Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Mark-T, Mar 14, 2015.
The thread title says it all.
Should we give it a go?
Another question :
Did the television special of 1978, as aired, include--or, not--the Choir with Ave Maria ?
On Youtube, Carpenters A Christmas Portrait, Karen is
performing Ave Maria sans Choir. Also, the credits for the
special--rolling at the end--includes nothing regarding a choir.
DVD Close To You, Remembering The Carpenters, which presents
the same TV performance, does include Choir.
CFCN#58 March 1978:
"Since before Christmas (1977) they have been at A&M Studios working on a Christmas Album."
CFCN#60 July 1978:" Christmas album is completed. You will recognize a few numbers from Last
Year's (Carpenters at Christmas) Christmas Special. Confirmed word of a Christmas Special this year,
but no info regarding their prospective guests at this stage."
Look To Your Dreams, completed by Mid- 1978...includes Choir.
Ave Maria, completed by July 1978....and, as on LP, includes NO recorded Choir.
Richard Carpenter states:" due to 'rush' to complete Christmas album, written choral parts misplaced."
Seems to me, given that he was never intending to (record or ) release Look To Your Dreams,
it is confusing Why one would complete that song in 1978, with Choir, but not the other--as,
Ave Maria was all along intended for release on the 1978 Album.
Well, the entire episode is screwy.
The Choir spoils Ave Maria, and,
as Richard Carpenter points out,
it was truly Karen's album.
(Of course, it spoils the other,also.)
At the time of CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT, the album AND TV special, the choir parts were still misplaced. They weren't found until he was putting together the CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT Compact Disc Special Edition, which is when he had the choir parts recorded and added as they were originally intended.
How much would you wager that if ever CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT, the TV special, were released on DVD, the soundtrack would be modified to include the choir on "Ave Maria"?
Credits, as they roll, for the
1978 Christmas Portrait Special :
Producer/Director......... Bob Henry
Written.......................... Rod Warren
Special Musical Material .Ray Charles
Associate Producer......... Gerald Jaskulski
Art Director.................... Romain Johnston
Musical Director........... Nelson Riddle
Musical Arrangements... Nelson Riddle/Peter Knight/Richard Carpenter
Engineered by ................Ray Gerhardt/Roger Young/Dave Iveland
Hairdressers....................Gail Rowell/Sandy Holland
Production Associate..... Werner Wolfen
Executive Producer........ Jerry Weintraub
Taped at ABC Television Center Hollywood
Credits, as they roll, for the
1977 Carpenters At Christmas :
Writers......................Bill Larkin and Stephen Spears
Associate Producer....Jacques Andre
Musical Direction.......Billy May
Arrangements............Billy May/Peter Knight/Richard Carpenter
All Songs selected by..Richard Carpenter
Engineered.................Ray Gerhardt/Roger Young/Dave Iveland
Costumes.................. Bill Belew
Hairdressers..............Sandy Holland/Barbara Lorenz
University Choir at Long Beach Conducted by... Frank Pooler
Production Associate...Werner Wolfen
Executive Producer......Jerry Weintraub
--- Downey/Bronx Production---
---sponsors Kodak and Timex---
We can hope that the DVD gets a special pressing in Germany first!!
December 29, 1978:
"Specials that attracted satisfactory audiences included
The Carpenters, A Christmas Portrait, ranking #24 for the week."
(Out of 63 Programs).
Music Music Music.......need I say more!
I do know that the GOLD DVD collection would fare better on bluray.
Music Music Music receive very poor ratings out of all Carpenters 5 specials.No 59 out of 60 programs for that week
Seems peeps may have been afraid of a SPACE ENCOUNTERS. The classiest show of the lot and viewers scared to NBC by weird ass shtick. I never thought Weintraub to be the perfect fit. Ramone and KC were like peas and carrots by contrast. Or don't these routines with S Somers speak for themselves? Charlie Callas, Victor Borge? TV suicide.
I don't get that. Was there poor advance advertising? Do classic jazz fans not watch TV specials? Was it because of K&R's waning popularity in the U.S.? It's by far their classiest non holiday special with a focus on music. No corny guest stars. No schtick.
Did they use the choir in the last concert at Long Beach State for the Ave Maria performance in Dec 1978? Interesting if the choral sheets were found by then.
Music, Music, Music.....
8 pm, Friday, May 16, 1980....
"The Choice--Matthau or the Carpenters ( on ABC) "
ABC: Carpenters followed by Movie--"The Hustler of Muscle Beach"
CBS: Incredible Hulk followed by Dukes of Hazard and Dallas
NBC: Here's Boomer (half-hour) followed by Walter Matthau Movie--"Here's Casey"
May 16, 1980, Milwaukee Journal (Mike Drew, TV-Radio Critic):
" In case you've been wondering what happened to Karen and Richard Carpenter, the Liberace of
his age group and sister Vanilla Milkshake have been "taking a long-awaited rest from show biz",
She told me on the phone the other day."
"Although I'm not crying myself to sleep over that, I like their special the best."
"Not because of guest John Davidson, who could give the Carpenters blandness lessons.
"Partly it's the evergreen music performed, but mostly because Ella Fitzgerald and Nelson Riddle
spice up the pudding."
Not necessarily rankings, but remembrances....
Their 1st Television Special - being a total Carpenters geek, and in high school at the time, it was hard to contain my excitement about an hour long special of their own. Long before VCRs and DVRs, I actually took pictures with my Kodak camera of different shots of them on the TV throughout the special (sad, but true), and recorded audio with my trusty Panasonic cassette recorder. I do remember People magazine having a full-page ad promoting it. Great music, and no more corny than the other variety shows and specials at that time.
Both Christmas Specials - nothing goes together better than the Carpenter and Christmas. The music was superb as always. I remember hearing "Christ is Born" for the first time and being totally blown away. However, the corn-factor got noticeably heavier, and was commented on by others my age at the time.
Space Encounters - totally embarrassing. I was a known Carpenter fanatic when this aired in high school, and endured a lot of grief after this one aired. Even my English/Drama teacher commented the next day that it was the single worst television special he had ever watched, and it was no wonder that their record sales were dropping.
Music, Music, Music - now working in college, I left early just to get to the TV Department at Sear's at our local Mall, and stood there the entire hour to be able to see it. Worth every minute of it.
Bill Davis directed The Carpenters First Television Special,
by all accounts this special performed the best in the ratings.
Bob Henry directed the remaining television specials.
Is there any input as to what precipitated this change in director ?
Spot on, anathem at best. Space Encounters is their worst special of all five.
From the Official Carpenter site:
"Richard firmly believes that one reason Karen is relatively underrated as a great singer today is due to the sweet, square image promulgated by the record label, management, and their public relations firm alike; one that he was battling, with little success, throughout their career.
Richard believes that the specials, well-executed and successful though they were, did nothing to change that image."
Couldn't agree more.
Personally, I would have loved to see Richard and Liberace have a piano-off/dueling pianos bit in one of the specials. You know, since they were calling Richard the 'Liberace of his age group' (Sister Vanilla Milkshake as a reference to Karen is really cute, but I am sure it was not meant to be)... Oh, only one of the what-ifs. I wonder if Richard ever met Liberace, any one know?
I thoroughly enjoy 1976's "First Television Special" and the 1977 Christmas special. The others, minus "Music Music Music" because I haven't watched it yet, kinda float in there somewhere....
All of the TV specials are available on ioffer.com if anyone cares. Not sure if I am allowed to mention that... Less than $10 apiece. Can't vouch for quality, but probably better than most of what you find on youtube.
Carpenters Space Encounters
This from IMDB:
Primetime Emmy Outstanding Achievement in
Video Tape Editing for a Special
Jimmy B. Frazier (editor) "