Last updated: 08/05/2013 10:04:43 AM
FORMED: 1968, New Haven, CT
As a pianist and producer, Richard's is a rare talent. It was by his talent and ability that the foundation was laid for the subsequent success of the Carpenter's Musical Family. When we think of Carpenters it is most likely that we would identify Karen's amazing voice as the dominate "sound" of the group, however, it was Richard's contributions which truly allowed them to achieve that unique sound. A good example of this is the album "Lovelines". It includes some Karen's solo works with Phil Ramone in 1979. While Karen's voice is as clear and beautiful as ever, the tracts produced by Mr. Phil Ramone do not have the same quality, or true "Carpenters Sound" as those produced by Richard. Richard and Karen's relationship to their music is as inseparable as that of "Cinematography" and "Soundtrack" to a motion picture.
Karen possessed every bit as much talent as Richard, however, hers was a talent that did not show at an early age like her brother's. Her first musical interest was as a drummer and it wasn't until later that her pure, natural vocal talent surfaced. A record company producer was the first to realize that Karen possessed a unique, and utterly beautiful voice, likening it to the finest of musical instruments. The most fascinating thing about Karen's voice is that it is completely pure and natural, without the benefit of formal training. Richard's talent was the foundation for Carpenters, but Karen's wonderful voice quickly became the reason for the group's existence. Karen passed away at the age of 32 on February 4th, 1983. She died of heart failure which was caused by complications from a long battle with anorexia nervosa. When Karen's heart stopped, millions more throughout the world were shattered with it.
After being rejected by other record producers for being too "Soft" for the market at that time, Richard and Karen's demo-tape attracted the attention of Herb Alpert, one of the manager of the A&M(Alpert & Moss)record company. "Carpenters" signed their first recording contract with A&M in April of 1969, and began a long and fruitful relationship with Herb and the company. They made their debut in November of the same year and with only their second release, "Close to You", reached the top of the American charts. In a career which saw them win 3 Grammy's, Carpenters never broke up, though Karen has gone...