RESOURCES

"I have spent countless hours researching the Carpenters in order to bring the highest degree of authenticity to our show. The following resources have been invaluable and have had the most influence on our work. If you would like to know more about the history of the Carpenters and their musical legacy, their rise to fame and Karen's tragic and untimely death at the age of thirty-two, I strongly encourage you to look into these resources." ~ Sally Olson

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CARPENTERS: A MUSICAL LEGACY by Mike Cidoni Lennox & Chris May

Introduction by Richard Carpenter

The definitive biography of one of the most enduring and endeared recording artists in history—the Carpenters—is told for the first time from the perspective of Richard Carpenter, through more than 100 hours of exclusive interviews and some 200 photographs from Richard's personal archive, many never published.

After becoming multimillion-selling, Grammy-winning superstars with their 1970 breakthrough hit "(They Long to Be) Close to You," Richard and Karen Carpenter would win over millions of fans worldwide with a record-breaking string of hits including "We've Only Just Begun," "Top of the World," and "Yesterday Once More."

By 1975, success was taking its toll. Years of jam-packed work schedules, including hundreds of concert engagements, proved to be just too much for the Carpenters to keep the hits coming—and, ultimately, to keep the music playing at all. However, Richard and Karen never took their adoring public, or each other, for granted.

In Carpenters: The Musical Legacy, Richard Carpenter tells his story for the first time. With candor, heart, and humor, he sheds new light on the Carpenters' trials and triumphs—work that remains the gold standard for melodic pop. This beautifully illustrated definitive biography, with exclusive interviews and never-before-seen photographs, is a must-have for any Carpenters fan.

CARPENTERS: AN ILLUSTRATED DISCOGRAPHY by Randy Schmidt

An essential album-by-album retrospective of the legendary duo’s recordings

With more than 100 million records sold worldwide, the Carpenters are among the most beloved and enduring musical acts of the last 50 years. Randy L. Schmidt, author of the acclaimed bestselling biography Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter has assembled a team of commentators—journalists, authors, musicians, and other entertainment industry figures—for a series of in-depth, insightful, and opinionated conversations on every release. Beautifully presented with more than 200 images, many never before seen, the result is a must-have for pop music lovers.

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LITTLE GIRL BLUE: THE LIFE OF KAREN CARPENTER by Randy Schmidt

 

The brief, brilliant, and tragic life of Karen Carpenter

 

Little Girl Blue is an intimate profile of Karen Carpenter, a girl from a modest

Connecticut upbringing who became a Southern California superstar. Karen was the instantly recognizable lead singer of the Carpenters. The top-selling American musical act of the 1970s, they delivered the love songs that defined a generation. Karen’s velvety voice on a string of 16 consecutive Top 20 hits from 1970 to 1976—including “Close to You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “Superstar,” and “Hurting Each Other”—propelled the duo to worldwide stardom and record sales of more than 100  million. During their short musical career, the Carpenters released ten studio albums, toured more than 200 days a year, taped five television specials, and won three Grammys and an American Music Award. But that’s only a part of Karen’s story. Little Girl Blue reveals Karen’s heartbreaking struggles with her mother, brother, and husband; the intimate disclosures she made to her closest friends; her love for playing drums and her frustrated quest for solo stardom; and the ups and downs of her treatment for anorexia nervosa. After her shocking death at 32 years of age in 1983, she became the proverbial poster child for that disorder; but the other causes of her decline are laid bare for the first time in this moving account. Little Girl Blue is Karen Carpenter’s definitive biography, based on exclusive interviews with her innermost circle of girlfriends and nearly 100 others, including professional associates, childhood friends, and lovers. It tells a story as touching, warm, and involving as any of Karen’s greatest songs.

YESTERDAY ONCE MORE: THE CARPENTERS READER edited by Randy Schmidt

 

Articles about and interviews with one of pop music’s most beloved duos

 

With a string of number-one hits, the Carpenters were responsible for some of the most popular music of the 1970s. Yesterday Once More collects more than fifty articles, interviews, essays, reviews, and reassessments that chronicle the lives and career of this brother-sister musical duo. Pop journalists and historians—such as Daniel J. Levitin, John Tobler, Digby Diehl, Ray Coleman, Robert Hilburn, and Lester Bangs—provide insights into the music and personalities of the Carpenters, as do Karen and Richard themselves. This new edition has been revised and expanded to include close to a dozen pieces that were not in the previous edition, some of them previously unpublished.

Close to You: Remembering the Carpenters – documentary film (1998) with Richard Carpenter, Herb Alpert and Burt Bacharach.

Living Famously - Karen Carpenter - BBC documentary film (2003). Some great clips and concert footage, as well as interviews by Caroline Corr, Herb Alpert, Burt Bacharach, Jerry Moss, John Bettis, Phil Ramone, Frank Pooler, Mike Curb, Randy Schmidt, and others.

The Karen Carpenter Story – biopic film (1989) starring Cynthia Gibb and Mitchell Anderson, Directed by Joseph Sargent and Richard Carpenter, written by Barry Morrow.

Time Magazine article, 2/4/15 - How Karen Carpenter’s Death Changed the Way We Talk About Anorexia

www.richardandkarencarpenter.com - official website of the Carpenters

www.carpentersofficial.com - official website of the Carpenters, launched in conjunction with the release of the "Carpenters with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" album on December 7, 2018.