girl Blue" reviews on Amazon (but I have seen him post other places as well). He claims to know a lot of things about the family (that of course he can't/won't divulge) and that Agnes absolutely would not allow them to be married. His posts are always a little on the dramatic side; I assume he's deluded. Anyone know of him or what his story is?
  12. Ok, never mind... I did a search on him and turns out he is deluded and has been kicked off of just about every Carpenters forum there is. Moving on...
    kacfansue and wideawakeat4am like this.
  13. natureaker

    natureaker Active Member

    Just ordered this book today! So excited for when it comes in! :D
    djn likes this.
  14. djn

    djn Well-Known Member

    how'd you like it?
  15. natureaker

    natureaker Active Member

    I loved it! Even though I'm still reading it (I got it last Monday, so really not that bad), I've learned an awful lot, especially about the very early days of their history. I remember when I first got Little Girl Blue, while I was looking through the photos, before I even started reading it, I said to myself "Man, I'm gonna learn an awful lot from this, I can definitely tell!". I wasn't wrong.:D
    MARK KILLINER and Tapdancer like this.
  16. Tapdancer

    Tapdancer Active Member

    What does this tell us about "pop critics"? There are only two critics in the music business we should heed - our Left Ear and our Right Ear.
    David A, Guitarmutt, song4u and 2 others like this.

  17. hi Apollo

    I`m new here too, so just getting used to everything.
    I brought this book a couple of weeks ago, mainly to add to my collection, because I`ve never been a big reader. so, I`ve managed to get the audio book of this, downloaded it and then converted it to MP3. now, I can listen to it at my own pace and I have to say, I`m really looking forward to it!

    djn likes this.
  18. I think I know the person you refer to and as you say he has been kicked off forums before. I remember reading some of his posts but they seem to have been widely dismissed and not seen as credible.

    I can't imagine Karen having anyone in her life that's not already been mentioned by either Randy or Coleman.
  19. natureaker

    natureaker Active Member

    Towards the end of the book now, still curious about one thing in particular. I know that in the book it says nobody was able to disclose information about when Karen and her parents bodies were moved to Westlake Village, California back in December 2003, and the grave was empty. I know that it was stated just pages before that Karen "feared death and especially the idea of being buried under ground". Has any new information been realized since Little Girl Blue's release? Apologies if this has already been covered earlier...
  20. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    There is one site that recounts this...I won't publish the address out of respect.

    "Karen and her parents were moved to Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park in Westlake Village, by her brother Richard on 12/11/03. She remained in her original casket as well as her parents. They were placed in a private family mausoleum in the Tranquility Gardens section of the cemetery. There was no service held the day they were reinterred".
    natureaker likes this.
  21. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Going off topic a bit, but wouldn't it be interesting to watch Sue Lawley interview Tom Burris.
  22. According to Randy's Facebook page, there is going to be a telecast about the Carpenters on the cable channel AXS TV this Wednesday evening (October 26) at 9pm on a show called "Rock Legends".
  23. It would be interesting to see ANYONE interview Tom Burris :wink:
    djn and natureaker like this.
  24. I have read the book twice (borrowed from the library). I honestly could not put it down. It is probably the fact that I am so mesmerized with Karen as it being a compelling read. I do think the author did a good job. He left a lot to the imagination; for example was Karen actually physically abused at the hands of Tom Burris? The book certainly points in that direction. There is overwhelming evidence however that Karen was completely "marginalized" by her mother in lieu of Richard. As far as Karen's father was concerned, I am all too familiar of the "Harolds" of the world. Early on on in the marriage, Agnes quickly "deballed" him, making him completely powerless to lend assistance to his troubled daughter.
    djn likes this.
  25. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    That cracked me up, never heard that saying before :laugh:

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