Chapter...6 for those interested...

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Hi All,
I hope that i won't get in trouble by putting this on here. On my website, I have to apologize at the layout of the 1 paragraph per chapter. The friend of mine who put my incomplete and unfinished website together didn't bother to put them in paragraph form and with indents (tab). It can be quite a pain to read like that. Like I said, one day I will finish it...and it will be much better...

Cameron Longo

Chapter Six

The months passed by, and Karen was so busy touring across the States. She even went on tours to Japan, and England, where her solo album was # 1 on those charts. In England, her KAREN CARPENTER album was now sextuple platinum, selling over 1.8 million copies. Her singles were doing really well, on the music charts. Her single MAKING LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON and REMEMBER WHEN LOVIN' TOOK ALL NIGHT were on Britain's # 1 and # 2 spot for the same week. The first female artist to do so in that country. Japan had opted for IF I HAD YOU and it was also # 1 for an amazing 16 weeks. Her album there was #1 for 25 weeks, unheard of in Japan and already past the 4 million mark. Now in the U.S. her KAREN CARPENTER album was certified quadruple platinum. Her Carpenters album TOGETHER AGAIN was in both those countries TOP TEN charts, and in the U.S. it was already platinum. There was a surge in sales, in connection with their Thanksgiving special TOGETHER AGAIN hitting the # 3 on the Neilson Ratings.
People magazine did a cover on the success of Karen Carpenter and she was on other magazine covers as well. In the U.S., the TOGETHER AGAIN album now hit # 34 on the charts. It was now certified platinum. TOGETHER AGAIN, their next single was released and it's debut at # 67 was solid enough, that a week later it soared to # 40, becoming their 22nd Top 40 hit single. 2 weeks later, it was # 18. It peaked at # 5 on its 6th week, going gold at 1.2 million copies sold. On the Adult Contemporary Chart it was # 1 for 8 weeks.
She arrived back in the States to begin taping their 7th television special, and their 3rd Christmas special. Some of the songs they recorded, was the other version of AVE MARIA by Schubert, O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM, GREENSLEEVES, and O HOLY NIGHT. Some of these songs they had recorded in excess from the 1978 session, so they decided to put them into special. A new Christmas album was due in a few weeks. It never received as high as priority as their 1st Christmas album, but that was alright. They knew that it would sell. The single AVE MARIA backed with MERRY CHRISTMAS DARLING peaked at # 9 on the Pop Charts, which was excellent for a Christmas single. On the A.C chart, it zoomed to # 1 for 3 weeks. The Television special hit # 4 on the Neilson Ratings, and was a big hit. It received rave reviews by the critics, and commented on how the Carpenters had improved on their freshness, ability to relate with the audience, and their cheerful banter. Their 13th album which happened to be the Christmas album was titled MERRY CHRISTMAS, WITH LOVE. This album hit # 1 on the special Christmas album chart, and #10 on the TOP 200 ALBUM chart and went platinum.
Karen also found out that she was nominated for 6 Grammys, and that she and Richard as the Carpenters had been nominated 4 times. They were excited. Her being nominated for 10 Grammys was a first for any female singer in Rock History. She hoped that she would win something. She was glad that she and Richard were being nominated as a duo, because it would heal any hard feelings on both sides.
Christmas 1983 was spent at Newville Avenue, and it was a festive occasion for the whole family. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins all helped to fill the huge house. Rooms were all packed, but no one seemed to mind. It made the season of sharing, all the more merrier. Karen just bubbled over with such enthusiasm, jumping from one group to another, chatting, laughing and teasing. She just felt such immense love for her relations.
On Christmas eve, Karen and Richard, with no instruments except the piano, sang a lot of Christmas songs. The feeling that was felt around the room, was one that could not even be captured on album. Their voices blended with such simplicity, but aching with beauty. Everyone was allowed to join in with the singing. Young and old, hoarse voices and pleasant voices, sang along with an angel and her brother. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Sleigh Ride, Home For the Holidays, Jingle Bells, Merry Christmas Darling, White Christmas and so on. The most breathtaking moment, when Karen stood and sang Ave Maria. Everyone quieted down, and brought a tear to all those sitting there. Even though most could not understand the Latin version, they were moved in ways, by Karen's voice so pure, and real. After the song was done, no one spoke, afraid of breaking the silence, until Karen said, "What's everyone being so quiet about? Was I that bad?" she laughed, and everyone else laughed along. They all joined in and sang many, joyful Christmas carols, with everyone shouting out requests. Mom and Dad stood by the stairs, their arms wrapped around each other, and they were so proud to see their daughter and son together again.
Karen was asked to guest on Dick Clark's New Year's Television Special at New York at the famed Times Square. She was excited, and she got to invite her brother Richard. They sang the song TOGETHER AGAIN, and Karen sang her solo song IF I HAD YOU. They were both very well received by the crowd, which numbered thousands upon thousands.
They flew back to Los Angeles where they began the somewhat lengthy process of song selection for their next album. They also began to talk to their promoters and sponsors who were helping with the planning of their Japanese and European tours, starting in March and lasting until June. It was going to be a huge affair again, as they were beloved in those countries. Carpentermania.
On January 21, 1984, Karen and her good friend Olivia Newton-John were going for a 10 day trip to Mexico. They were both so very excited. They had planned a trip almost a year ago, before Karen's heart-attack, but because of that, were unable to do so. Then Karen's career seemed to take off, and there was just no time. Now, Karen had the time, and Olivia had some time off, as well.
They left with many bags of luggage, and left the coldness behind. Luckily for them, they were not spotted by any photographers; they both needed a break from their celebrity lifestyle. They stayed in a luxurious 5 star hotel, with their 2 rooms adjoining one another. Karen decided it would be much more fun if they shared 1 room, and had like a sleepover. The fun girl in Karen was just dying to get out, and she and Olivia had the time of their life. They would go shopping during the day, and would bring back to the hotel, bags of wonderfully, crafted souvenirs. They would spend hours trying on outfits, and then go for a leisurely supper.
Afterwards they would head out to the various, and ever so many nightclubs. No one would recognize them, and they were grateful for the anonymity they received. There were a few observant fans, who got the 2 women's autographs, but mainly, they went unnoticed. It was kind of neat, and yet in some weird twist of fate, different. They were so used to having demands placed on them at all times.
At one bar, they found out out that it was LADIES NIGHT TO SING, and so for just a laugh, they decided to go up and sing. They were both giggling when they crossed the filled floor and walked up the stairs to the tiny stage. They talked to the band, and decided what song they could sing. They both grabbed a hold of the microphones, as the opening strains of YOU LIGHT UP MY LIFE began. Karen sang the first verse, and Olivia joined her on the second verse. Their voices blended beautifully, and no one was more amazed then themselves. The audience, usually boisterous and loud, sat quietly listening to these 2 female singers sing their hearts out, and doing an unbelievable job. They had never heard anyone sing like this before. When Karen and Olivia were done, the crowd just went wild. Karen and Olivia just giggled, and meekly, left the stage. They were greeted by many male admirers, who were young, old, tall, short, thin and heavy. Men would buy them drinks which kind of surprised them, and Karen and Olivia had a hard time understanding them, because of the language barrier, and also some had had too much to drink.
They left by cab, and arrived back at their hotel, all giddy with excitement, and the drinks that they were offered, they gladly received. They knew the men expected something, but they were talking to the wrong set of girls. It was in the early hours in the morning, by the time they fell on their beds. They opened the fridge, with all the finest wine and alcoholic beverages, and generously sampled some. By the time they went to sleep, they slept quite heavily and soundly.
The next day, nursing a dreadful hangover, the 2 girls lay by their pool, and laughed at all the guys who had tried to pick them up. They also chatted about the possibility of recording a song together, as they were so amazed at how well they sounded together. They thought that if Barbra and Donna could do it on the hit single ENOUGH IS ENOUGH( NO MORE TEARS ), then so could they… Laying in their bikini's, they attracted more male attention, and both were flattered by it. Karen especially, because she knew that Olivia was gorgeous, but herself? She thought she was moderately attractive, but compared to Olivia, she was drab. She kind of wished that she would get similar attention in Hollywood that she was in fact sexy, and a true woman, who liked to have fun.
All too soon, though, it was time to leave this beautiful state. They hugged each other, cried, and laughed as they said their goodbyes. Olivia was heading to the East Coast for New York, while Karen was headed to the West Coast of L.A. They promised to keep in touch, and record a single together. Karen arrived back in L.A. and was greeted by her parents and Richard. They all hugged each other, and Agnes was pleased to see that Karen looked great, and more importantly, got some weight on her. Karen now weighed 114 pounds, and looked so healthy. The tan on her looked lovely, made more so by the 2 piece silk suit she was wearing. She was wearing silky, sexy high heels, and her long brunette hair was straight, with a matching barrette. Karen was quite pleased with the compliments, and felt that she had surely conquered anorexia nervosa.
She was eating well, exercising moderately, and taking extreme pride in her appearance. Now that she was back in L.A., it was time to work again, and she was looking forward to it. More importantly, she was feeling such energy, more than she did in November 1982. She finally felt her anorexia nightmare was over, and now it was time to live.
She and Richard and other A&M executives, managers and the like, were already planning the world tours of Japan and Europe. These tours would be bigger and better than anything the Carpenters had ever undertaken. Karen and Richard wanted a new image other than their boring goody-two shoes image, and wanted to be treated as real musicians and normal people. That was their main suggestion, so the everything was planned around that.
They were also in the recording studio working on their upcoming album. It was so much fun for Karen because she got to play drums and on some tracks, bass guitar. The prizing moment came, when Karen sang the song IN LOVE ALONE, in just one take. Richard was moved to tears by her vocal performance. It just never seemed to amaze him, at how talented his sister was, and what a marvelous voice she possessed. No one, in his opinion, could outdo her vocal ability. Another interesting tidbit, was the fact that this song was a bit of a departure for the Carpenters sound. They only recorded Karen's lead vocal, and Richard's background vocal. That was it. No choirs. Simplicity was what they wanted for this poignant song. They spent most of February and March in the studio.
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