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Bruce Forsyth Show and Karen

cam89

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Did Karen spend Christmas in the UK or was this show filmed prior to Christmas Eve?

Cam
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Did Karen spend Christmas in the UK or was this show filmed prior to Christmas Eve?

Karen and the band flew to the UK to pre-record their appearance on Bruce’s show a few days after the Carpenters’ final live concert at Long Beach on December 3, 1978. She was back in LA long before Christmas Eve when it aired.

Incidentally, the ‘Big Night’ show has the misfortune of being Bruce Forsyth’s biggest flop of his long and illustrious TV career. He had recently defected to ITV from the BBC, having left the latter’s flagship Saturday night family gameshow ‘The Generation Game’. ITV had high hopes of recreating its success but the format was poorly received and some episodes didn’t even reach the top 20 on the TV ratings. 12 episodes were broadcast between October 7th and December 31st, 1978, with a couple of unrelated specials the following year, before it was axed completely. We’re very lucky we got to see Karen on this show when we did because it was pulled a week after her episode aired.
 
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Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Karen and the band flew to the UK to pre-record their appearance on Bruce’s show a few days after the Carpenters’ final live concert at Long Beach on December 3, 1978. She was back in LA long before Christmas Eve when it aired.

Incidentally, the ‘Big Night’ show has the misfortune of being Bruce Forsyth’s biggest flop of his long and illustrious TV career. He had recently defected to ITV from the BBC, having left the latter’s flagship Saturday night family gameshow ‘The Generation Game’. ITV had high hopes of recreating its success but the format was poorly received and some episodes didn’t even reach the top 20 on the TV ratings. 12 episodes were broadcast between October 7th and December 31st, 1978, with a couple of unrelated specials the following year, before it was axed completely. We’re very lucky we got to see Karen on this show when we did because it was pulled a week after her episode aired.

Randy Schmidt's book mentions Karen sending Richard a postcard from London dated 12 December 1978, so that tallies with her going over about a week after the Long Beach concert.
 

JohnFB

Not the voice of an angel - better...
Even though she was showing the decimating effects from her years long battle with "chronic malnutrition" her rendition of "Merry Christmas, Darling" on this show was heartfelt and heart warming - the gorgeous voice was still there, but there was also a remarkable confidence in herself on display and a supreme control over every aspect of her vocal performance that was the epitome of artistic professionalism.
 

John Tkacik

Well-Known Member
In November of 2018, Chris May started a series of "Holiday" threads about this broadcast. In the 1st thread, he included photos of the tapes created for broadcast and information cards regarding the taping of the songs.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
In November of 2018, Chris May started a series of "Holiday" threads about this broadcast. In the 1st thread, he included photos of the tapes created for broadcast and information cards regarding the taping of the songs.
Richard and I were recently chatting about the production on "Please Mr. Postman" for the Bruce Forsyth show that Karen did solo. (This track in particular is what was included on the tape boxes you mention @John Tkacik.)

Karen [exclusively] handled all of the pre-recorded production duties in London prior to the live taping on this one. He was going on about how proud he was of her and the incredible job she did to recreate it like she did.

 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure I ever mentioned this but a while back I took an audio copy of her live performance of Merry Christmas Darling from this show and played around in Audacity with the very end when she sings "Brucie". I flew in the original vocal take of Darling and extracted that last word and ending notes, adjusted the volume level so it blended as best I could and inserted it.

So it ended like, "Happy Christmas...Darling" I'm no expert but it worked quite well. Sometimes a minor edit can make all the difference to a song, right :laugh: sorta like the punch out "Tumtimes"....:wink:
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Richard and I were recently chatting about the production on "Please Mr. Postman" for the Bruce Forsyth show that Karen did solo. (This track in particular is what was included on the tape boxes you mention @John Tkacik.)

Karen [exclusively] handled all of the pre-recorded production duties in London prior to the live taping on this one. He was going on about how proud he was of her and the incredible job she did to recreate it like she did.

She did a fantastic job! Is it that the backing track was pre-recorded in the studio and her lead vocal was live? Or was it all pre-recorded? (If all of it was pre-recorded, I hope the master tapes still exist in the BBC archive and they can be pulled up for a “Carpenters at the BBC” release, like Queen and the Beatles have done over the years!)
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
She did a fantastic job! Is it that the backing track was pre-recorded in the studio and her lead vocal was live? Or was it all pre-recorded? (If all of it was pre-recorded, I hope the master tapes still exist in the BBC archive and they can be pulled up for a “Carpenters at the BBC” release, like Queen and the Beatles have done over the years!)
Everything—sans the lead vocal—was pre-recorded. The backing vocals were done by the guys in the band live, but pre-recorded (if that makes any sense).
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure I ever mentioned this but a while back I took an audio copy of her live performance of Merry Christmas Darling from this show and played around in Audacity with the very end when she sings "Brucie". I flew in the original vocal take of Darling and extracted that last word and ending notes, adjusted the volume level so it blended as best I could and inserted it.

So it ended like, "Happy Christmas...Darling" I'm no expert but it worked quite well. Sometimes a minor edit can make all the difference to a song, right :laugh: sorta like the punch out "Tumtimes"....:wink:
Would love to hear the end result of your work, @Rick-An Ordinary Fool!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I don't know how to post a picture, then it occurred to me that I can change my avatar. I hoped to share this with you all.


3706.jpg
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thank you!! I am happy to share the story how how I came to have this.

Please do - that’s a fascinating memorabilia piece!

A couple of years ago I actually emailed Richard on the official email, to offer to return to him if it was meaningful to him, but he didn’t reply.

If you mean the address on the official site, he may not even be aware you contacted him as that website has been mothballed for many years now.
 

Kacfan

Well-Known Member
I am sorry, but my story about how i got this could be quite boring for you, since i have no idea how it left Richard's possession. I got it by chance.... In 2007, I bought three volumes of scrapbooks from eBay. These were the books that Evelyn Wallace prepared for Richard and Karen. How these books left Richard’s possession and ended up on eBay I don’t know. I don’t eBay very often and so really just by chance saw that they were for sale. The listing didn't contain a lot of information about what was in them, but I really wanted something that was personal to them so I bought them. Later on, apparently the wedding scrapbook also was on ebay, but I didn't know about that one. When these books arrived, I looked through them, and they contained some personal items, but also many newspaper articles, invitations etc. it seemed to me at the time that the least interesting of the three was a volume called “invitations from lubec”, so basically a collection of invitations received by Richard. And so after looking through for a while, I didn’t even end up opening every envelope because many were printed invitations without any hand writing. A few years later, Randy got in touch with me when he was researching for his book, I don't know how he figured out I bought those books on ebay. He was hoping to learn what were in the books. Because of his request, I went through every piece of information in all three books, describing and sometimes summarizing for him, regardless of whether it seemed important or interesting. That is when I flipped over what seemed like a picture of a building to see Karen's message to Richard. I was in such shock. I was born in 1978 and live in Australia, so I never expected to ever have anything like this. I don’t know how many people had this volume in their possession before me, but clearly no one until that moment realized this postcard was inside. I took me years to get up the courage to email Richard (and yes it was the email on the offical site), as I always felt that i should offer it to him. But if you were to ask me now again I am not so sure - I assume he didn't reply because it didn't matter to him and so I got attached to it again.
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
Does that say "hello dere". Was this a little thing between her and Richard....like a combo of there/dear.

Also, I really don't mean to cast aspersions on Karen's ability to sing live....she was stellar, but with all of the prerecording done prior to her tv appearance are we absolutely sure she wasn't miming to a track earlier recorded.

Don't shoot me..I'm just asking.
 

Kacfan

Well-Known Member
sorry, "I had assumed", not "I assume". Thank you for explaining, now i understand that he probably never got that message. If anyone knows how these scrapbooks were taken out of his house, please share with us.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I am sorry, but my story about how i got this could be quite boring for you, since i have no idea how it left Richard's possession. I got it by chance.... In 2007, I bought three volumes of scrapbooks from eBay. These were the books that Evelyn Wallace prepared for Richard and Karen. How these books left Richard’s possession and ended up on eBay I don’t know.

I think you underestimate how great a story that is; and what a lucky find the whole volume was! Great story - and now we know where Randy got the postcard quotation for his book from. I wouldn’t be parting with that any time soon if it was me. I’m sure the postcard in itself holds some value as a collector’s item, it would be interesting to see just what.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Does that say "hello dere". Was this a little thing between her and Richard....like a combo of there/dear.

Also, I really don't mean to cast aspersions on Karen's ability to sing live....she was stellar, but with all of the prerecording done prior to her tv appearance are we absolutely sure she wasn't miming to a track earlier recorded.

Don't shoot me..I'm just asking.
She definitely was singing the leads live throughout the entire program. :)

And to answer your question about her greeting, "Hello Dere!," it was a silly way she would say "Hello there..." like a funny character would swap out the "th" for a "d."

Richard said this kind of thing was part of Karen's humor always. In fact, he was telling me at one point a few weeks ago about how Karen and her girlfriends (when she was younger) would pretend to be other people, alter egos of themselves and get silly.

That was KAC1 for ya! :)
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
She definitely was singing the leads live throughout the entire program. :)

And to answer your question about her greeting, "Hello Dere!," it was a silly way she would say "Hello there..." like a funny character would swap out the "th" for a "d."

Richard said this kind of thing was part of Karen's humor always. In fact, he was telling me at one point a few weeks ago about how Karen and her girlfriends (when she was younger) would pretend to be other people, alter egos of themselves and get silly.

That was KAC1 for ya! :)
Cheers for that Chris....golly she was good. And thanks for the "hello dere" stuff...can't wait to hear so many of these stories in your book.
 

TimeWarp

Active Member
She definitely was singing the leads live throughout the entire program. :)

And to answer your question about her greeting, "Hello Dere!," it was a silly way she would say "Hello there..." like a funny character would swap out the "th" for a "d."

Richard said this kind of thing was part of Karen's humor always. In fact, he was telling me at one point a few weeks ago about how Karen and her girlfriends (when she was younger) would pretend to be other people, alter egos of themselves and get silly.

That was KAC1 for ya! :)
"Alter egos of themselves". 😆
 

Joeyesterday

Well-Known Member
She definitely was singing the leads live throughout the entire program. :)

And to answer your question about her greeting, "Hello Dere!," it was a silly way she would say "Hello there..." like a funny character would swap out the "th" for a "d."

Richard said this kind of thing was part of Karen's humor always. In fact, he was telling me at one point a few weeks ago about how Karen and her girlfriends (when she was younger) would pretend to be other people, alter egos of themselves and get silly.

That was KAC1 for ya! :)
The late comedian Marty Allen used “hello dere” as his opening greeting back then. May be where Karen got this.
 
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