*RIP Joe Osborn


Well-Known Member
UMG has posted a lengthy article of Joe Osborn:
"The great musician is said to have played on over 200 top 40 hits,
including ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ ‘Close To You’ and ‘MacArthur Park."
"Richard and Karen Carpenter turned up to accompany a trumpeter who was auditioning.
The bassist was the first to record the duo, on his home four-track equipment, and he helped them to develop their harmony interplay, going on to play on all their hits."“I didn’t know what to do about it,” Osborn told broadcaster Eddie Winters in 2015, of his “discovery” of the Carpenters. “But we talked, and found out Richard had some songs that he had written, didn’t have any way to record them, and so I offered the use of the studio to come and do that. But they had already been playing, as the Richard Carpenter Jazz Trio. Karen was a wonderful jazz drummer, even at that age, and Richard had studied classical music since he was a baby. So they were accomplished musicians at that point.” "In 1996, Richard Carpenter was asked about the impressive bass sound on the Carpenters’ recordings. “That’s Joe Osborn,” he said. “I just wrote ‘fill’…I’m big on bass."


Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
RIP Joe Osborn. Such an integral part of the duo's success. He will always have a special place in the heart of every Carpenters fan.

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
It's well documented that he played on a large number of hits... I'm curious how many actual songs he played on. It has to number in the thousands, since there are scads of albums where he was the bassist for all the songs, not just the hits. Prolific guy, indeed.


Well-Known Member
It's well documented that he played on a large number of hits... I'm curious how many actual songs he played on. It has to number in the thousands, since there are scads of albums where he was the bassist for all the songs, not just the hits. Prolific guy, indeed.
You can go to Allmusic.com and see Joe's album credits from the 1960's through the RPO album. An amazing body of work.

David A

Well-Known Member
Always sad to hear that another of the talents associated with the Carpenters legacy, has passed away. Time is fleeting.

As @Harry points out, he was the one who heard Karen's voice in his studio and knew he was hearing something special. The rest, as they say, is history. He was an amazing bass player.

Matty Mattel

Well-Known Member
Wow Joe, you blessed and helped so many many people through out your lifetime. You're kindness, influence and encouragement to Karen and Richard Carpenter alone impacted the music industry around the world. You truly were a gentle giant. God Bless You Joe!

David Osborn

New Member
This is an old article from 1998
Joe Osborn

The Osborn Top 40
With a recording career that spanned three decades, one can assume there might be a few hit songs along the way. In Joe Osborn’s case, the number is around 200. This list contains songs that appeared on the pop charts. According to Joe, it’s a little incomplete due to the fact that he can’t remember every session. In his days in Nashville, Osborn played on53 certifiable number one songs on the country charts.

Arranged by year, artist, title and Chart Position
1961, Rick Nelson, Travelin’ Man, 1
1965, Gary Lewis/Playboys, This Diamond Ring, 1
1965, Barry McGre, Eve of Destruction, 1
1966, Mamas and Papas, Monday Monday, 1
1966, Johnny Rivers, Poor Side of Town, 1
1967, Association, Windy, 1
1969, Fifth Dimension, Wedding Bell Blues, 1
1969, Tommy Roe, Dizzy, 1
1970, Carpenters, Close To You, 1
1970, Neil Diamond, Cracklin’ Rose, 1
1970, Partridge Family, I Think I Love You, 1
1970, Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1
1972, Helen Reddy, I Am Woman, 1
1973, Carpenters, Top of the World, 1
1973, Helen Reddy, Delta Dawn, 1
1974, Carpenters, Please, Mr. Postman, 1
1964, Johnny Rivers, Memphis, 2
1965, Gary Lewis/Playboys, Count Me In, 2
1965, Gary Lewis/Playboys, Save Your Heart For Me, 2
1967, Mamas and Papas, Dedicated To the One I Love, 2
1968, Association, Never My Love, 2
1968, Richard Harris, MacArthur Park, 2
1970, Carpenters, Superstar, 2
1970, Carpenters, We’ve Only Just Begun, 2

1970, Fifth Dimension, One Less Bell to Answer, 2
1971, Carpenters, Rainy Days and Mondays, 2
1972, Carpenters, Hurting Each Other, 2
1973, Carpenters, Yesterday Once More, 2

1976, England Dan & John Ford Coley, I’d Really Love to See You, 2
1966 , Johnny Rivers, Secret Agent Man, 3
1967 , JohnnyRivers, Baby, I Need Your Lovin’, 3
1968 , Fifth Dimension, Stone Soul Picnic, 3
1968 , Monkees, Valleri, 3
1969 , Bobby Sherman, Little Women, 3
1971 , Carpenters, For All We Know, 3
1973 , Carpenters, Sing, 3

1973 , Helen Reddy, Leave Me Alone, 3
1965 , Gary Lewis/Playboys, Everybody Loves a Clown, 4
1966 , Mamas & Papas, California Dreamin’, 4
1967 , Scott Mackenzie, San Francisco, 4
1974 , America, Tin Man, 4
1975 , Carpenters, Only Yesterday, 4
1962 , Rick Nelson, Teenage Idol, 5
1962 , Rick Nelson, YoungWorld, 5
1966 , Mamas & Papas, Words of Love, 5
1967 , Mamas & Papas, CreequeAlley, 5
1968 , Grass Roots, Midnight Confession, 5
1968 , Kenny Rogers &, Just Dropped In, 5
, The First Edition
1970 , Bobby Sherman, Julie, Do You Love Me?, 5
1974, Neil Diamond, Longfellow Serenade, 5
1975, America, Lonely People, 5
1977, KennyRogers, Lucille, 5
1962, Rick Nelson, It’s Up to You, 6
1964, Rick Nelson, ForYou, 6
1966, Mamas & Papas, I Saw Her Again, 6
1966, Tommy Roe, Hurray for Hazel, 6
1969, Kenny Rogers &, Ruby, 6
, The First Edition
1969 , Neil Diamond, Holly Holy, 6
1970 , Barbra Streisand, Stoney End, 6
1972 , Johnny Rivers, Rockin’ Pneumonia, 6
1971 , Partridge Family, Doesn’t Somebody, 6
, , Want to Be Wanted?
1965 , Johnny Rivers, Seventh Son, 7
1967 , Fifth Dimension, Up, Up, and Away, 7
1969 , Simon & Garfunkel, The Boxer, 7
1971 , Tommy Roe, Stagger Lee, 7
1972 , Carpenters, Goodbye to Love, 7
1966 , Gary Lewis/Playboys, Green Grass, 8
1968 , Boyce & Hart, I Wonder What She’s Doin’, 8
1969 , Tommy Roe, Jam Up, Jelly Tight, 8
1972 , America, Ventura Highway, 8
1972 , Fifth Dimension, Didn’t Get to Sleep at All, 8
1975, Helen Reddy, No Way to Treat a Lady, 8
1961, Rick Nelson, Hello, Mary Lou, 9
1964, Johnny Rivers , Mountain of Love, 9
1967, Spanky & Our Gang, Sunday Will Never Be the Same, 9
1969, Bobby Sherman, La La La, 9
1970, Bobby Sherman, Easy Come, Easy Go, 9
1971, Grass Roots, Sooner or Later, 9
1971, Partridge Family, I’ll Meet Ya Halfway, 9
1973, Art Garfunkel, All I Know, 9
1973, B.W. Stevenson, My Maria, 9
1974, Helen Reddy, You and Me Against the World , 9
1975, Austin Roberts, Rocky, 9
1978, England Dan & John Ford Coley , We’ll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again , 9
1982, Sylvia, Nobody, 9
1967, Johnny Rivers, Tracks of My Tears, 10
1968, Association, EverythingThat TouchesYou, 10
1970, Mark Lindsay, Arizona, 10
1972, Fifth Dimension, If I Could ReachYou, 10
1976, England Dan & John Ford Coley, Nights Are Forever, 10
1961, Rick Nelson, A Wonder Like You, 11
1970, Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Somethin’s Burnin’, 11
1974, Carpenters, I Won’t Last a Day, 11
1963, Rick Nelson, Fools Rush In, 12
1964, Johnny Rivers, Maybelle, 12
1968, Cass Elliott, Dream a Little Dream, 12
1971, FifthDimension, Never My Love, 12
1972, Carpenters, It’s Going to Take Some Time, 12
1972, Austin Roberts, Something’s Wrong With Me, 12
1973, Helen Reddy, Peaceful, 12
1976, Carpenters, There’s a Kind of Hush, 12
1966, Gary Lewis/Playboys, My Heart Symphony, 13
1968, Fifth Dimension, Sweet Blindness, 13
1971, Helen Reddy, I Don’t Know How to Love Him , 13
1972, Partridge Family, I Woke Up in Love, 13
1967, Johnny Rivers, Summer Rain, 14
1966, Gary Lewis/Playboys, Paint Me a Picture, 15
1969, Grass Roots, I’d Wait a Million Years, 15
1971, Grass Roots, Temptation Eyes, 15
1974, Helen Reddy, Keep On Singing, 15
1961, Rick Nelson, EverLovin’, 16
1967, Fifth Dimension, Go Where You Wanna Go, l 6
1971, Grass Roots, Two Divided By Love, 16
1971, Bobby Sherman, Cry Like a Baby, 16
1981, Carpenters, Touch Me When We’re Dancin’, 16
1968, Spanky & Our Gang, Like to Get to Know You, 17
1970, Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Tell It to Brother, 17
1975, Carpenters, Solitaire, 17
1976, Art Garfunkel, I Only Have Eyes For You, 18
1966, Johnny Rivers, Muddy Water, 19
1968, Gary Lewis/Playboys, Sealed With a Kiss, 19
1969, Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, But You Know I Love You, 19
1970, Glen Campbell, Honey Come Back, 19
1971, Fifth Dimension, Love Lines, Angels & Rhymes, 19
1976, Helen Reddy, Somewhere in the Night, 19
1982, Michael Murphy, What’s Forever For, 19
1965, Johnny Rivers, Midnight Special, 20
1967, Mamas & Papas, TwelveThirty, 20
1969, Fifth Dimension, Workin’ On a Groovy Thing, 20
1970, Michael Parks, Long Lonesome Highway, 20
1972, Partridge Family, It’s One of Those Nights, 20
1977, Olivia Newton John, Sam, 20
1967, GaryLewis/Playboys , Where Will Words Come From , 21
1970, Fifth Dimension, Blowing Away, 21
1977, EnglandDan &, It’s Sad to Belong, 21
, John Ford Coley
1975, Helen Reddy, Emotion, 22
1967, Grass Roots, Things I Should Have Said, 23
1967, Tommy Roe, It’s Now Winter’s Day, 23
1969, Glen Campbell, Try a Little Kindness, 23
1977, England Dan &, Gone Too Far, 23
, John Ford Coley
1966, Mamas & Papas, Look Through My Window, 24
1967, Scott Mackenzie, Like an Old-Time Movie, 24
1969, Grass Roots, HeavenKnows, 24
1970, Fifth Dimension, Puppet Man, 24
1970, Bobby Sherman, Hey, Mr. Sun!, 24
1963, Rick Nelson, String Along, 25
1969, Fifth Dimension, California Soul, 25
1970, Mark Lindsay, Silver Bird, 25
1976, Carpenters, I Need to Be In Love, 26
1964, Rick Nelson, The Very Thought of You, 26
1965, Johnny Rivers, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, 26
1967, Glen Campbell, By the Time I Get to Phoenix , 26
1967, Mamas & Papas, Glad to Be Unhappy , 26
1969, Glen Campbell, Where’s the Playground, Suzie , 26
1970, Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Reuben James, 26

1968, Boyce & Hart, Alice Long, 27
1970, Glen Campbell, All I Have to Do is Dream, 27
1970, Fifth Dimension, Save the Country, 27
1966, Grass Roots, Where Were You When I Needed You, 28
1969, Grass Roots, Bella Linda, 28
1972, Partridge Family, Breaking Up is Hard to Do, 28
1968, Fifth Dimension, Carpet Man, 29
1969, Tommy Roe, Heather Honey, 29
1971, Bobby Sherman, The Drum, 29
1968, Spanky & Our Gang, Sunday Morning, 30
1969, Cass Elliott, It’s Getting Better, 30
1967, Spanky & Our Gang, Make Every Minute Count, 31
1969, Grass Roots, The River Is Wide, 31
1971, Glen Campbell, Dream Baby, 31
1974, Albert Hammond, I’m a Train, 31
1970, John Philips, Mississippi, 32
1973, Fifth Dimension, LivingTogether, 32
1977, Carpenters, Calling Occupants, 32
1966, Johnny Rivers, Under Your Spell Again, 33
1970, Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Heed the Call, 33
1976, Olivia Newton John, Don’t Stop Believin’, 33
1967, Fifth Dimension, Paper Cup, 34
1972, Grass Roots, Glory Bound, 34
1973, Neil Diamond, Be, 34
1974, Art Garfunkel, Second Avenue, 34
1969, Glen Campbell, TrueGrit, 35
1970, Grass Roots, Baby, Hold On!, 35
1973, America, Don’t Cross River, 35
1975, Helen Reddy, Bluebird, 35
1977, Carpenters, All You Can Get From Love, 35
1968, Glen Campbell, I Want to Live, 36
1969, Glen Campbell, Let It Be Me, 36
1969, Cass Elliott, Make Your Own Kind of Music, 36
1972, Fifth Dimension, Together Let’s Find Love, 37
1974, Art Garfunkel, I Shall Sing, 38
1975, Johnny Rivers, Blue Suede Shoes, 38
1967, Boyce & Hart, Out and About, 39
1968, Association, Time For Lovin’, 39
1968, Glen Campbell, Gentle On My Mind, 39
1972, Grass Roots, TheRunaway, 39
1973, Partridge Family, Look Through the Eyes of Love, 39
1966, The Turtles, You, Baby, 40
I stumbled on to this site purely by accident. I want to thank you all for the appreciation, respect and love for my father. He was my best friend, his counsel and guidance throughout my life was a true blessing. I made the list above decades ago, pre internet. I'm making a more complete list for dad...right off I see no Paul Revere and the raiders; " kicks" for instance. The turtles " elenore" and " happy together" also missing. The Rocky horror picture show soundtrack is missing too.
Dad had started a book, I have his notebooks so I'm going to try to finish what he started. Again, you have my sincere heartfelt thanks.
David Osborn


Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thank you David. Your Dad was an amazing guy that we've only gotten to know through his works. It's great that you want to extend his legacy.

David Osborn

New Member
Thank you David. Your Dad was an amazing guy that we've only gotten to know through his works. It's great that you want to extend his legacy.
Well I'm going to try. I went to hundreds of sessions with my dad after I started drum lessons at Al Casey's music store in Hollywood. Dad's garage studio had a small Gretch drum kit that I beat around on at 6 years of age, the pots and pans were spared from this phase. Dad started me on lessons when I was 10 years old, Maurice Miller taught me to read and was a positive influence in general. Dad took me to watch Hal many times sitting near him, he'd get some headphones for me and remind me to be quiet. I was just a kid but he was always a gentleman, answering in detail all my of my questions about his kit. I went with Dad to Carpenters sessions (as well as other artists) having known them from the garage years. Karen was the one that first showed me how to change drum heads, tuning, take the kit apart etc. I remember one occasion Richard helped me with a heavy trash can I was struggling with getting it to the curb, one of my chores. They were often at our house back then, recording on Dad's 4 track in the garage studio. I know nothing about writing a book but I have an old friend that does. She is an english professor that has three books out and edits books for others. So, we will get together and begin with Dad's notebooks. I will try to come up with something worthy.
I have been asked by mods if I'm related to Joe. Yes, I am Joe's oldest of his four children. I stayed with Dad at his home for the last few months of his life and was with him when he left this world.
He checked out medically very well, he was on a little blood pressure medication. Still getting around very well. March 1st 2018 we were struck by lightning on a sunny day... my wife Lori and I were with him when a Dr. Told him he has a tumor in his pancreas. I can not express with words how much I miss him.


¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
@David Osborn My condolences as well, and thanks much for stopping in and sharing your thoughts! We look forward to anything that might be in the works--be sure to come back and share it with us! Your dad was definitely one of the legendary bass players in the music industry. He left his mark on a great many recordings that we have all enjoyed.


Well-Known Member
@David Osborn
My sympathy to you and your family on the passing of your dad. His work brought joy to so many listeners. He will live forever through the music. Good luck with the book!
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