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Karen "Heartache Tonight" w/ONJ, Toni Tennille, et

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Yes, Tina Turner was part of the "ensemble", as well! Makes me think of what things would'a been like if The Carpenters HAD gone down a "Heavy, Hard Rock-Route"!

Nice to see the "Lightweight Divas" there, doing it in the manner of ABBA, however...


...just my "impression of that event", Online! :goofygrin:

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
First, I'm not sure how long your post will last but here is the answer you are looking for. Karen appeared on Olivia's tv special back in 1980, for a brief very brief segment. Karen is almost dressed in similar outfit she wore on MMM tapes around the same time, in fact I wonder if this is the same outfit she wore on From This Moment On that was cut from MMM due to time contraints. Here are links with photos.




This is a great clip - thanks for sharing it!

It's terrific to see Karen singing and dancing among all those other celebrities - up where she belongs!


Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member

All of your questions were provided in the links, (I try to provide answers when I can) you have to click them to see. :laugh:

Olivia's TV Special, Hollywood Nights

You will see from the links that it's Andy Gibb, not Rex Smith :laugh:


First, I'm not sure how long your post will last but here is the answer you are looking for. Karen appeared on Olivia's tv special back in 1980, for a brief very brief segment. Karen is almost dressed in similar outfit she wore on MMM tapes around the same time, in fact I wonder if this is the same outfit she wore on From This Moment On that was cut from MMM due to time contraints. Here are links with photos.

Chris & All,

That's right -Karen was recording MMM Carpenters TV special & had been planning to sing at least one track -perhaps a duet with Olivia on HN ....unfortunately due to schedules , Karen could only perform with other guest stars on "Heartache Tonight" :)

Shame Karen was unable to perform with Olivia or one of her solo tracks on this primetime special ....which if I recall was shown just after 1980 Oscars awards show :thumbsup:



Thanks for that - a little gem!! Great to see Karen having fun, as others have said, "what might have been"... :sad: :sad:


I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Olivia just posted a pretty clear video clip from this song on her Facebook page, so great to see Karen happy.


It's funny, in the opening segment I always thought Toni and Tina both looked like drag queens :laugh:. Olivia, as always, looks gorgeous. And Karen recycled that outfit for "Music, Music, Music" :wink:

It's interesting to think that if Karen's solo album had been released, the plan was to showcase her on this special, so this is how she's have looked singing 'If I Had You' or one of the other songs picked as a single.
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Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
This video has over 9,800 likes on Olivia's facebook page now...wow, I'd say people love this one. I'm sure Karen would have changed outfits had she performed the single off her solo album. When you think about it, this was the perfect time and setting for her solo launch. I'm sure Olivia would have introduced her and said something about her first solo album. I can understand why A&M was afraid of this taking off.

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Probably my favorite Karen clip ever! She looks so cool, and she's obviously having a blast with her buds. 'Hollywood Nights' aired in April, 1980, on ABC. Karen's appearance was indeed designed to promote her solo album.

Wishful thinking, but....
It would be VERY interesting to find an outtake from the special where she lip syncs to one of the solo tunes. It makes perfect sense when you think about it.


Well-Known Member
When first I saw the clip,long ago, I was--and still am-- struck by how
Karen Carpenter's voice is immediately recognizable --even with the other artists' vocals
and clapping--say,at 2 minutes--you see how Karen steals the show.
What a remarkable talent!
This clip really gets to me--Karen among her peers--able to hold her own, and shine!


Active Member
Industry Member
Is it documented anywhere that she was supposed to sing a solo album song? All the guys in that number are listed on IMDB doing other numbers on the show, but all with Olivia - not a song without her in the bunch; remember, it was HER special!

When I really think about it, it makes no sense that there would have been a Karen solo that was scrapped. Far as I can tell, there were no other guest solos on this show. Unless there's an interview or trade article somewhere that does mention it, I think it's just wishful thinking on everybody's part - and the truth is either that Karen had a schedule conflict that prohibited her filming the opening section of that number; or during the filming, Olivia made contact with Karen in some way and invited her to make an appearance.

My two cents.


Well-Known Member
Not only is there no documentation, as you have correctly pointed out, A&Mguyfromwayback,
there is also a complete lack of its mention in the official Carpenters' Fan Club Newsletters.
This appears to be an unscheduled event.
Or, at least, unscheduled in reference to official Carpenters' channels.
Some words are dedicated to the "Music, Music, Music" TV Special---before and after the airing:
(#66,Jan.1980/#67,May 1980/"Tentative Plans with taping to begin in Feb." in the first mentioned, "pictures available to members from the TV show"
"took almost two months to do TV Special", in the second).

In this instance:
My question would, rather, be--Why is there no mention of Karen's appearance, whatsoever, in any of the Fan Club Newsletters?

Much ambiguity in the 1979, 1980 Fan Club Newsletters regarding Karen's intentions--all due to the solo recordings.
And, I would--correctly or not--surmise that her original intentions may have been to support the solo album.
14 April 1980 is the IMDB air date for Olivia' Special,
May 1980--"Karen has decided not to release her solo album"
No evidence to support my feeling, but given Olivia and Karen's friendship,
it is not out of the realm of possibility that she initially intended a promotional spot for the solo album.


Well-Known Member
A Quote From Book:
Tina Turner-Break Every Rule, (July 2005),
"...Olivia invited several rock and pop stars to be her guests for an all-girls production number.
It seems like an odd project to change Tina's career, but that was the outcome of this one."


Well-Known Member
April 12,1980, Herald Journal,
Olivia's Hollywood Nights
"..Gene Kelly and Olivia dance to the tune, Makin' Music,
then joined by Karen Carpenter, Toni Tennille, Peaches and Tina Turner,
to sing 'Heartache Tonight' ."

Given the proximity in time--February 1980 to April 1980--in which the
Music,Music,Music Special was Videotaped March 7,8,9 (airing 16 May 1980),
and Olivia's Special was performed, comparison of Karen's vocals between the
two shows is rather interesting.

Karen is obviously in great form, vocally, and even physically, in this clip.
Assured and Strong. Having a great deal of fun.
As previously stated, I had not viewed this clip in a very long time, but, I am glad to see it again.


Well-Known Member
I agree with everyone's assessments here. She looked and sounded fabulous... Much better to me than any of the promotional interviews for MIA... What a difference a few months and a scrapped album can make...

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Karen in Lights, Hollywood Nights!!!



Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
If both of the TV specials, HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS and MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC were being taped around the same time, it's possible that they were in adjoining or nearby studios. With both "friends" Olivia and Karen in such close proximity, it's easy to see that a quick and casual "come on over" invitation was given to Karen. And since she was already made up and dressed, it was a no-brainer.

That's the way I see it.



Well-Known Member
Olivia's Hollywood Nights show ( reportedly taped at the end of 1979--see Tina Turner:Break Every Rule 2005, page 151) :
Production Co: Lee Cramer Productions .....Production Company, Berle Adams Company
Carpenters' Specials (with Music,Music,Music being Videotaped March 7,8,9, 1980):
Production Co: Downey-Bronx Productions .....Production Company, Marvin Goodman Associates

As a sometime-past employee of a television station, rest assured that nothing on television should be taken at face-value.
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