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The Carpenters Had Just Begun

This brother and sister team called The Carpenters was an American vocal and instrumental duo. They were Karen and Richard Carpenter and they went on to become two of the best-selling music artists of all time. In their 14 year career altogether they came out with 11 albums and 31 singles. Lots of their songs were so popular they were heard playing everywhere. The duo also appeared in 5 TV specials and on short-lived TV series. Their recording career came to an end when Karen Carpenter died of heart failure in 1983 at the age of 32. This was as a result of complications from the eating disorder disease anorexia nervosa.

Their popularity began in the 1970s with the songs “(They Long to Be) Close to You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun”. Both songs became RIAA certified Gold Singles and were featured on the best-selling album Close to You.

These hits were followed by others such as “For All We Know”, “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “Goodbye to Love”. In 1973 The Carpenters came out with another number one hit “Top of the World’.  In 1975 they came out with the album Horizons which included hits like “Please Mr. Postman” and “Only Yesterday”.

In 1976 their album A Kind of Hush became Gold. It included song such as the ever popular “There’s a Kind of Hush (All Over the World)” and “I Need to Be in Love”. Their first TV special aired in 1976 The Carpenters’ Very First Television Special followed by The Carpenters at Christmas in 1977. With the disco craze coming in 1977 they released an experimental album Passage which included a mixture of music. Songs such as “B’wana She No Home” jazz fusion, “Man Smart, Woman Smarter” calypso and “I Just Fall in Love Again” orchestrated balladry. In 1978 The Carpenters came out with a surprise country hit “Sweet, Sweet Smile”.  Their final album was called Made in America and featured the hit “Touch Me When We’re Dancing”.

A short time after thinking that she was cured of anorexia nervosa Karen Carpenter collapsed in her parent’s house and was pronounced dead at the hospital. Her funeral was attended by over a thousand mourners among them artists such as Olivia Newton-John, Petula Clark, Dionne Warwick, and Herb Alpert. In October of 1983, The Carpenters got their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  After Karen’s death, Richard Carpenter continued to produce recordings of their songs and the compilation album Voice of the Heart included previous recordings and was certified Gold. It included two singles “Make Believe It’s Your First Time” and “Your Baby Doesn’t Love You Anymore”.

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  1. Karen Carpenter had one of the most amazing voices that I’ve ever heard. Because someone in the media called her overweight she developed anorexia nervosa; and her life was cut short way too soon.

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