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"New" 1981 radio interview

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Very interesting interview so far. I'm about 13 minutes in now.

Right around the 12 minute mark, they say the first track Herb heard was "Your Wonderful Parade". They were signed without Herb knowing how Karen sang? That's what the interview is saying. I have never heard that ever.

Ed
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Very interesting interview so far. I'm about 13 minutes in now.

Right around the 12 minute mark, they say the first track Herb heard was "Your Wonderful Parade". They were signed without Herb knowing how Karen sang? That's what the interview is saying. I have never heard that ever.

Ed
I'd heard something along those lines but never so unequivocally stated. It really hit me then just how much herb loved them. Hell, he was willing to pay big bucks for the block vocals and Richard's lead....and that's only a slither of the carpenters appeal. It's like he found a nugget of gold, bought the land, then found Everest just beneath the surface.
 

ChrisCarpenterCollecter

Tomorrow Maybe Even Brighter Than Today
Great interview! The audio needs to be sped up a bit, it sounds like the tape recorder that captured the show was running slow.
I have digitized it and i will try to slow it down with audacity.
Then i will send the full without the cutting of the songs here on the forum😊
 

Rachel

Someone said that time would ease the pain...
Oops. I posted the link yesterday morning on the Heard Carpenters thread. Perhaps I should have started a new one; didn't think of it at the time.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Thanks for letting us hear this interview from 81'

What I find interesting is that even in 81' Richard is still very much in control of these interviews. This particular interview really comes across like look at all I have done, they wanted my voice, he even tells how his mom touted that he's a piano player. I don't know but from this interview I can really tell how there was competition even in 81' between both of them. Although Karen is more passive and not really taking any credit. I was waiting for Richard to really praise Karen for her voice and how amazingly talented she was on drums and having perfect pitch and tone and breathing technics but it seemed a lot of Richard. I understand he brought it all together and did so much but this interview doesn't come across as equal talent in the room.

I'm not saying he didn't deserve the credit, I'm just saying it's weird because she could have went solo so one would think Richard would let her take more control of her part of the duo in interviews, I don't know it any of that makes sense. This interview was after she shelved her solo album. For 1981 it just sounds exactly like the two of them back in the early 70's as if nothing changed. Yet we know Karen wanted to express herself by doing a solo album and her album sounded so mature. It's so evident here even in 81 how Karen did not want to seem like she was equally as important in this duo, she may not have written the songs or found them yet her gift of voice, drum ability, perfect pitch, tone and her incredible breathing techniques were rarely relished upon or given huge amounts of credit for her contribution. She was so unique and I don't think enough credit was given to her (or expressed enough in interviews) for what she brought as part of the duo. Yet she seems very happy but I still hear competition between the 2 it's subtle but I hear it.
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Thanks for letting us hear this interview from 81'

What I find interesting is that even in 81' Richard is still very much in control of these interviews. This particular interview really comes across like look at all I have done, they wanted my voice, he even tells how his mom touted that he's a piano player. I don't know but from this interview I can really tell how there was competition even in 81' between both of them. Although Karen is more passive and not really taking any credit. I was waiting for Richard to really praise Karen for her voice and how amazingly talented she was on drums and having perfect pitch and tone and breathing technics but it seemed a lot of Richard. I understand he brought it all together and did so much but this interview doesn't come across as equal talent in the room.

I'm not saying he didn't deserve the credit, I'm just saying it's weird because she could have went solo so one would think Richard would let her take more control of her part of the duo in interviews, I don't know it any of that makes sense. This interview was after she shelved her solo album. For 1981 it just sounds exactly like the two of them back in the early 70's as if nothing changed. Yet we know Karen wanted to express herself by doing a solo album and her album sounded so mature. It's so evident here even in 81 how Karen did not want to seem like she was equally as important in this duo, she may not have written the songs or found them yet her gift of voice, drum ability, perfect pitch, tone and her incredible breathing techniques were rarely relished upon or given huge amounts of credit for her contribution. She was so unique and I don't think enough credit was given to her (or expressed enough in interviews) for what she brought as part of the duo. Yet she seems very happy but I still hear competition between the 2 it's subtle but I hear it.
I hear what you're saying Rick but you have to remember in tv interviews of this time (and before) Karen was always the focus and sat closest to the interviewer for the 2 shot. I think on radio richard, rightly so, had the chance to shift the focus to him. Also his self esteem had been decimated by '79 with his addiction so he probably enjoyed touting his own talents now that he was clean.

That said....Richard's always come across with a "healthy" ego and he's only human.
 

Must Hear This Album

Well-Known Member
Ed, that struck me, too. In fact, it goes starkly against what seems like a well-established aspect of Carpenters mythology: It's 1969, and Herb Alpert is in his office, pops-in the demo tape, and as soon as Karen's voice hits the air, he's mesmerized and immediately signs the duo (to wit, "...Hearing her voice was like she was sitting in your lap.").

I think I've read or heard (or maybe just perceived...) some iteration of this narrative a dozen times ("Behind The Music," PBS documentary, BBC documentary...). I had NEVER heard that the duo was signed on the strength of Richard's lead, his imaginary arrangements, and vocal stacking (which is certainly worthy of being signed, but the story always centered around THAT voice...).

Huh.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I hear what you're saying Rick but you have to remember in tv interviews of this time (and before) Karen was always the focus and sat closest to the interviewer for the 2 shot. I think on radio richard, rightly so, had the chance to shift the focus to him. Also his self esteem had been decimated by '79 with his addiction so he probably enjoyed touting his own talents now that he was clean.

That said....Richard's always come across with a "healthy" ego and he's only human.
Your right. I guess after 3 yrs it’s makes sense that Richard would have to be more vocal about where they were and how it all happen. I just wish more of her talent was expressed and it’s importance in the duo.

This interview is a far cry from the 81’ tv interview on Good Morning America w Joan L. Where it seemed Richard was much more reserve and hesitant about the conversation always looking at Karen as if to get some approval.
 

Proudofyou

Active Member
One quote that struck me from I think the Coleman book (don't have page number) was something about her saying "Oh so I'm just the dumb singer?" after Richard made some decisions. I think that he was so passionate (as she was) about making music in those early days when Herb found them, that it was the perfect environment and relationship for Richard to really relay his vision to Herb.....and he was a few years older than Karen so he listened to him. Herb understood what Richard was trying to craft, and after watching that documentary on Herb, it's even more clear that Richard could create whatever he wanted that came from his head. Trouble was, she was his muse and was the one you heard so she gets the credit. But I think Richard's ability to get Herb to understand the overall artistic intent is what set up this imbalance from the very beginning then over the years leads to "we don't think you should release the album etc". I'm completely rambling but thanks for letting me play.
 

David A

Well-Known Member
I think it's fair to add that for some time now, especially the last decade or so, Richard has showered praise on Karen's abilities as a singer and drummer, and her musicality overall.

I especially noticed this during his promotional work for the RPO album.
 

song4u

Well-Known Member
I thought Karen sounded quiet and possibly not feeling her usually upbeat self, given what we know now about that time. Maybe that played a part.
 
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