🔊 Audio The Karen Carpenter Story: 10th Anniversary BBC Radio 2 Special (February 4, 1993)

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I finally found this audio documentary special on YouTube today, after searching online for it for many years. When this BBC Radio 2 special aired on 4th February, 1993, I was a student in my first year at university and it was my first time away from home. I was already an obsessed fan, having discovered them at around age 15. I still clearly remember reading in the TV and radio listings a week earlier that it was coming, and was filled with excitement for the entire week. When the day finally arrived, I had my “ghetto blaster” radio at the ready, aerial fully extended to try and keep the FM radio signal as pristine as possible, a blank cassette in the tape deck, and my finger poised on the ‘Record’ button ready. It was originally two hours long, which aired back to back on a Thursday evening. (This version has some of the songs edited down so it runs to just over an hour). I held onto my cassette (60 minutes each side) and treasured it for a few years, but eventually lost it in a house move, much to my constant regret. I’ve not heard this for over 25 years.

It was a thrill to hear audio of Karen’s speaking voice for the very first time (remember this was before the advent of the internet or file sharing sites on a mainstream level and long before the likes of YouTube). Some of the anecdotes from Richard have never been repeated elsewhere that I’m aware of, such as Karen possessing a “Betsy-Wetsy” doll when she was little, and there are others as he recounts their career in chronological order. Some of the interviews with Karen I’ve never heard since this broadcast anywhere else, so it’s a treat to hear them again after all this time.

The last twenty minutes of this, from 45 minutes on, are still as powerful and riveting as I remember them from that very first listen.

Enjoy!

 
Thanks for posting @newvillefan - some valuable info & insights here - didn't know about the parking lot discussion/argument between them near the end before - also, among others, nice to hear what Paul Williams had to say about Karen at several points, including how WOJB is her song and how he dedicated it to her during his own act - the truth was that every song she sang was her song, including those that had been sung by someone else before.
 
I agree. Hearing his perspective on everything from ‘75 on was remarkable. Interesting also to hear him refer to the “anti-Richard” folks who blamed him for her solo album not being released. His comments seemed quite heartfelt.
 
I agree. Hearing his perspective on everything from ‘75 on was remarkable. Interesting also to hear him refer to the “anti-Richard” folks who blamed him for her solo album not being released. His comments seemed quite heartfelt.
I didn't realize that faction existed as early as 1993. I thought that would have been a product of the internet age. Heck, Ray Coleman's book wasn't even out yet.
 
I didn't realize that faction existed as early as 1993. I thought that would have been a product of the internet age. Heck, Ray Coleman's book wasn't even out yet.

The main reason Karen’s album was released in 1996, just three years after this broadcast, is that Richard grew tired of the fans hounding him for it. It started as early as the April 1982 fanclub newsletter, so the demand had been growing for a long time:

Q. Will Karen ever release her solo album?
A. Probably not.
 
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And there were quite a few people that had a copy of it on cassette tape around Los Angeles. Industry insiders, friends of the producer, etc. That’s how I first got mine in late 1987.
 
And there were quite a few people that had a copy of it on cassette tape around Los Angeles. Industry insiders, friends of the producer, etc. That’s how I first got mine in late 1987.

I was sent a bootlegged cassette copy of the album in 1995. By then it was so many generations removed from the original that the quality and speed of the recordings (verging on chipmunk style) made it almost unlistenable, but you could clearly hear that the tracks were complete and there was a whole album’s worth sitting there ready to go. At various points up to then, the official line was that the album was never completed. We now know there was a request post-playback to record more material, but to say it wasn’t complete simply wasn’t true.
 
Thanks for this one. I'm hoping someone can post the now then always special from westwood I think. @Billy Rees would you have this one? Think this was before from the top was released.

It was on YouTube but has since disappeared, so I tried to re-upload it there myself but it was instantly blocked due to copyright.

So I've uploaded it to my Google Drive, where you can download it.

 
I tied to find that Westwood One show on vinyl for years. I never did. I didn’t realize that it’s the same show as the one on Mutual Broadcasting Systems 2 CD set, to be broadcast November 26, 1988. A year before the vinyl in November 1989. It was taken from vinyl though. You can hear the pops as it plays, even on Karen’s solo tracks which hadn’t been released yet.
I forgot about the Strangers In The Night cut too.
Thanks Stephen.
 
I didn’t realize that it’s the same show as the one on Mutual Broadcasting Systems 2 CD set, to be broadcast November 26, 1988. A year before the vinyl in November 1989. It was taken from vinyl though. You can hear the pops as it plays, even on Karen’s solo tracks which hadn’t been released yet.

Which means the ‘Lovelines’ material was ready to go almost a year before its release on October 31, 1989.

I forgot about the Strangers In The Night cut too.
Thanks Stephen.

You’re welcome, but I just wanted to point out that it was Billy who shared the file, not me 🙂
 
I didn’t realize that it’s the same show as the one on Mutual Broadcasting Systems 2 CD set, to be broadcast November 26, 1988. A year before the vinyl in November 1989. It was taken from vinyl though. You can hear the pops as it plays, even on Karen’s solo tracks which hadn’t been released yet.

Which means the ‘Lovelines’ material was ready to go almost a year before its release on October 31, 1989.
 
I got the Strangers In The Night from an old closed thread you started or posted in 2015,16…
 
I was sent a bootlegged cassette copy of the album in 1995. By then it was so many generations removed from the original that the quality and speed of the recordings (verging on chipmunk style) made it almost unlistenable, but you could clearly hear that the tracks were complete and there was a whole album’s worth sitting there ready to go. At various points up to then, the official line was that the album was never completed. We now know there was a request post-playback to record more material, but to say it wasn’t complete simply wasn’t true.
That's what mine originally sounded like, but I've not listened to this for years and so I didn't notice until I was getting it ready to share on here. I changed the speed of the recording, which added 3 minutes on to the running time, and now Karen sounds much less chipmunk like! Haha
 
I finally found this audio documentary special on YouTube today, after searching online for it for many years. When this BBC Radio 2 special aired on 4th February, 1993, I was a student in my first year at university and it was my first time away from home. I was already an obsessed fan, having discovered them at around age 15. I still clearly remember reading in the TV and radio listings a week earlier that it was coming, and was filled with excitement for the entire week. When the day finally arrived, I had my “ghetto blaster” radio at the ready, aerial fully extended to try and keep the FM radio signal as pristine as possible, a blank cassette in the tape deck, and my finger poised on the ‘Record’ button ready. It was originally two hours long, which aired back to back on a Thursday evening. (This version has some of the songs edited down so it runs to just over an hour). I held onto my cassette (60 minutes each side) and treasured it for a few years, but eventually lost it in a house move, much to my constant regret. I’ve not heard this for over 25 years.

It was a thrill to hear audio of Karen’s speaking voice for the very first time (remember this was before the advent of the internet or file sharing sites on a mainstream level and long before the likes of YouTube). Some of the anecdotes from Richard have never been repeated elsewhere that I’m aware of, such as Karen possessing a “Betsy-Wetsy” doll when she was little, and there are others as he recounts their career in chronological order. Some of the interviews with Karen I’ve never heard since this broadcast anywhere else, so it’s a treat to hear them again after all this time.

The last twenty minutes of this, from 45 minutes on, are still as powerful and riveting as I remember them from that very first listen.

Enjoy!



Here's the complete version to download, with all the songs included:

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story
 
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