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Whose Idea was Music, Music, Music?

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
What a great show- easily the best of their television specials!
In my memory, I believe the concept to be Richard's idea. But now I'm not sure.
Karen singing the classic American songbook? Brilliant!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
The story I've heard was that Richard was tired of the "schtick" in the prior specials and just wanted to do what they did best - "Music". The network, ABC, was none too happy about it, thinking it was more like a PBS special, but they managed to essentially do it Richard's way. I'm not sure who's idea John Davidson was.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
Me either. Maybe the Tonight Show he hosted and they performed. Some kind of friendship or maybe shared management deal. So glad Richard recorded his own voice for the As Time Goes By cd instead of John’s.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
^^ "Some kind of friendship or maybe shared management deal."

Didn't I read in one of the duo's bios that Karen at one time dated John Davidson?
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
John Davidson was one of the hosts of "That's Incredible" on ABC, which premiered in March 1980. At the time, he was also managed by Jerry Weintraub. Davidson's appearance was cross promotion for the network, and Weintraub got a cut of his fee. Pretty convenient...
 
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John Adam

Well-Known Member
I don't know if Richard would of done another special unless it could be about the music. He seemed so out of his element in the other specials, except in the segments that were, Music, Music, Music! It did seem more like a PBS program than a major network television special. That's why it's kind of cool, because it went against the norm of the time. Plus it was nice seeing Karen looking good again, even if still a bit too thin.
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
Wonder if The Carpenters heard of the late Teresa Brewer song "Music, Music, Music"?? Teresa recorded that song again in 1973.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Whose idea ? I would fathom Jerry Weintraub. He probably pitched the idea to Karen and Richard.
As much as I enjoy this special (which I missed in 1980), this special would only serve to solidify their
"easy-listening" moniker at the time and appeal to a relative minority of the public.
In a way, this was a gutsy move at the time, yet ultimately another misfire for their career.
 

goodjeans

Well-Known Member
The story I've heard was that Richard was tired of the "schtick" in the prior specials and just wanted to do what they did best - "Music". The network, ABC, was none too happy about it, thinking it was more like a PBS special, but they managed to essentially do it Richard's way. I'm not sure who's idea John Davidson was.
"I'm not sure who's idea John Davidson was."
LOL Harry.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Wonder if The Carpenters heard of the late Teresa Brewer song "Music, Music, Music"?? Teresa recorded that song again in 1973.
Actually, they had heard of 'Music, Music, Music'. Richard said that the single by Teresa Brewer was one of the first records he asked his parents to buy him when he was little.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
The special is so sterile even though the studio recordings we now have from it are gorgeous. I get that it’s about the music but it feels devoid of personality. Aside from Karen’s clips (and you can just hear the recordings digitally), I would watch Space Encounters over this. Come at me.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
'Music, Music, Music' was reviewed in People Magazine. The critic said that everything the Carpenters performed on the show (with the exception of the 'Karen/Ella Medley') sounded like a lullaby. I must concur that I do hear what he's saying. Lol.

That being said, the closing medley still stands as one of the finest things they ever put to tape.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
"I'm not sure who's idea John Davidson was."
LOL Harry.
Agreed on that one. Very boring choice. Plus John Davidson had already been on one of their specials. That's an example of Weintraub having too much power over their career choices at the time.
^^ "Some kind of friendship or maybe shared management deal."

Didn't I read in one of the duo's bios that Karen at one time dated John Davidson?
Nope. They were just buddies.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
The special is so sterile even though the studio recordings we now have from it are gorgeous. I get that it’s about the music but it feels devoid of personality. Aside from Karen’s clips (and you can just hear the recordings digitally), I would watch Space Encounters over this. Come at me.
Hold STILL Jarred! You got this coming to ya...BAM!!#@ POW!!#@#ZING!!*$!#
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
The special is so sterile even though the studio recordings we now have from it are gorgeous. I get that it’s about the music but it feels devoid of personality. Aside from Karen’s clips (and you can just hear the recordings digitally), I would watch Space Encounters over this. Come at me.
You'll get no argument from me Jarred. "Sterile" is the perfect word to describe MMM. Big, white studio... no audience... periods of silence... musicians from the Nelson Riddle Orchestra sitting stone-faced... with the exception of Ella, everything mimed... Carpenters reciting scripted lines in a very wooden fashion... forced smiles... no spontaneity.... The music is great, no question, but the atmosphere is sombre, joyless even.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
With all due respect to Mark, this Special surely was a career misfire--it was nearly the bottom rated show (that week, or that year ?).
And, it only reinforced the ultra "easy listening" vibe they had built for themselves after Hush LP.
The special did nothing for the image problems, or record sales, or profile.
Had an album been out that particular week of airing, how would this TV Special have helped promote any album ?
By going in the direction of lip-syncing, scripted talk, choral-sound for background---
sorry to say, a big misfire.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
You'll get no argument from me Jarred. "Sterile" is the perfect word to describe MMM. Big, white studio... no audience... periods of silence... musicians from the Nelson Riddle Orchestra sitting stone-faced... with the exception of Ella, everything mimed... Carpenters reciting scripted lines in a very wooden fashion... forced smiles... no spontaneity.... The music is great, no question, but the atmosphere is sombre, joyless even.
Exactly. They went too far in the opposite direction, I prefer the campy color, clutter and bits of inspiration we see in the other specials. MMM was robotic and stilted. The big white studio was almost a metaphor for the emptiness that Karen would soon feel as her marriage (and the many additional problems it caused) was only a few months off.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
There wasn’t much, if any promotion for the special either. If I hadn’t been a subscriber to TV Guide, I would have missed it completely. I only was aware a few days before it aired. I have it on Beta or VHS somewhere......
Can’t even watch it on a newer tv now I think.
Do they make an RCA analog to hdmi adaptor?
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
There wasn’t much, if any promotion for the special either. If I hadn’t been a subscriber to TV Guide, I would have missed it completely. I only was aware a few days before it aired. I have it on Beta or VHS somewhere......
Can’t even watch it on a newer tv now I think.
Do they make an RCA analog to hdmi adaptor?
No adapter that I know of but they do make converter boxes. Amazon has them if I'm not mistaken.

Ed
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
By the way, I like the special---but, I did not see it until sometime in the late 1990's !
So, when it was initially aired I would have been 17 yrs old and while I am sure to have loved
seeing my favorite duo then, I am also sure it would not have resonated with a younger audience.
Also, I love how it says on-screen (in cursive) "the Carpenters." (3m42s). And, the announcer says "The Carpenters..."
 

MorningOpensQuietly

Active Member
Honestly, guys, I don't think at that point in their career, the special had the potential to either significantly help or hurt them. I feel like the die had been cast at that point. Made in America was the brief spark that burned a year or so later. Like everyone else, however, I am so thankful for the beautiful medley.
 
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