Carpenters were the most popular act of the 70s!
Brother and Sister Karen and Richard Carpenter started out in music early on.
Richard on the Piano and Karen eventually on Vocals but her road to becoming a singer was a long and complicated one.
At first Karen started out playing the Glockenspiel, which she hated, eventually turning to drums she thought she found her calling and practiced Rudiments and press rolls for hours on end, Karen was set on becoming a professional drummer.
It is Karen playing drums on the Carpenters recordings but the singing is what made her and the Carpenters world famous.
(They Long To Be) Close To You was Carpenters first hit!
(They Long To Be) Close To You was originally written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.
Initially released as They Long To Be Close To You with Richard Chamberlain in 1963 the song didn’t do too well, in fact the B-side Blue Guitar became a hit!
In 1964 Burt arranged the song for Dionne Warwick, this time releasing the song as a B-side to Here I Am.
The song didn’t do well in the charts so Burt released his own version in 1968, this didn’t work either!
Close To You success
In 1970 the Carpenters released their version, now entitled (They Long To Be) Close To You.
Following the success of Close To You, the Carpenters went on to sell more albums than any other act in the 70s.
Carpenters rise and fall
After a few failed attempts at the charts the act finally got picked up by A&M Records who only took a year to sync and released ‘Close To You’.
This release instantly brought the Carpenters worldwide fame.
For the next five years the Carpenters toured heavily, sometimes achieving over 200 shows in a year. As all seemed well a tired Karen slipped into depression and the at the time unknown illness Anorexia Nervosa.
As Karen was struggling with her eating disorder the band continued to tour and promote their music heavily. Ultimately this led Karen to collapse at their parents house in Downey.
As Richard arrived the next morning Karen had suffered Cardiac Arrest following the eating disorder and sadly passed away only 32 years old.
Following Karen’s death much more is known about Anorexia and several celebrities have come forward about their problems with both Anorexia and Bulimia, possibly most famously Diana, Princess of Wales.