1. The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available for preorder! Use this link to preorder, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

Anyone read this?

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by ullalume, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Yamaguchi

    Yamaguchi Member

    There is good video of this performance on YouTube; it's outdoors in front of Walter Reed. Good show and demonstrates the Carpenters' class and patriotism.
    David A likes this.
  2. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    Yes I love that video - I'm not sure what "Revolver TV" is (that word is superimposed in the video). This video shows how the Carpenters have in 1970 hit their early professional stride. Very tight live performance. Karen's voice is, as always, amazing, and for me it's always a treat to watch Karen drumming.

    From 2:50 to 3:00 Karen's voice is one of those "chills" moments. Wow.

    A side-note is the view we periodically see of the listeners. Some pretty distraught/unimpressed faces here and there.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
    KevCav333 likes this.
  3. Portlander

    Portlander Active Member

    ^ Those looks of distraught and unimpressed faces are mostly due to a predominantly male military audience with previous combat experience in Vietnam. Their music of choice during 1971 would range from CCR and to Marvin Gaye and anything anti establishment or psychedelic like CSNY, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, and Tommy James. The Carpenters, as talented as they in addition to having a couple of hits on their resume at the time still would not garner much excitement in that setting.
    David A likes this.
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    For those with an interest, here is a 'journal-published' article:
    Karen Carpenter, anorexia nervosa, and popular music
    "An article forthcoming in Popular Music, in 2018. Now published! "
    "I will look in more detail at a small number of popular music artists who had experience of anorexia, their stage and media presentations (of it), and how they did or apparently did not explore their experience of it in their own work and public appearances. This close discussion is framed within thinking about the popular music industry’s capacity for carelessness, its schedule of pressure and practice of destruction on its own stars, particularly in this instance its female artists. This is an article about a condition and an industry. At its heart is the American singer and drummer Karen Carpenter (1950-1983), a major international pop star in the 1970s..."

    Author allows free download of this journal article:
    Disability | George McKay: professor, writer, musician
    goodjeans likes this.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Excerpts from the above Journal Article:
    (1)"There is remarkably little sustained writing on the culture of Karen Carpenter
    bearing in mind her major international success in pop, her musical innovation
    as female drummer–lead singer, and that she was the figure first and most associated
    in the public’s mind with what they thought of ...as the new condition of anorexia nervosa."

    (2) "It’s easy to point a finger at the pressures of the business, but Karen adored her career, and the
    pressures – and so do I – so I really, really don’t think it was that at all
    ." (Carpenter 1983);
    Shortly afterwards, in the same interview, he (Carpenter)points precisely to ‘her active schedule’
    as in fact being a key contributory factor..."

    (3) "Her version of ‘Last one singin’ the blues’ (Carpenter 1996)
    is a fine and resonant recording, made more interesting and, one could say moving,
    even because the intro and middle eight still feature her spoken instructions to the band: ‘Just a cinch
    slower, Lib’ (to drummer Liberty DeVitto), ‘Don’t forget the break’.
    In the studio, with a producer who was not her brother, and a different band, recording her solo album,
    she is, for a while, in control. That Richard and the A&M Records senior executives should absolutely veto
    its release in 1980 is certainly a powerful statement of male disregard and reassertion of gendered authority."

    (4) "...there was a degree of acceptance and recognition from the wider industry of her achievements as a

    (5) "Let us be clear: her striking early innovation as a successful female drummer–lead
    singer has rarely if ever been repeated in pop."

    (6) "she told Ray Coleman: ‘it hurt me that I had to get up and be up front. I didn’t want to give up my playing.
    Singing was an accident. Singing seriously came long after the drums
    ." (Melody Maker 1975).
    David A, goodjeans and Jamesj75 like this.
  6. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    Gary, you seem to be a master at finding articles of interest about the Carpenters that might otherwise fly past the radar, and I am immensely grateful. This article is a fascinating read; it even attempts to "scientifically" - or perhaps, musically is a better term - define what it is about Karen's voice that makes it seemingly embedded with melancholy. It also cements in my mind, my perspective on why and how Karen ultimately became anorexic.

    Thanks again for this.
    Mark-T and Jamesj75 like this.
  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Singing their praises: the power of the human voice
    From Karen Carpenter to John Lydon, a book explores the timbre of stars' singing.....
    Book,Voices: How A Great Singer Can Change Your Life Nick Coleman,Jonathan Cape
    "The author knows that, if he is to justify his book’s subtitle, he must show how his favorite singers are not just a constant backdrop to his life, but also entities who help him to make sense of it."
    "Throughout the book, Coleman is adept at nailing the essence of his most-cherished singers with a well-turned phrase. "The sumptuous voice of tragic ’70s crooner Karen Carpenter
    ' was as warm, open and inclusive as a kindled hearth on a dank afternoon...'

    Voices: How a Great Singer Can Change Your Life – review
    Singing their praises: the power of the human voice
    Jamesj75 and Carpe diem like this.
  8. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Almost 35 years after her demise, Karen is still relevant enough to be included in literary works in 2018! Thanks Gary for posting all this great information!!
    goodjeans and Jamesj75 like this.
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    "On Carpenters' 50th anniversary,
    a concert to help people struggling with eating disorders"

    "Mention the songs "We've Only Just Begun" or "Close to You," and many people think of the Carpenters.
    Mention the Carpenters, though, and many people also think of the tragic death of Karen Carpenter.

    "Richard Carpenter 'deeply touched' by Bruce's efforts....
    Bruce and other Mount St. Joseph University students and staff, as well as several local musicians, will perform.
    Bruce said she even received an email response from Richard Carpenter.
    Bruce had invited Karen's brother to participate in the concert, and although he had to decline, he said he was "deeply touched" by Bruce's effort."
    Published 11:12 a.m. ET Jan. 29, 2018
    On Carpenters' 50th anniversary, a concert to help people struggling with eating disorders
  10. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    I momentarily took "had to decline" as "potentially planning something else for 50th anniversary" :laugh:
    Thanks again for the cool articles, GaryAlan :)
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  11. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Cubby O'Brien (1996):
    Not so Mickey Mouse

    "O'Brien says he saw Karen just four days before her death.
    "They had gotten some action on a new record, and we were going out on tour for the first time in two years,
    but it was too late for her, I guess. It really is sad, because she was such a sweet, warm girl. She never was temperamental or did any of that star stuff. We got along great, because she also was a drummer;
    I was much closer to her than I was to Richard."

    "Had Karen lived, O'Brien says, the Carpenters' "place would be exactly what it was before:
    The reviewers would hate them, and everybody else would listen to them and buy their albums!
    Their music was some of the best music of the '70s."

    "Although he knew that the Carpenters currently are big in Japan,
    O'Brien says he was unaware that the Carpenters are retrocool now;
    he hasn't heard If I Were a Carpenter, the 1994 tribute album of Carpenters covers by groups such as Sonic Youth, Shonen Knife, and Dishwalla, nor did he know that Richard Carpenter--who supervises his sister's estate--had finally consented to the release this month of a 1979 solo album by Karen produced by Phil Ramone, which one critic called Karen's "bold attempt to liberate herself."

    "O'Brien plays down notions that--as one critic said--Karen's "halo, like her brother, would prove impossible to shed,"
    or that the solo album was her "emancipation proclamation."
    According to O'Brien, "It's not as big a rift as they are making it sound like, although her anorexia was definitely a control problem. Her parents and Richard basically ran her life. Of course, nobody runs your life unless you let them run it. She was outwardly a very happy person, as far as I could tell."

    The Carpenters' current popularity doesn't surprise O'Brien. "Karen's like a cult figure; she deserves that.
    She was one of the most popular singers in the world. When I was with the band, we used to get rapped a lot because we weren't rock and roll or disco, but whenever we played an auditorium that held 25,000 people, it was packed!"
    Yamaguchi and Jamesj75 like this.
  12. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    His powers of recollection are about as good as Hal Blaine’s, who once said it was he who discovered Karen’s basement voice. They had no new records out in early 1983 and had made no concrete plans to go on tour, as he alludes to. If anything, their career was still completely on hold at the time of her death.
  13. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^I did read in Newspapers (February 5th, 1983) that the duo were
    "planning" to tour Summer 1983......
    Now, whether, or not, that was true.........?
  14. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Not to mention, Coleman's Bio (Page 320):
    "...Tuesday, February 1st, 1983,
    they met their stage producer, Joe Layton, to discuss their return to concert work
    Carpe diem likes this.
  15. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I guess what I was alluding to is Cubby’s comment that “we were going out on tour for the first time in two years”. I find it highly unlikely that the whole band had been contacted about touring if they were still at the embryonic stages of discussing a potential comeback tour.

    On a related note, a return to touring is the last thing Karen needed in 1983. She looked physically exhausted and like a woman in her mid 40s in that video clip of her at the Grammy Alumni appearance.
  16. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Point well-taken !
  17. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Wow, if that was the case, how delusional was EVERYBODY involved in the Carpenter camp?! Considering that Karen would be dead in 3 days. I firmly believe that Karen thought she was perfectly "fine" all the way up until she collapsed in her closet. But what about Richard, her mom & dad, her management, etc. What were they thinking???
  18. If you recall, Richard WAS sounding the alarm just a week before Karen died. Karen was "mad as hell" at him and confronted him in the parking lot of a major department store. So not "everybody" was "delusional." However, Karen was an independent adult woman. No one could force her to do anything unless she was cooperative.
  19. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Ah, the title of the book I'm never going to write: "You Can't Make Anyone Do Anything".
    Geographer likes this.
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Rob Sheffield on Why Rock Stars Are Suddenly Retiring
    Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: Why Rock Stars Are Suddenly Retiring
    From Elton John to Paul Simon and Neil Diamond, a generation of elders searches for a new way to say goodbye
    "Randy Newman has summed it up perfectly: "Musicians keep going. There is nobody applauding at home."
    When the stars step back, it doesn't take them long to discover how much they miss the bright lights and rowdy crowds. "My job is the greatest job in the world," Neil Diamond told an L.A. crowd last summer. "I sing. You hear. You applaud. I sing louder. I go wherever the noise is." Those of us who kept returning to see Diamond loved being part of that beautiful noise...."
  21. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

  22. Oh the many huge glaring factual errors. I stopped counting! But the pictures are nice.
    theninjarabbit likes this.
  23. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Lots of great photos, some I had never seen before. Thanks for posting!
  24. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Maybe the wrong thread for this but here goes; wondering if the DECADES channel (TV network for Baby Boomers) will give a mention this Friday 3/2/18 of the 68th anniversary of the birth of Karen Carpenter?! They do vignettes of lesser-known/relevant singers on that channel all the time on their birthdays. Karen, being arguably one of the best, if not THE BEST female singers of the 20th century, and shedding light on the whole anorexia issue, she should be recognized. I will monitor the situation and if she is snubbed, I will find a way to complain to the producers (yeah, a lot of good that will do me!).

    And while I am at it, I can inquire about the same reruns of The Best Of Ed Sullivan Show, in which the Carpenters same appearance keeps coming up. How bout the Walter Reed appearance that really shows the talent of the duo and especially Karen's fantastic drumming skills?!
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
  25. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

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