• The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available. Use this link to order, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

New Documentary Coming...

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
If you're aiming that in my direction, I've not said that healthy debate is to be denied or anything like that. Comments can be positive or negative, just like the terminals on a battery. They just 'are'.

Again, my point has been that people tend to be more efficient and in greater numbers at posting negative criticisms than they are about posting positive ones. It's the nature of things. Complainers gonna complain, while those that are happy and satisfied sit back and enjoy, without the need to comment at all.

No one here, at least in this thread has said anything out of line, as far as I'm concerned, unless I missed something.
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
Really. This was quite a detour...

I dunno. I mean, is the "new documentary" going to focus on all the ills of our favorite duo (thus "negative"); or, be more balanced? I think this has been an off-shoot of the original discussion. More times I'd like to experience the "ups" with regard to the C's and not just all the "downs." Are we going to hear mostly from all the detractors about evil Agnes and a jealous Richard? Or will it be more of a realistic and rational account?
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
When it comes to criticism, I don't think that anybody has been more critical of the Carpenters musical output and career choices, than Richard Carpenter himself. Think of all the times, in interviews, where he's said "if I'd known that Karen would leave us so soon, we'd never have recorded (insert song title here)", or the times where he's voiced regret that they toured too much, instead of taking time off to rest and recharge, or spend more time in the studio, or writing songs. He's been very critical of most of the album covers, the TV specials (except "Music, Music, Music"), and regrets ever getting involved with the TV movie. He spent many years tinkering with their catalog, fixing and improving recordings that most fans thought were already perfect. Nobody has second-guessed, or agonized over the "what ifs" more than Richard. I feel for the guy, I really do.
 

Proudofyou

Well-Known Member
I feel for him too in the sense that we are only given a finite amount of time in our younger years while we are first learning how to even be an adult, never mind navigating superstardom for the 1st time in a fickle business. They accomplished more in 10 years than some people or musicians could in a lifetime. But overall, he did well for his family and that's not something he should negate.
 

Malu Makana

The Fidler Angel
I dunno. I mean, is the "new documentary" going to focus on all the ills of our favorite duo (thus "negative"); or, be more balanced? I think this has been an off-shoot of the original discussion. More times I'd like to experience the "ups" with regard to the C's and not just all the "downs." Are we going to hear mostly from all the detractors about evil Agnes and a jealous Richard? Or will it be more of a realistic and rational account?
That's Funny.:laughup:
 

Malu Makana

The Fidler Angel
When it comes to criticism, I don't think that anybody has been more critical of the Carpenters musical output and career choices, than Richard Carpenter himself. Think of all the times, in interviews, where he's said "if I'd known that Karen would leave us so soon, we'd never have recorded (insert song title here)", or the times where he's voiced regret that they toured too much, instead of taking time off to rest and recharge, or spend more time in the studio, or writing songs. He's been very critical of most of the album covers, the TV specials (except "Music, Music, Music"), and regrets ever getting involved with the TV movie. He spent many years tinkering with their catalog, fixing and improving recordings that most fans thought were already perfect. Nobody has second-guessed, or agonized over the "what ifs" more than Richard. I feel for the guy, I really do.
I think the blog should get together and have a vote too throw Richard out of the Carpenters because he has consistently been to negative in the reviews of his work and his life. Also there are just too many people that could have done it better. :righton:
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
By the way, I would love to see a thoughtful new Documentary focussing on their career.
I do not desire a rehash of their personal demons.

Also, between Schmidt's and Coleman's biographical accounts, not much else to include from their personal lives.
Rolling Stone (1974) and People Magazine (1976, 1983) make useful reading, still.

What I really would like to see is a fully translated and reprinted
Mook !
 

Proudofyou

Well-Known Member
What I REALLY want is a documentary deconstructing how the vocals were layered and hearing them piece by piece like in the clip from the convention/meeting. Sometimes the mixes mix them too much and I can't hear the complicated incredible vocal arrangements. Some of the acapella clips on YT really let you hear the genius and complex harmonies.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
By the way, I would love to see a thoughtful new Documentary focusing on their career.
I do not desire a rehash of their personal demons.

Also, between Schmidt's and Coleman's biographical accounts, not much else to include from their personal lives.
Rolling Stone (1974) and People Magazine (1976, 1983) make useful reading, still.

What I really would like to see is a fully translated and reprinted
Mook !

"I do not desire a rehash of their personal demons."

Amen to that! Please, no more therapist interviews, Anorexia, Quaalude addiction stories, or weird family dynamics. Those documentaries exist ad nauseum. Stick to the incredible musicality they both possessed.
 

crescentnoon

Active Member
Looks like Randy Schmidt is involved in the new documentary judging by the hashtag...

Is he directing the project?

We're Denton Dammit: The one where we looked back at what made us go 'dammit' in 2019

'Denton music teacher and biographer Randy Schmidt is directing a documentary about musician Karen Carpenter (he wrote Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter). While in California, Schmidt got to meet musician and songwriter Linda Perry. And he posted on social media that singer Macy Gray stopped by.'
 

JohnFB

Well-Known Member
"I do not desire a rehash of their personal demons."

Amen to that! Please, no more therapist interviews, Anorexia, Quaalude addiction stories, or weird family dynamics. Those documentaries exist ad nauseum. Stick to the incredible musicality they both possessed.
Amen to your amen!

The very best possible documentary about the Carpenters - the ultimate and most personal look at them with their awesome talent (and personalities) on full, naked display - will never be made. Such a documentary could only have been made if they had had the foresight and wisdom to videotape each and every one of their recording sessions in their entirety, and then these tapes had been put into the hands of a genius director and an adoring editor to pull the best scenes from them - with expert advice from the devoted members of this forum, of course...
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
Such a documentary could only have been made if they had had the foresight and wisdom to videotape each and every one of their recording sessions in their entirety, and then these tapes had been put into the hands of a genius director and an adoring editor to pull the best scenes from them - with expert advice from the devoted members of this forum, of course...

I disagree - there are plenty of great documentaries with the likes of Queen and Fleetwood Mac where they go back into the studio and break down the multi tracks, giving a track by track commentary of what was being recorded and overdubbed. Video footage of the original recording sessions isn’t needed and would be tedious to watch, because they’d often spend hours overdubbing one word or phrase. All it needs is an experienced sound engineer, ideally someone who worked on the original sessions, to sit down and explain the backstory and how they built the sound. That in itself would be amazing. Roger Young would be the ideal candidate but has since passed away, although I believe Ray Gerhardt, Dave Iveland and Robert De La Garza are still alive though. And then there’s always Richard Carpenter himself of course who could take the narrator’s chair!

I looked Ray Gerhardt up online and found this interesting reply to a question on the Steve Hoffman forum as to whether he was still alive.

i'm his daughter, christy. ask me anything and i will try to fill you in. my dad was very much the introvert and would never have given any interview. during the last years of his life, i wanted to sit down with him and write a book of all his memories. his response was "who the hell would be interested in that?" i replied "are you kidding? lots of people". he gave his usual laugh and turned away. he would have none of the idea. but i have many many memories of his career....from the very beginning. he started out at columbia as the radio engineer for the bing crosby and rosemary clooney radio show. it goes on from there....

if you want to track down a photograph of Ray Gerhardt, there is one as a part of Jack Daugherty's album, Class of 1971, where the album has a few pages of photographs of all musicians and the two engineers. i have the album; my dad is sporting a huge mustache, which was a very transitory condition just sported during that time period. i looked everywhere online and couldn't find any photograph of him anywhere. he got along well with jack daugherty, the producer for the carpenters' early years. when i was sitting in the studio's control booth during the carpenter's sessions, i noted jack performed the usual fine job as producer. the fact that richard claimed jack did nothing is an unfortunate reflection on richard ...over $500,000 was spent by A&M during the lawsuit, nine years of it, as jack tried to combat being let go by A&M. richard insisted he was the producer for all their albums, not jack. when my father passed in 2010, two weeks before his 89th birthday, his sister, caryl, sent an email to notify richard carpenter. there was no response....another indicator of my dad's untiring expertise ignored. another fact not known...as the carpenters were perfectionists, karen would often record only one note at a time. it was my dad's task to knit the entire song together, seamlessly...while using analog equipment. of course, this practice was never brought to light.


 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
I disagree - there are plenty of great documentaries with the likes of Queen and Fleetwood Mac where they go back into the studio and break down the multi tracks, giving a track by track commentary of what was being recorded and overdubbed. Video footage of the original recording sessions isn’t needed and would be tedious to watch, because they’d often spend hours overdubbing one word or phrase. All it needs is an experienced sound engineer, ideally someone who worked on the original sessions, to sit down and explain the backstory and how they built the sound. That in itself would be amazing. Roger Young would be the ideal candidate but has since passed away, although I believe Ray Gerhardt, Dave Iveland and Robert De La Garza are still alive though. And then there’s always Richard Carpenter himself of course who could take the narrator’s chair!

I looked Ray Gerhardt up online and found this interesting reply to a question on the Steve Hoffman forum as to whether he was still alive.

i'm his daughter, christy. ask me anything and i will try to fill you in. my dad was very much the introvert and would never have given any interview. during the last years of his life, i wanted to sit down with him and write a book of all his memories. his response was "who the hell would be interested in that?" i replied "are you kidding? lots of people". he gave his usual laugh and turned away. he would have none of the idea. but i have many many memories of his career....from the very beginning. he started out at columbia as the radio engineer for the bing crosby and rosemary clooney radio show. it goes on from there....

if you want to track down a photograph of Ray Gerhardt, there is one as a part of Jack Daugherty's album, Class of 1971, where the album has a few pages of photographs of all musicians and the two engineers. i have the album; my dad is sporting a huge mustache, which was a very transitory condition just sported during that time period. i looked everywhere online and couldn't find any photograph of him anywhere. he got along well with jack daugherty, the producer for the carpenters' early years. when i was sitting in the studio's control booth during the carpenter's sessions, i noted jack performed the usual fine job as producer. the fact that richard claimed jack did nothing is an unfortunate reflection on richard ...over $500,000 was spent by A&M during the lawsuit, nine years of it, as jack tried to combat being let go by A&M. richard insisted he was the producer for all their albums, not jack. when my father passed in 2010, two weeks before his 89th birthday, his sister, caryl, sent an email to notify richard carpenter. there was no response....another indicator of my dad's untiring expertise ignored. another fact not known...as the carpenters were perfectionists, karen would often record only one note at a time. it was my dad's task to knit the entire song together, seamlessly...while using analog equipment. of course, this practice was never brought to light.


Wow - some interesting (and somewhat controversial) claims made in there.

The whole question of Jack Daugherty's involvement as producer (or otherwise) has always seemed pretty unclear. I wonder if in the new book coming later this year, Richard will address this topic again?
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
One note at a time? I hardly believe that! All you have to do is listen to her live- which I've done many times over their career- and you will quickly realize she good sound as amazing on an entire song as she did in the studio.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
That is rather interesting what do they mean by one note at a time?
They would spend a lot of time labouring over the way to perform a single note or word in a song. Could be a harmony line, or a word that Richard wasn’t happy with in Karen’s lead vocal that he’d ask her to go back and sing again in isolation. When you hear record producers and sound engineers talking about “punch ins” or “drop ins”, that’s what they mean: dropping in a different recording of a single note or word into an already recorded vocal. Sometimes over and over again, until it was just right.

One note at a time? I hardly believe that! All you have to do is listen to her live- which I've done many times over their career- and you will quickly realize she good sound as amazing on an entire song as she did in the studio.

It did happen; I’ve read at least once or twice in old archive interviews about them using this technique. Remember, they were perfectionists. She didn’t get the first take of every lead vocal spot on every single time like she did with ‘Superstar’. Richard used this technique with Dusty Springfield as well. ABBA were absolutely notorious for it.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom