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Emmy Archives: Memories of working with The Carpenters

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by WYBIMLA, Nov 15, 2017.


    WYBIMLA Active Member Thread Starter

    Hey, all. I found through the Emmy archives using their search function (when typing in "The Carpenters") I scrolled down to find a highlight from an Interview with director Bill Davis.

    Capturing TV History Through Video Interviews | Archive of American Television

    I'm sure if you went digging you could find other stories from people who worked in Television and crossed paths with Karen and Richard. I haven't really had the time though. A lot of the these archival interviews are super long! Lol But, that one comes up pretty clear. About 1 minute 30 seconds. Interesting to hear from industry insiders.
    I suppose I'm digging at the bottom of the barrel now. haha :tongue:

    If you find anything else there please share. :)
    Graeme likes this.
  2. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    Very cool find! Thanks for forwarding. Nothing like hearing the stories from those who actually worked with them!
  3. JayJayVA

    JayJayVA Member

    • In his interview, actor Hal Linden (Barney Miller) relays that he shot a TV pilot for the show "Love Boat" --and mistakenly says he had a scene with "Karen Carpenter", in which he was supposed to be seducing her. But he should have said "Karen Valentine" - who was a popular TV actress in the 70s/80s. They did the scene together, 1976.
    • Ret Turner (Costume Designer-NBC): "Karen was a strong lady. Karen ruled the roost. Uh, Richard was certainly -- they were both very talented but Karen was the decision maker. What Karen said went."
    Carpe diem and GaryAlan like this.
  4. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    The comment from Ret Turner is interesting/surprising. From all I have read, it seemed that Karen was the subservient one.
  5. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I take this anecdote to mean in respect of the outfits and clothes they wore. Ret Turner was a costume designer. I'm assuming he did the wardrobes for some of their stage shows or TV specials.
    goodjeans likes this.
  6. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Of course Karen would be strong regarding what she looked like. As an anorexic, she would be very sensitive to her appearance.
  7. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Looks like my hunch was right:

    Make Your Own Kind Of Music
    NBC-TV / Tuesday nights


    Produced and directed by: Stan Harris
    Written by: Gordon Farr, Arnold Kane, Ken Hecht
    Associate Producer: Al Simon
    Music arranged and conducted by: Jack Elliott, Allyn Ferguson
    Music Coordinator: Larry White
    Art Director: Roy Christopher
    Graphic Design: Jim Maxwell, David Rose
    Costume Designer: Ret Turner
    Associate Director: John Kittleson
    Show Announcer - Dick Tufeld (voice of the Lost in Space robot)

    The Carpenters TV Show
  8. The "Danger, Will Robinson!" voice? Cool...
  9. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Well, if Karen was making all the decisions and calling all the shots as far as wardrobe on MYOKOM was concerned, she was not making good ones...Her outfits on the show were hideous for the most part. I would like to believe that the selection of clothing available to her was extremely limited. I don't think Karen realized how attractive she really was, and what she wore was just an afterthought. Being a "tomboy" growing up in New Haven, she was more interested in mixing it up with the other children in her neighborhood than developing a flair for clothing and wearing frilly dresses IMHO. Frenda Leffler appeared to help Karen immensely with her "sense of style" later on.
    newvillefan likes this.

    WYBIMLA Active Member Thread Starter

    I thought so!

    Bill's quotes are really nice.

    At the start he describes them as "Unlikely stars," "Unusually talented." In reference, to their boy/girl next door appearance.

    Interesting he said it looked like they should be playing country music. Lol They did cover country songs and dabble in those styles, but they're far more eclectic in taste. More than the general public would remember likely.

    Hmm I don't know why "goody-four-shoes" came into play so heavily; when hearing these retrospects, they are remembered as nice people. How you go from "Look at these two decent looking people" to "They're squeaky clean. I don't trust them." isn't really clear. Obviously, no one knew how to package them and put them in defence mode of their albums.

    You'd have to have repport to work in TV. Which they had and of course you would especially when you get to work with the likes Ella and Perry. So, these little stories that you find are like a feather in their hat and nice for fans to know too.

    He also echos what was being said here was that she was an attractive young lady. Karen didn't see herself the same way many saw her as back in the day or as we think of her today.
    She'll always be a fascinating, complex character...I think so anyways.

    As Davis said what they did has never been done again.
    How a 20 year old knows to sing Crescent Noon, for example, as she did... it's for the ages.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
    byline likes this.
  11. byline

    byline Active Member

    My impression was that Richard was largely disinterested in the TV shows, whereas Karen was more engaged in the process. So I take that to mean that when the TV production people asked for an opinion, Karen had one and gave it.

    I'm probably the odd one out on this, but I disagree. Yes, some of the wardrobe and costumes worn on "Make Your Own Kind of Music" were not flattering ... but then, neither were a lot of wardrobe choices back then. Personally, I liked Karen's early style. Karen had a unique look. After Frenda began exerting her influence, I got the sense that Karen was trying too hard to fit into what was deemed a feminine image back then ... and she lost her uniqueness. I could be contradicting myself (wouldn't be the first time, LOL!). But the last "look" for Karen that I felt looked uniquely hers was when she and Richard were on the Tom Jones "London Bridge Special." (I'm not sure if Frenda had begun influencing Karen at that point, or if that came later.) Karen had a wonderful casual look there, but just slightly dressed up. She returned to that style later on, around the time of Horizon, and I liked it then, too.
  12. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I think her early choices reflected the times. It was all fairly ugly. Horizon and Hush were better, but Passage and MIA not so much. But I loved her look around the time of the solo album.
    newvillefan and goodjeans like this.

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