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

Anyone read this?

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Using Richard's input would be the key to it’s success or failure, depending on what he lets a director do.
I’d say that would be it’s failure. He would allow virtually zero directorial control over the film, not to mention the script, casting, score...if a big budget film is ever going to happen, it needs to be handled by a top team of the calibre that have produced other such movies.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Saw this in the news today. Another famous singer biopic due for release in September. A Star Is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, and now Judy. It seems logical that Karen would be seriously considered for such a project if this trend continues;

 
Last edited:

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Saw this in the news today. Another famous singer biopic due for release in September. A Star Is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, and now Judy. It seems logical that Karen would be seriously considered for such a project if this trend continues;

Here's hoping!

I'm looking forward to seeing Rocketman. If it's anything like Bohemian Rhapsody, it'll be great!
 

Greg

Member
This actually goes under the category "Anyone heard this?" but since I don't know where else to put it, I'll post it here. EP82: Karen Tongson on The Carpenters' "A Song For You" (1972) | Maximum Fun

Karen Tongson appeared in the Heat Rocks podcast, where they discussed the A Song for You album. Interesting stuff.
I enjoyed this! Thankyou for posting it.

It's always interesting to hear what lesser fans think of K & R. While I disagree on their bias assesment of the 'A Song For You' track and the frequent veering off into idea's of 'whiteness' - I thought they raised some interesting points. And it's always nice to hear Karen's voice get more love.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Remembering Hal Blaine
MAY 24, 2019,
BY PHIL HOOD | FROM THE SUMMER 2019 ISSUE OF DRUM!
Excerpt:
DAVID STANOCH, DRUMMER: "....rich with unique subtle nuances you didn’t hear other drummers playing,
like ‘The Boxer’ [Paul Simon] or ‘Close to You’ [The Carpenters]. "
"...of course, he had his signature sound, like ‘We’ve Only Just Begun’ [The Carpenters]
or ‘Cherokee People’ [Paul Revere And The Raiders]. What a gift."

Source:
http://drummagazine.com/remembering-hal-blaine/
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
In case this one got missed.....

"MAY 9,1983....PEOPLE Magazine:
Picks and Pans Review: The Carpenters
Karen and Richard Carpenter recorded 11 albums, including 10 gold singles, but were never really able to shake their reputation as a white-bread-soaked-in-milk act. Karen’s death has inevitably led to reevaluation, and there’s plenty of evidence that some fresh assessment is in order. All 11 albums are still in print, and A&M plans to bring out another in the summer, too, so a second look won’t be hard to take. There is, for instance, the Carpenters’ version of Leon Russell’s This Masquerade on Now and Then, recorded three years before George Benson’s huge hit version. Karen’s vocal is typically restrained—she’ll never be remembered as history’s most passionate singer—but it’s rendered with a straightforward attention to the sense of the words and music that can’t be as easy as it sounds or more performers would be doing it. While some of the duo’s hits still ooze saccharine, or seem stiff—the Bacharach-David tune (They Long to Be) Close to You is a notable example—the Carpenters were, at least, consistently musical and intelligent. "

Source:
Picks and Pans Review: The Carpenters
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Regarding that 1983 People Magazine article. That is the only article I have seen that refers to
Close To You
as "stiff." In fact, the article points to the song as a "notable example."
So, even as of May 1983, it is easy to see the duo's uphill battle, in terms of image.
Quite frankly, I am surprised Voice of the Heart sold as well as it did (then),
although Richard Carpenter did a lot of promotion (as did A&M Records).
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Here, two excerpts from Chicago Tribune, Karen Carpenter Story:
Jan 1, 1989, A PUZZLE FOR THE AGES
Barry Morrow
, who wrote the script, spent eight long sessions talking with Richard. It was Richard who volunteered the information about his drug dependency...Morrow says, ''It had been successfully suppressed through all the years in which the Carpenters were public figures.
In all my research, I never saw it mentioned in any newspaper or magazine accounts. It was a very candid and courageous thing for Richard to do.''To tell you the truth, I didn`t think it had a rightful place in the picture. At first I felt it might detract from Karen`s story, but ultimately it stayed in because it explained Richard`s inability to help his sister at her most crucial moments because he too was sick.''
---
"But after years researching and writing the script,
Barry Morrow still can`t find a concise explanation. ''In some ways, it was the accumulation of minor defeats rather than big events that killed Karen. Little things, like when Richard`s talent seemed to outshine hers. Or fans who didn`t recognize her on the street. Or put downs from sarcastic music critics. All those things she carried on her very frail shoulders for 32 years. ''The puzzling thing is we all have those burdens.
Why Karen buckled under them and the rest of us can seemingly withstand them is a puzzle for the ages.''

More:
`A PUZZLE FOR THE AGES`
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Great article @GaryAlan, any chance you could post the entire transcript as the link is not available in the UK or Europe?

"But after years researching and writing the script,
Barry Morrow still can`t find a concise explanation. ''In some ways, it was the accumulation of minor defeats rather than big events that killed Karen. Little things, like when Richard`s talent seemed to outshine hers. Or fans who didn`t recognize her on the street. Or put downs from sarcastic music critics. All those things she carried on her very frail shoulders for 32 years. ''The puzzling thing is we all have those burdens.
Why Karen buckled under them and the rest of us can seemingly withstand them is a puzzle for the ages.''
Yeah, the thing with Morrow's recollection is that it's largely based on Richard's (biased) version of events. I know Richard was there throughout her struggles, but from everything I've read, I'd disagree that her illness was the manifestation of "minor defeats". Her rejected solo album, her failed marriage, and even Richard's own illness and subsequent year out were major blows in her life and precipitated her rapid decline from 1980 onwards. Contrast these with the things like critics jibes, which Morrow claims contributed to her decline. As early as 1972, Karen was interviewed saying that such jibes, about the audience and their music (in her words) "used to bother me". Therefore Morrow's belief that such things bothered her, in fact didn't in later years.

At first I felt it might detract from Karen`s story, but ultimately it stayed in because it explained Richard`s inability to help his sister at her most crucial moments because he too was sick.''
I was always under the impression that Richard conceded the truth about this episode in return for Morrow softening some of the sharper edges around the Agnes character in the story :rolleyes:
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^ Stephen.

A Puzzle For The Ages
Chicago Tribune, January 1989, Frank Sanello


"There`s a spine-chilling scene in ''The Karen Carpenter Story'' where Cynthia Gibb in the title role hikes up her blouse to reveal an emaciated torso. She pinches her waist and looks in the mirror. It`s obvious from previous scenes in the CBS-TV movie that the pop singer thinks she`s pinching excess fat as in all those ''can`t-pinch-an-inch'' cornflake commercials. But there isn`t an ounce of fat to pinch.
Carpenter, who died in 1983, was probably the world`s most famous victim of anorexia nervosa.
''People have great difficulty understanding this, but when anorexics look in the mirror, because of their denial, they have a distorted body image. When you give them a lie-detector test as they`re looking at themselves in the mirror, you`re seeing an Auschwitz victim and they are seeing fat. And they really believe it,'' says psychiatrist William Rader, whose nationwide Rader Institutes specialize in treating eating disorders.

To the public, pop stars Richard and Karen Carpenter seemed to have it all. In the 1970s, five of their albums went platinum (sales of 1 million), and 16 consecutive singles hit the Top 20. They were devoted to their parents, a blue-collar couple in Downey, Calif. Brother and sister showered gifts, a classic Cadillac and a lavish house on mom and dad. Richard was handsome and a brilliant music arranger. Karen was pretty and had a luscious singing voice. With their squeaky-clean image, Richard and Karen seemed to be older colleagues of Donny and Marie, except the Carpenters` records sold better. With their beaming parents always at their side, the Carpenters could have been the Nelson family come to life. But as the TV movie demonstrates in a searing psychological examination of their lives, the Carpenters probably were closer to the Tyrones in ''Long Day`s Journey into Night'' than Ozzie and Harriet.Despite their success on the charts, the critics treated the duo like the Rodney Dangerfield of pop. In an era of acid rock and counterculture rebellion, the Carpenters couldn`t get no respect.

Mrs. Carpenter, played by Oscar-winner Louise Fletcher, comes across as a domineering, emotionally stingy woman who refuses to tell Karen she loves her even when a psychiatrist urges her to do so as part of Karen`s treatment for anorexia. And, though Richard Carpenter served as executive producer and gave the film his blessing, he is portrayed as a Quaalude-popping zombie more like Janis Joplin than Donny Osmond. (In one harrowing scene, Richard complains he can`t sleep and his mother pushes her supply of Quaaludes on him, insisting they have to be safe because the doctor gave them to her.)

Barry Morrow, who wrote the script, spent eight long sessions talking with Richard. It was Richard who volunteered the information about his drug dependency. Morrow says, ''It had been successfully suppressed through all the years in which the Carpenters were public figures. In all my research, I never saw it mentioned in any newspaper or magazine accounts. It was a very candid and courageous thing for Richard to do.
''To tell you the truth, I didn`t think it had a rightful place in the picture. At first I felt it might detract from Karen`s story, but ultimately it stayed in because it explained Richard`s inability to help his sister at her most crucial moments because he too was sick.''
(Richard Carpenter originally agreed to be interviewed for this article, but after a browbeating about his drug use by a New York reporter, he canceled all remaining interviews.) Though Karen was concerned about her weight as early as age 13, she seems to have gone off the deep end in her preoccupation about her body image when a Billboard magazine critic called her Richard`s ''chubby sister.''
(According to the recent Albert Goldman biography, John Lennon also became anorexic when a reporter referred to him as ''the fat Beatle.'')

Karen began a disastrous downward spiral of self-starvation aided by laxatives and diuretics.In 1979, semicomatose on Quaaludes, Richard fell down a flight of stairs backstage and finally confronted his addiction. He checked into the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kan., and licked his habit after a six-week stay. But when Karen collapsed backstage after a performance in Las Vegas, she continued to deny she had a problem.
''An anorexic`s denial is as strong as an alcoholic`s. Once they stop eating, they can`t stop. They literally cannot stop the same way a drug addict cannot stop. Certain physiological changes occur, and the victim actually feels a high from not eating,'' Rader explains.
After the collapse of her brief marriage to a real-estate developer in 1981, Karen finally admitted she needed help and checked into a hospital in New York.
The final irony, and real tragedy, of ''The Karen Carpenter Story'' is that at the time of her death in 1983, Karen was on the road to recovery. She had gained weight and seemed to have worked out her emotional problems with her parents and brother. Even the dour Mrs. Carpenter had finally brought herself to tell her daughter, ''I love you.'' But prolonged self-starvation had damaged Karen`s heart, and she collapsed at her parents` home on Feb. 4, 1983. She died in the hospital shortly afterward.
She was only 32. So what killed Karen Carpenter? What caused her anorexia?
Rader offers a psychological profile of the classic anorexic: ''They usually feel someone or something is controlling their lives. They have a desperate need of control. What they end up doing is controlling what they put into their mouths.''

The TV movie suggests Richard called all the shots in their career. He fired their manager without informing her. During his hospitalization for drug abuse, she tried to record a solo album, and he summarily forbade her. Her parents unknowingly made a tragic mistake when they complimented her for shedding her baby fat. Mitchell Anderson plays Richard Carpenter in the telefilm. As part of his research, the young actor had dinner with the singer. Richard said that Karen ''probably would have been anorexic had she been a housewife, because she was trying desperately to gain some kind of perfection and control in her life she felt she was lacking,'' Anderson says. But after years researching and writing the script, Barry Morrow still can`t find a concise explanation.
''In some ways, it was the accumulation of minor defeats rather than big events that killed Karen. Little things, like when Richard`s talent seemed to outshine hers. Or fans who didn`t recognize her on the street. Or putdowns from sarcastic music critics. All those things she carried on her very frail shoulders for 32 years.
''The puzzling thing is we all have those burdens. Why Karen buckled under them and the rest of us can seemingly withstand them is a puzzle for the ages.''

Source:
`A PUZZLE FOR THE AGES`
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thank you! Reading the entire article, it seems to be based almost entirely on the script of the movie, rather than a real life account of their story. Still, it's very interesting to hear from people on the sidelines who don't often contribute.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
1989 Entertainment Tonight, Richard Carpenter (1:45):
"...this is our lives, this is how many, many people are going to remember Karen and me...try to make it as accurate...."
Here:
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Excerpts from a very long, interesting article:
The Day the Music Burned
It was the biggest disaster in the history of the music business — and almost nobody knew.
This is the story of the 2008 Universal fire


"...there has never been a full accounting of film and video losses in the fire."
----
"The vault held masters for the MCA, ABC, A&M, Geffen and Interscope labels. And it held masters for a host of smaller subsidiary labels.
Nearly all of these masters — in some cases, the complete discographies of entire record labels — were wiped out in the fire."
----
"The vault fire was not, as UMG suggested, a minor mishap, a matter of a few tapes stuck in a musty warehouse.
It was the biggest disaster in the history of the music business. UMG’s internal assessment of the event stands in contrast to its public statements. In a document prepared for a March 2009 “Vault Loss Meeting,” the company described the damage in apocalyptic terms.
“The West Coast Vault perished, in its entirety,” the document read. “Lost in the fire was, undoubtedly, a huge musical heritage.”
----
"Simply put, the master of a recording is that recording; it is the thing itself. The master contains the record’s details in their purest form: the grain of a singer’s voice, the timbres of instruments, the ambience of the studio. It holds the ineffable essence that can only truly be apprehended when you encounter a work of art up-close and unmediated, or as up-close and unmediated as the peculiar medium of recorded sound permits."
---
The fate of all those tapes has been an open secret for years. It hides in plain sight on the internet, popping up on message boards frequented by record collectors and audio engineers. In a 2014 interview, Richard Carpenter, one-half of the superstar 1970s duo the Carpenters, stated that masters for the group’s multimillion-selling A&M albums were lost on the backlot. “A lot of those masters ... they went up in the fire at Universal,” Carpenter said."
----
Much More:
www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordings.html
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Billboard Mag, July 24th, 1976:
Carpenters/ Jimmie Walker
Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas
"Armed with a new, livelier production, the Carpenters turned around their past, stale cabaret show July 1 to an enthusiastic response by a
packed Versailles Room audience. Karen healthier and happier, teamed with brother Richard in the Joe Layton production, which featured a circular stage set packed with musical equipment, a tape machine console and the five -man group supporting the brother -sister effort.
The Dick Palombi house orchestra circled the modern format, enhanced by coordinated, effective lighting.
After the overture led by Richard and Karen's vocal on "Kind Of A Hush," the two A & M artists glided through the ballad "I Need To Be In
Love." A specialty rendition of the hit "Close To You" spotlighted Richard orchestrating band members on a creative collection of percussive
instruments the kitchen sink et al, followed by Karen's velvet vocals on "Don't Be Afraid," "Sing" (with effective tape playbacks of
audience participation) and "Yesterday Once More." The show then moved into a humorous "Grease" sequence, with Karen outfitted as an
overly -built Sandra Dee and Richard backed by band members spoofing the '50s. Bass player Bob Messenger supplied knockout DJ ramblings
in the play on memories. Richard and Karen then presented a musical diary of their roots, beginnings and trials with Karen utilizing four
separate drum sets and Richard culminating the remembrance with a classical piano side of "Warsaw Concerto" backed by the orchestra.
A closing hits medley of 11 tunes rounded out the tight -knit show, which featured special material by Ken and Mitzi Welch, with new, improved
Bill Witten costumes. The entire show was much more impressive than past Carpenter bookings.
TV comedy star Jimmy Walker raced through..."
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
They did the same show at the Sahara Tahoe Casino and it was Tony doing the dj reprise. Much of the material was used in their tv specials too.
 

JayJayVA

Active Member
BILL WHITTEN - was the designer of Michael Jackson's famous rhinestone glove. He was a designer for Neil Diamond too.

Billboard Mag, July 24th, 1976:
Carpenters/ Jimmie Walker
Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas
A closing hits medley of 11 tunes rounded out the tight -knit show, which featured special material by Ken and Mitzi Welch, with new, improved
Bill Witten costumes. The entire show was much more impressive than past Carpenter bookings.
TV comedy star Jimmy Walker raced through..."
 

John Tkacik

Active Member
Excerpts from a very long, interesting article:
The Day the Music Burned
It was the biggest disaster in the history of the music business — and almost nobody knew.
This is the story of the 2008 Universal fire


"...there has never been a full accounting of film and video losses in the fire."
----
"The vault held masters for the MCA, ABC, A&M, Geffen and Interscope labels. And it held masters for a host of smaller subsidiary labels.
Nearly all of these masters — in some cases, the complete discographies of entire record labels — were wiped out in the fire."
----
"The vault fire was not, as UMG suggested, a minor mishap, a matter of a few tapes stuck in a musty warehouse.
It was the biggest disaster in the history of the music business. UMG’s internal assessment of the event stands in contrast to its public statements. In a document prepared for a March 2009 “Vault Loss Meeting,” the company described the damage in apocalyptic terms.
“The West Coast Vault perished, in its entirety,” the document read. “Lost in the fire was, undoubtedly, a huge musical heritage.”
----
"Simply put, the master of a recording is that recording; it is the thing itself. The master contains the record’s details in their purest form: the grain of a singer’s voice, the timbres of instruments, the ambience of the studio. It holds the ineffable essence that can only truly be apprehended when you encounter a work of art up-close and unmediated, or as up-close and unmediated as the peculiar medium of recorded sound permits."
---
The fate of all those tapes has been an open secret for years. It hides in plain sight on the internet, popping up on message boards frequented by record collectors and audio engineers. In a 2014 interview, Richard Carpenter, one-half of the superstar 1970s duo the Carpenters, stated that masters for the group’s multimillion-selling A&M albums were lost on the backlot. “A lot of those masters ... they went up in the fire at Universal,” Carpenter said."
----
Much More:
www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordings.html
When I read the article and saw Yoko Ono's name mentioned as one of the artists that lost recordings, I exclaimed "Yes, there is a God."
But seriously, this was a tragic event for all lovers of music no matter what their tastes are. We were generally aware of what Richard Carpenter lost but all the other names mentioned is catastrophic.
 
Top Bottom