• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is available for ordering here.

American Songwriter - Revisit These 10 Carpenters Songs

1969

Active Member
Thread Starter
Up on the web today from American Songwriter. Nice list with props to Karen and Richard.


 

Portlander

Well-Known Member
I agree but didn't want to come across as ungrateful for someone who took the time to highlight the Carpenters in an article. :agree:
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Or Paul Wiliams for WOJB..... "U.S. bank ad (sung by Smokey Roberds)" ?? Who in the heck is that? I've only heard RC and KC say it was Paul who was singing in the ad.
Smokey Roberds was in the A&M group "The Parade", who had a minor hit with "Sunshine Girl". This group is sort of tangential to Roger Nichols and The Small Circle of Friends, sharing member Murray MacLeod.

I'm unaware of his involvement in "We've Only Just Begun".
 

1969

Active Member
Thread Starter
Smokey Roberds was in the A&M group "The Parade", who had a minor hit with "Sunshine Girl". This group is sort of tangential to Roger Nichols and The Small Circle of Friends, sharing member Murray MacLeod.

I'm unaware of his involvement in "We've Only Just Begun".

Thanks for that info. Looked up his name and found this info from a Youtube video: "A shortened version of the song was initially created for a late-1960s Crocker National Bank TV ad (sung by co-writer Paul Williams), and this first full version recorded for commercial release (arranged by co-writer Roger Nichols) features a vocal by Nichols’ friend Smokey Roberds under the pseudonym “Freddie Allen.”. Some months later Richard and Karen Carpenter released their own famous arrangement"

He kind of sounds like Paul.


 

Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Thanks for that info. Looked up his name and found this info from a Youtube video: "A shortened version of the song was initially created for a late-1960s Crocker National Bank TV ad (sung by co-writer Paul Williams), and this first full version recorded for commercial release (arranged by co-writer Roger Nichols) features a vocal by Nichols’ friend Smokey Roberds under the pseudonym “Freddie Allen.”. Some months later Richard and Karen Carpenter released their own famous arrangement"

He kind of sounds like Paul.




This is a total copy of Paul's own recording. Even the pronunciation of "man-eh" in the second verse. Like, Freddie slavishly followed along with Paul's pronunciation throughout. "ThaT are new to us" LOL!!!

I also love that both of these versions are in E like Paul's. Richard's arrangement changes the key and it really ramps up the intimacy.

Ed
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Thanks for that info. Looked up his name and found this info from a Youtube video: "A shortened version of the song was initially created for a late-1960s Crocker National Bank TV ad (sung by co-writer Paul Williams), and this first full version recorded for commercial release (arranged by co-writer Roger Nichols) features a vocal by Nichols’ friend Smokey Roberds under the pseudonym “Freddie Allen.”. Some months later Richard and Karen Carpenter released their own famous arrangement"

He kind of sounds like Paul.



Roger Nichols and Paul Williams had to have thanked their lucky stars when Richard and Karen came along. They totally transformed the song. Shows you need more than just a good song - you also need the right arrangement, the right production and a good vocalist, as well as stellar musicians. Richard and Karen lifted this song from just okay to out of this world.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Thanks for this article. My only complaint is that the American SONGWRITER should have given Richard, John and Frank credit for writing "Yesterday Once more", "Top of the World", "Goodbye to Love" and "Merry Christmas Darling".
Also, Richard gets mention for being an arranger these days but, as we all know, he was / is way, way more than that. It’s a shame that A&M didn’t make sure they were crediting correctly, right from the beginning. Richard and Karen’s, as well as Spectrum’s, home demos, right from the beginning, and the recordings done in Joe Osborne’s garage studio pre-A&M contract, all have almost the exact sound and production values as those massive, early A&M Carpenters hits. Richard should have at least been given co-production credits during the first half of their career, but I strongly suspect he was the actual producer on all those early hits.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
'Freddy Allen' sure sounds like Paul Williams, which I'm guessing was intentional. Incidentally, White Whale Records was on its last leg at the time. They were known for ripping off their artists (The Turtles, especially). But I'll give them props for at least hearing the potential in 'We've Only Just Begun'.
 
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