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Carpenters Concert Schedule

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
The Carpenters were near me on this day in 1974!!! (Well I wasn't born but) they were in Liverpool for performances at the Empire Theatre.
 

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
Backstage photo

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That's the smile of two people who, according to their promotor, were on the biggest British tour since the Beatles, grossing $250,000 (and the same amount returned to fans who couldn't see them) and that week had the No.1 album and three others in the Top 50 and a single entering the Top 20.

UK Charts for the week of 16/2/74
-The Singles 1969-1973 No.1 (third week atop)
-Now & Then No. 29
-A Song For You No. 38
-Close To You No.50
-Jambalaya No.19
 

bdefreitas

New Member
From that list I would have attended these:

1972 April 21st Philadelphia, PA, Academy of Music
1973 July 3-7 Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
1974 April 6th – Philadelphia. PA
1975 April 22-27th Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Music Theater

And I swear that I saw them in one other show in the summertime outdoor venue of the Mann Music Center in Philadelphia, but it's not on the list (thus it's incomplete). That would have likely been in 1976, prior to when I met the lady who became my wife, since she knows that she'd never seen the Carpenters live. I recall that they did a lot of the stuff that's on the Palladium album.
I was on here looking for the Carpenters concert I attended in summer of 1976 at the Robin Hood Dell EAST in Philadelphia, and saw your post. Funny how nothing is mentioned about it anywhere. I'm not crazy, we were there... outdoors.... like in row 5... :)
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I was on here looking for the Carpenters concert I attended in summer of 1976 at the Robin Hood Dell EAST in Philadelphia, and saw your post. Funny how nothing is mentioned about it anywhere. I'm not crazy, we were there... outdoors.... like in row 5...

You're not imagining things, that list is missing a Carpenters concert on Sunday August 15, 1976 at the Robin Hood Dell, but West not East. This is actually a really entertaining and humorous read with a great punchline at the end, so I thought I’d post the entire article :)

*****

The Mann Center traces its history to the Robin Hood Dell, which opened in 1930 in East Fairmount Park as a summer home for The Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1976 the organization moved to a new venue in West Fairmount Park. Originally called Robin Hood Dell West, it was later renamed the Mann Music Center in honor of its longtime director and benefactor Frederic Mann, and subsequently renamed the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.

The opening of the new Robin Hood Dell West in the summer of 1976 was not the only major development that year for Philadelphia’s premiere outdoor music venue. The 1976 season also saw, for the first time, the integration of pop and rock concerts into the Dell’s regular programming. With one notable exception in 1967, Robin Hood Dell concerts had always been symphonic programs, mostly performances of traditional classical music with occasional concerts by popular singers with orchestral accompaniment. Beginning in 1976, pop and rock acts were featured on a regular basis—with their own musical ensembles, not backed by a symphony orchestra.

The original Robin Hood Dell—later renamed “Robin Hood Dell East”—opened in 1930 as a summer home for The Philadelphia Orchestra, designed as a place where the general public could hear world-class symphonic music in an outdoor setting at reasonable prices. In the early years, the music was strictly classical. Popular singers began to be featured from time to time in the 1940s and 1950s—Judy Garland, Dinah Shore, Sarah Vaughan, Jeannette MacDonald, and others—but the programs were still primarily symphonic. The Robin Hood Dell Orchestra (comprised of Philadelphia Orchestra members, but without the first-chair players) would perform one or two symphonic pieces to open each half of the program, then the featured singer would come on to sing popular songs with orchestral accompaniment. Sometimes the singer’s accompaniment was pared down to a small ensemble for a few numbers, but the Orchestra was always a prominent part of the concert.

The Dell abandoned this format for one night, August 8, 1967, when local DJ Jerry Blavat, “the Geator with the Heater,” co-produced and emceed a “Rock Jamboree” at the venue. Some 35,000 young people jammed the Dell to hear a seventeen-group lineup that included Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells, the Soul Survivors, Bunny Sigler, the Artistics, and others. The musical accompaniment was by a pop/rock band, not the Robin Hood Dell Orchestra. While very successful, the show was a one-off; the Dell returned to its regular programming and would not host another such concert for almost a decade.

As the new Robin Hood Dell West was being planned in the 1970s, there were calls to diversify its programming beyond the traditional classical concerts to include more popular music. Dell President Frederic Mann, deeply devoted to classical music, had always envisioned the Dell as a sanctuary for the works of the great masters, a dignified venue not to be sullied by “low brow” music. However, he realized that a change was necessary, so he reached out to Philadelphia-based Electric Factory Concerts, then one of the most successful rock concert promotion companies in the nation. As Larry Magid, head of Electric Factory Concerts, recalled in a 2012 interview with Philadelphia Magazine:

By 1976, Electric Factory was a well-respected company. The Mann people asked if we would come in to discuss doing rock concerts. We were to meet at Fred Mann’s apartment in the Barclay [Hotel] at something like 7:30 in the morning. So we go there and he reads me the riot act about what could and couldn’t go on at these shows: “The one thing I don’t want is these kids getting up on their chairs or yelling and screaming. You know, this is a dignified place, and we spent a lot of money here, and it’s state-of-the-art.” So after going through his laundry list of do’s and don’ts, I said, “Okay, what do I have to sign?” He said, “There is nothing to sign,” and I said, “How do we make the agreement?” “Well, we shake hands and we have some vodka.” This is like eight o’clock in the morning. So he pours this Russian vodka, and we throw it back, shake hands again, and now Fred is feeling good. Then he says we have to do it again. Now that’s two shots of vodka, a handshake and a big hug. We were in business.
Sensitive to the nature of the venue, Magid booked “soft rock” and pop acts that first season, as opposed to the harder edge rock bands his company usually booked at its main venue, the Spectrum. The headliners for the Dell West’s inaugural pop series in 1976—six concerts from mid-July to late August—were James Taylor, Barry Manilow, Janis Ian, the Carpenters, Linda Ronstadt, and America. Magid recalls a humorous incident with Frederic Mann at the second show in the series, the July 30th Barry Manilow concert:

“We wanted to come in as softly as possible. So we figure, “Well, who better? We’ll bring in Barry Manilow.” Manilow was very hot at the time, and people were very excited. I look down to see Mann coming up the steps. He is not a happy guy—he sees these women standing on chairs. And he grabs me and says, “Hey, kid, I thought I told you—people can’t stand on chairs. Look at that woman over there! Get her down right now.” And I said, “Are you sure?” and he says, “Absolutely.” At that point, the woman turns around, and it’s his daughter. He just clenches his cigar in his mouth and walks off in a huff. That was the last complaint I heard about people standing on chairs”.


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Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thank you guys, for finding that. I knew I'd seen them at the Mann (er, Dell ,- Dell West), yeah, that place in Fairmount Park. Having recorded their shows at both the Academy and the Valley Forge Music Fair, I decided that taking along any cameras or recording equipment wasn't necessary, so I have nothing from that date as any kind of souvenir.

Those Dell/Mann summer outdoor concerts continued for years. I know that somewhere in these pages I'd once written a review of a Burt Bacharach concert that I attended there, and last year, as I was scanning Kodak slides to digital, I ran across some photos I'd taken there of Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Sedaka.

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Because Electric Factory Concerts was a client of the radio station, advertising these shows and others on our station, we often did trade contracts. This agreement would put ads on the radio in return for tickets to the shows. The station would then give them out to other clients - or staffers, like myself - so that we didn't have to pay for admission. I can't tell you how many concerts I attended over the years without paying a dime. It was usually more of an effort to drive to the venues than it was to obtain tickets.

But I really didn't wear out my welcome asking for too many tickets to concerts, but when it was something I really thought I'd enjoy, I'd go bug a salesman or manager to see what they could come up with. I recall one day when I was having a particularly bad day at my job, a favored salesman attempted to make things better by offering me tickets to see Barry Manilow at the Spectrum in South Philly - the oval venue where they played basketball and hockey. - and it was for that very night.

I accepted his offer, and then he had some bad news - the show was so sold out that there were no really good tickets left, but he arranged for us to go in with an "obstructed view". Well, that news just went with the bad day, as I tried to tell my someday bride that we'd be going to the concert - not necessarily seeing Barry Manilow.

Well, I'll tell you - and she'll tell you - it was probably the best concert experience we ever had. The "obstructed view" was actually a seat toward the side-view of the stage. The Spectrum that evening was set up in a "U" shaped pattern with the stage at the top of the "U". We were on the left side, with a great view of just about everything. The only effect we missed was seeing the palm tree balloons blow up as they were getting ready to do "Copacabana".

Anyway, that Carpenters show, as I mentioned before was at the beginning of their "Palladium" concert phase shows. I remember Richard's playing of the Warsaw Concerto and Karen did her drumming exhibition - both new since the prior year's Valley Forge show.

As this was August 1976, it was only literally two+ weeks into my job at the newer radio station. So much upheaval in my life at the time. New job, new location for work - this second station was in downtown Philly, a big change for me, and I was about to meet she who became my wife, all in the span of that month. It's no wonder that the memories of that concert are a bit fuzzy.
 

Portlander

Well-Known Member
Harry, I saw the same concert format on August 1st at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago where I had the pleasure of meeting them. At the time (19 years old) I never imagined that it would be the final live performance by the Carpenters that I would witness and it's also hard to believe that it was 45 years ago next week!
 

Portlander

Well-Known Member
Wasn't the Carpenters final concert in Las Vegas during September of 1978 when Richard abruptly ended the remaining dates? Other than a scaled back Christmas show that same year in Long Beach and the A&M lot performance for Japan in 1981 that had technical issues there were no more concerts, correct? Karen and the band flew to England for a television commitment and they both traveled to Brazil for a promotional tour around 1981. Heard there was a potential summer tour being planned for the summer of 1983 that never happened due to Karen's passing.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Wasn't the Carpenters final concert in Las Vegas during September of 1978 when Richard abruptly ended the remaining dates? Other than a scaled back Christmas show that same year in Long Beach and the A&M lot performance for Japan in 1981 that had technical issues there were no more concerts, correct? Karen and the band flew to England for a television commitment and they both traveled to Brazil for a promotional tour around 1981. Heard there was a potential summer tour being planned for the summer of 1983 that never happened due to Karen's passing.
This is correct. But we felt that all of the official live appearances post-'78 were important, even though, for the most part, were synced.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Wasn't the Carpenters final concert in Las Vegas during September of 1978 when Richard abruptly ended the remaining dates? Other than a scaled back Christmas show that same year in Long Beach and the A&M lot performance for Japan in 1981 that had technical issues there were no more concerts, correct? Karen and the band flew to England for a television commitment and they both traveled to Brazil for a promotional tour around 1981.

Sounds to me like it’s a list of all live appearance dates as well as true concert dates, which would include 1981. And between Richard being so meticulous and Karen keeping a diary, I’m sure Richard could cover pretty much all.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Sounds to me like it’s a list of all live appearance dates as well as true concert dates, which would include 1981. And between Richard being so meticulous and Karen keeping a diary, I’m sure Richard could cover pretty much all.
Karen's itineraries sat in my office for 4 months, so it's safe to say this should prove to be the most accurate listing to date. :)
 

Portlander

Well-Known Member
Chris, with the Carpenters extensive concert schedule from 1971-1978 including repeat visits to many cities, has Richard ever shared with you his favorite US destinations while he was on tour along with some of his preferred venues? I would think New Haven and Baltimore would be high on his list due to family and friend connections. He probably has a better memory of the cities and concert venues he didn't care for! Maybe the answers are in the new book?
 
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Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Chris, with the Carpenters extensive concert schedule from 1971-1978 including repeat visits to many cities, has Richard ever shared with you his favorite US destinations while he was on tour along with some of his preferred venues? I would think New Haven and Baltimore would be high on his list due to family and friend connections. He probably has a better memory of the cities and concert venues he didn't care for! Maybe the answers are in the new book?
He has shared a number of stories related to various cities (both domestically and internationally), many of which we’ve included in the book, yes!
 
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