It’s “Forgotten Friday!” Each Friday, I’ll profile someone or something (celebrity, movie, TV show, book, event, politician, etc.) that once held the spotlight but is now largely forgotten.
This week, I’m profiling The Carpenters.
Karen and Richard Carpenter were one of the top music acts of the ’70s with 12 top 10 singles and three number one hits. They were a perfect combination. Karen’s voice had a pure, beautiful tone mixed with an undertone of sadness that gave it more weight. In fact, her voice was almost soulful. Richard’s production used that voice perfectly, providing it with the right context to make classic music.
The Carpenters was some of the first pop music I remember hearing. My sister had several of their singles and I remember playing “Hurting Each Other” over and over again. I couldn’t get enough of that incredible voice.
Sadly, Karen’s early death by heart failure brought on by anorexia has largely overshadowed their body of work. Today, if you mention Karen Carpenter to someone, they’re more likely to think of eating disorders and not her great vocal abilities.
That’s a shame. A talent as great as that deserves to be remembered for the work they produced, not how they died.
Last year. The Backlot ranked The Carpenters top 20 songs. It’s a fantastic list. And it made the point that many of the songs of The Carpenters are even sadder in retrospect. That’s most evident in “Goodbye to Love.”
“No one ever cared if I should live or die.” It seemed like THE song where Karen truly bared her soul and her vulnerability…but no one heard.
Check back next week for another “Forgotten Friday.”