• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is available for ordering here.

Karen Carpenter's 1964 Yearbook - Unseen?

Proudofyou

Well-Known Member
Eventually - but at that point she wasn't even singing (except maybe in the shower) and had just taken up the Glockenspiel to get out of gym class...
Nobody had the faintest idea then that she would in a few short years become a music Superstar with a voice so beautiful it would bring lumberjacks, oil rig workers and truck drivers to tears... :)
Of course! I obviously meant when she hit big in the next few years. Middle School years are so impressionable and kids don't forget! :)
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
There are numerous photos from prior sales (mostly ebay) of Karen’s signature at Worthpoint. There archived from internet sales. Most of her signatures do not look like this K with the way she starts her loop into the K. However this is a very early writing from High School.

I noticed there is a Singles 69-73 album that was signed by Karen and Richard, it look more like the K in this HS yearbook, however the signature for Richard does not look like his.

You can search anything, I typed Karen Carpenter signature and got these results.


 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
This is an interesting piece from her High School. Maybe Chris knows if this could be real. It looks like her last name is really how she writes it but it doesn’t look like her first name.

I’m sure there are a lot of fake signatures out there of Karen and Richard’s.

 

1969

Active Member
That is very true, though I don’t intend on selling it any time soon. Maybe borrowing it to the Downey Library collection ought to be in order some day.
I was thinking of sending it in to Beckett or another authentication service, but I’m not sure they could rightfully say that it’s hers due to the lack of a last name, and lack of other examples of her signature at that age. They really would only be verifying that it’s not a print, which in this rare case I think anyone can do just looking at it.

If anyone has any other rare examples of her writing or signature as a teenager/child, please send it my way. I’m sure Richard has quite a few, but I’m not aware of any that have been shared.

Just occurred to me..... you might want to compare with Karen's entry in Frank (Frankie) Chavez' 1967 Downey High School yearbook that was briefly shown on The Nation's Favourite Carpenters Song UK documentary. I took some screenshots with my laptop for your convenience. You may be able to get sharper images yourself. As you can see, it's a substantial chunk of a yearbook entry (whole page), writing when she was 17, for a good friend. I would also sort of stand back and take an overall look at her writing from a distance and compare to the others. You can probably pick it out from others as everyone writes differently. Since she signs her name as just "Karen" with no last name for Frankie, there's no reason why you can't eventually get your book authenticated with just a first name (Beckett wants $100 for KC, $20 for RC). Beckett has a lot of databases/tools/experts at their disposal for authentication, but if you're not sure, they say to email them with a query (I assume this is free). The only other way might be to track down the original owner of the yearbook. Of course, she'd know if *the* Karen Carpenter signed her yearbook. You won't get a certificate that way, but you'll have a definite answer. Loaning to the Downey Library collection is good. Also, maybe the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at CSULB.


Screenshots of Karen's entry in Frankie Chavez' 1967 Downey High School yearbook as shown in The Nation's Favourite Carpenters Song:




 

karencarpenterfans

Tori H.
Thread Starter
There are numerous photos from prior sales (mostly ebay) of Karen’s signature at Worthpoint. There archived from internet sales. Most of her signatures do not look like this K with the way she starts her loop into the K. However this is a very early writing from High School.

I noticed there is a Singles 69-73 album that was signed by Karen and Richard, it look more like the K in this HS yearbook, however the signature for Richard does not look like his.

You can search anything, I typed Karen Carpenter signature and got these results.


Thank you for the links! I agree, the only thing that seems to be different than usual is the "K" with the hook at the beginning. Karen's signature on the singles album you sent looks remarkably similar to the yearbook one, but it's definitely a rare variation if that one is, indeed, authentic.
 

karencarpenterfans

Tori H.
Thread Starter
Just occurred to me..... you might want to compare with Karen's entry in Frank (Frankie) Chavez' 1967 Downey High School yearbook that was briefly shown on The Nation's Favourite Carpenters Song UK documentary. I took some screenshots with my laptop for your convenience. You may be able to get sharper images yourself. As you can see, it's a substantial chunk of a yearbook entry (whole page), writing when she was 17, for a good friend. I would also sort of stand back and take an overall look at her writing from a distance and compare to the others. You can probably pick it out from others as everyone writes differently. Since she signs her name as just "Karen" with no last name for Frankie, there's no reason why you can't eventually get your book authenticated with just a first name (Beckett wants $100 for KC, $20 for RC). Beckett has a lot of databases/tools/experts at their disposal for authentication, but if you're not sure, they say to email them with a query (I assume this is free). The only other way might be to track down the original owner of the yearbook. Of course, she'd know if *the* Karen Carpenter signed her yearbook. You won't get a certificate that way, but you'll have a definite answer. Loaning to the Downey Library collection is good. Also, maybe the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at CSULB.


Screenshots of Karen's entry in Frankie Chavez' 1967 Downey High School yearbook as shown in The Nation's Favourite Carpenters Song:




Thank you for these!!! You are correct in saying she had very unique handwriting- down to the ways she dotted her "I"s. This one is definitely written with a more steady hand and obviously later in life, but her neatest writing at 17 definitely compares to her neatest writing at 13. She seemed to have several different variations for the letter K, but the rest of the signature looks fairly similar. The way she wrote the letter "r" in her name is very recognizable. I will certainly look in to emailing Beckett and other authentication sites.

As for tracking down the original owner, she is unfortunately is deceased as of 15 years ago. This was sold to me by a relative who saved the book from being thrown in the dumpster. It even sat at a garage sale for a few days, but was never purchased. The seller's family family lived in Downey, and she recalled visiting the Carpenters' home at Christmas time to see the decorations (as many people in the city did), to my knowledge that was the extent of their connection I think I am going to message the seller again and ask for more detail about any relation her family member had to Karen.
 

karencarpenterfans

Tori H.
Thread Starter
IMG-2125.jpg

Here I have done a few comparisons of the letters used in the yearbook handwriting vs. Karen's "Autobiography" from 8th grade. At the end, I did a comparison of the signature in the yearbook to a few autographs of Karen's- thank you to all that sent examples!

To me, the signature itself is the most convincing, but aside from that, the letters 't,' 's,' and 'r' are extremely accurate. It seems Karen had several variations of letters, as we all do.
Keep in mind that this is also neat printing vs. casual writing, and as discussed, most likely done quickly and not on a stable surface.
 

1969

Active Member
One last sample. Found this by accident (was looking up ONJ Christmas Collection album). From Olivia Newton-John's private collection auctioned off for $5,760 in 2020. Gifted/signed "Christmas Portrait" album "from Karen to Olivia." Also included a signed picture of Karen and Olivia from ONJ.



 

karencarpenterfans

Tori H.
Thread Starter
One last sample. Found this by accident (was looking up ONJ Christmas Collection album). From Olivia Newton-John's private collection auctioned off for $5,760 in 2020. Gifted/signed "Christmas Portrait" album "from Karen to Olivia." Also included a signed picture of Karen and Olivia from ONJ.



That's a great comparison as well, thank you!
 

karencarpenterfans

Tori H.
Thread Starter
After doing a bit more studying and looking more closely at handwriting samples from Karen's eighth grade "Autobiography" compared to the yearbook, I have spotted the first inconsistency- that being, the cursive letter "f." Following with a computer mouse, I have learned that the Karen in the yearbook followed her cursive letter "f"s to the left, almost going backwards from the proper way of going to the right, which Karen Carpenter does on the right side. (Hopefully this makes sense) Maybe this is a fluke, but it seems that Karen Carpenter was very well written at this age and had a great grasp of writing cursive. The writing on the left is from 1964, and Karen's Autobiography is from 1963.
Speaking again with the person who sold this book to me, they have no knowledge of the original owner's connections to Karen Carpenter. The seller seems to be pretty far removed from their relative whom this yearbook belonged to, so it can't be said for certain.

I will be sure to post the other signatures in the yearbook from other girls named Karen for some insight on those as well.

Screen-Shot-2023-01-13-at-5-28-51-PM.png
 

karencarpenterfans

Tori H.
Thread Starter
IMG-2218.jpg
IMG-2219.jpg



There are two more Karen signatures without last names- the first one says: " Best of luck in the years to come / Karen" and the second one says: "To the nicest girl I know (?) / Hope to see you around / Karen"
To me, the first one here doesn't look like Karen Carpenter's, but the second one is pretty close. Saying "hope to see you around" also implies that the person was probably graduating. The original owner of the book highlighted on another page that she was close with a girl we will call "Karen A," so I believe that one could be her signature.
There were 11 girls named Karen in the entire school, the other Karen signature in the book with a last name is from another girl in the ninth grade.
 
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