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Heard Carpenters

aaflyer98

Well-Known Member
KEZ 99.9 Phoenix Heard "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" today! It's that time of year, I get to hear lots of Carpenters...although this song got the most airplay last year!
 

davidgra

Active Member
Walking through Disney's Hollywood Studios today at Walt Disney World, I heard the very familiar, "Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling, too..."

Quite a pleasant surprise. The rest of my family wasn't as thrilled, especially when I stopped walking and started singing along. I think, however, they were more embarrassed by my sidewalk rendition of "Little Saint Nick."

David
 

moog

Member
I've heard "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" the most here in Cleveland (surprisingly, no "Merry Christmas Darling" yet). I heard "Home for the Holidays" once, and last night in the grocery store, heard "Sleigh Ride" (and sang along) and the instrumental "Carol of the Bells."
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
I heard the 1970 version of 'Merry Christmas Darling' last night on Chicago's oldies station, 94.9FM. Also heard "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" at Best Buy this weekend. :)
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
It's Christmas Time/Sleep Well is on the satellite radio at El Charro as I write this, eating a botana. :D
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
While babysitting a garage sale, I've been listening to the Tampa Bay station playing Christmas music and have heard quite a bit of Carpenters tunes. The big surprise was hearing them play the single mix of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town."

Harry
 

aaflyer98

Well-Known Member
Wow...I have a question about "Santa Claus...." Does anyone know for sure, was it recorded during the Horizon sessions in 1974 or earlier? Is the ORIGINAL single mix available anywhere?? Every time I hear the album remix, I keep thinking of my old 45rpm original single (picture sleeve and all) with the other sax solo. It just had more punch to it.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
^The only place I know of its availability is the Japanese Single Box, or of course the 45 itself.

Harry
 

davidgra

Active Member
The original single mix of "Santa Claus" was also available on an LP collection of Christmas songs by various artists, released around 1974 or 1975. I don't have the LP in front of me, so I don't recall the name of the album, but I've always found the sound quality of that version to be superior to any 45 rpm single I've heard.

As for when it was recorded, I believe the story is that the basic track was recorded in 1972, but Karen and Richard didn't have time to record the vocals until 1974.

There was a radio station in Houston that was playing the original single versions of both "Merry Christmas, Darling" and "Santa Claus" well into the late 1980s. It wasn't a station I listened to much, but I remember always being pleased to hear real "singles" being played at a time when many radio stations were switching over to CDs.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
Radio stations also have access to music services which, for years, provided all of the music on custom CDs exclusively for use by the radio station. Here's a picture of what one looks like - its from TM Century. You can see that these tracks could never appear together on a commercial CD since they're spread all over different labels. This one happens to have a Carpenters track on it, as well as a Cat Stevens and a Sandpipers from A&M. Simon & Garfunkel and Toto are Columbia artists, Eagles are WEA, etc. The music rights for a compilation like this would be prohibitively expensive, thus these are not available to the general public.

My point here is that there are probably other discs like this that might have been "mastered" with the single versions of Carpenters two Christmas singles and that's what the radio station might have played by default.

scan0001.jpg

Harry
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Let Go...Let God (ONJ)
I have always been confused too about when Karen recorded her "lead" vocal on "Santa Claus" because Richard says Karen recorded her lead in one take but then goes on to say the track to this selection was recorded in 1972 but their schedule left no time for vocals and sweetening until late 1974. He says it was released as a single in Nov 1974. I don't know what he means by the "track" was recorded in 72, does he mean Karen's lead track? Or the basic track without any vocals? Vocals and Sweetening could mean backing vocals separate from the lead?

I'm still amazed when I hear that she recorded it in 1 take. I have a white label promo 45 of "Santa Claus" and it has a date stamp from a machine stamp DJ's would use that reads Nov 27 1974. So I am assuming that Dj's got their hands on this single then.

The Carpenters newsletters say this:
NEWSLETTER #40 - December, 1974
Their new Christmas single "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" should be in the stores very soon. It's quite different from the original version, and beautifully arranged of course by Richard. The flip side features "Merry Christmas Darling". (by Evelyn)

There is also a bit of interesting info about "Santa Claus" in the box set that says Richard did a little alteration on the remix, the vocals in the intro never sounded right to him and he says it turned out a third harmony had never been recorded. He added Rhodes EP and asked John Phillips to record a new sax solo. He says the remix definately opens the recording up more than the original.

To my ears, the original version sounds so much better than the remix, I hear alot of harmony on the original so I'm not sure where Richard is taking about a 3rd part harmony, this is one song that just did not need to be remixed in my book. It's very cool to have the original version from the Japan Singles Box set in digital format although the WLP 45 also has a special place in my heart.
 

davidgra

Active Member
That's the one, Chris. It does indeed have the original single version of "Santa Claus" -- the only place I've ever seen it on an LP.
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Holy Mother Mistletoe!!!!!! I think "Ave Maria" was playing at my store yesterday! Not sure if it was Karen but it was distinctively her voice! (A credible vocal, too; not really dominated by any OK Chorale, either...!)


-- Dave :santawave:
 

goodjeans

Active Member
Carpenter's voice: The stuff of dreams

By Chris Jones
Tribune arts critic
Published December 23, 2005
The other frigid night, I sat alone on the snowy street outside my house listening to Karen Carpenter sing "I'll be Home For Christmas" on my car radio.

I love that voice.

It hit notes with such surety. Its evocative lower register had a richness that no female pop singer ever has matched. But most important of all, it was such a guileless instrument.

Carpenter sang without attitude -- but also without excessive sentiment. In other words, her voice was at once incredibly beautiful and strikingly neutral.

And that's exactly what "I'll be Home for Christmas," my favorite song from this time of year, requires. First recorded in 1943 by Bing Crosby with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra, the lyrics first were intended as a kind of war-time fantasy, as if dreamed by a soldier stuck overseas and dreaming of home and hearth. The ultimate line of the song, after all, is a sad one: "If only in my dreams."

As with her other Christmas recordings, Carpenter's version was infinitely more complex.

Listen to her sing this Christmas ballad and you can hear a weary business traveler shoving past delays at O'Hare. You can sense a mother rushing back to her kids who count on her. And you can detect a lover desperate for a warm bed with someone in it.

All at once.

And although it's been nearly 23 years since Carpenter's death (at the age of 32), the recording will forever come with a certain sadness. Sometimes, it can feel like she's singing about a home where someone is missing for good.

Frankly, the impact of the song all depends on one's mood of the moment -- and at what point the listener is in their life. That was Carpenter's brilliance -- that coupling of certitude and pliability, that unique combination of eroticism and maternal comfort.

This is a song that revolves around a promise. And Carpenter's voice had the unmistakable sound of one who always kept her promises.

When I was single and lonely, this singer and this Christmas song evoked the home I wanted and the person I wanted in it with me. Now she -- and it -- make me think about the nature of my home and its place in my priorities. The world of the song is both a confirmation of what we have, and yet, given the frantic way life goes at this time of year, also an elusive dream.

----------

[email protected]
Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
Rainy Days and Mondays (portion of) all day on KFI in Los Angeles. News report about left over Chirstmas stuff in stores with "Hangin' around, nothin' to do but frown...." playing in the background.
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
"From Atlantic, to Pacific, Gee the traffic is terrific!" ---Yes, it was 'There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays', by Karen!

And where would I hear a Christmas song sung this time of the year? Why, at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, MI, where it's Christmas year round & the Christmas music plays, year round, too!

(I heard the faint sound of a Barry Manilow Christmas song from Because It's Christmas as I was getting out of my car...)


-- Dave
 

Dave60640

Active Member
Picture it...Chicago El north bound redline today...Cubs fans on the way to the game singing the chorus from "Top of the World". Not quite sure why but I'm guessing there was something a little heavier in those water bottles. Loved it! The entire car cheered
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Picture it...Chicago El north bound redline today...Cubs fans on the way to the game singing the chorus from "Top of the World". Not quite sure why but I'm guessing there was something a little heavier in those water bottles. Loved it! The entire car cheered
I LOVE IT!! And I take the El every week myself. :)
 
There's a great little AM station KAAM in or near Dallas broadcasting presumably in stereo. I hear it on the web, and it's targeting older demographics. Just this morning, they played Carpenters' Ticket To Ride and Let Me Be The One. The bad thing about this station to me, a former part-time deejay, is that they run infomercials most of the afternoon. I know they have to make money, but I wonder if their audience is going into atrophy because of it. Oh well...it's their business.
 
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