Friday, December 30, 2011

New website: "online with Carpenters"

Hello Friends! I have just created a new Carpenters website called "online with Carpenters". this one will take the place of the old website The Carpenters Online which I started back in 2002.

This is a stylish site which is fashioned in the style of a book with pages. It's easy to navigate through. At this point it does not contain much information but with time it will include a good amount of fun stuff.

In the next few days I will be adding a News page which will keep you up to date on the latest news pertaining to Karen, Richard and everything Carpenters.

Check back periodically for updates.

Here's a link for those who wish to check it out:

online with Carpenters: click here

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Portrait on Billboard Chart

Very good news for fans of Karen Carpenter and the Carpenters. For the week ending December 17, 2011 the album "Christmas Portrait" is at #153 on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart. Last week it was at #175, it moved up an entire 22 positions.

The highest position the album has reached in the U.S. was #150 back in 1978 and so far it has been certified platinum for sales over 1 million copies.

It would be great to see "Christmas Portrait" remain on the charts for a third consecutive week. It would be even better to see it surpass it's peak of #150. But it can only happen one way and that is by generating sales. I urge those of you who yet do not own the CD to purchase it. "Christmas Portrait" is one of the most beautiful collections of Christmas music ever. In my humble opinion it is the very best Christmas album in the history of recorded music.

Below I have provided a link to the album on Amazon. But in order to keep it on the charts you have to purchase a new copy from Amazon.

Amazon is selling the disc for $12.98 brand new. (UPDATE: Since the publishing of this post Amazon has put the disc on sale and is now selling it for $11.54)

On the Amazon page for the album you will see a small box with the heading "Formats". In this box it lists MP3 Download, Audio CD 1990, Vinyl and audio Cassette.

To keep the album on the charts you can either purchase the MP3 download of the entire album for $5.99 ( that's a great price) or in the line that says Audio CD, 1990 you would purchase the first listing under the Amazon price heading for $12.98 (now on sale for $11.54).

The prices listed in the Formats box under the Amazon Prices heading is what you want to purchase to keep the album on the charts.

Now here's the link to the page:

         What are your favorite songs from "Christmas Portrait"?

Very good news for Carpenters. "Christmas Portrait" has officially bested it's previous peak position. Back in 1978 the album reached #150. This week the album has moved up to #126 with a bullet.

The next goal is to get the album into the Top 100 (that would be big news.). If you haven't bought it - go out and buy it.

Here's the link:

*** Remember in order to keep the album on the charts you either want to buy a new copy directly from (which is currently selling for $11.54) or you should buy a download of the entire album.

If you already own it than buy a copy or a download for a friend or family member. Let's make it happen.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Share the love of Karen Carpenter's voice

Just in time for the season. Check out Carpenters Avenue Carpenters store.

This is a great listing of almost everything available by or about the Carpenters. Listings include MP3 downloads, CD's, DVD's, VHS, books, e-books, sheets music and other miscellaneous items.

Happy shopping. Share the love of Carpenters music with your friends and family...

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Karen Carpenter Holiday: Peach Mabel @ Christmas

Karen Carpenter loved to cook. She enjoyed preparing everything from gourmet meals to baking cookies. The kitchen in her condo was custom built with the the latest and greatest in appliances and fixtures.

One of Karen's favorite treats to make was Peach Mabel, a deliciously creamy dessert.

The recipe was included in a celebrity charity recipe book which was sold to raise funds for Osteogenesis.

1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon almond essence
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 pint whipped cream
1 pkg. Knox gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 box vanilla wafers
2 cups peaches (canned & drained)
-Place wafers in plastic bag, half box at a time and crush with rolling.
-Spread on bottom of baking dish (8 x 11) or something similar. Save some to sprinkle on top.
-Mix butter, flavorings, salt & sugar in blender. Blend well. Add eggs and blend.
-Mix gelatin with water quickly & blend with other ingredients.
-Whip cream till stiff & fold into blended ingredients. Now fold in the drained & diced peaches.
-Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top. Refrigerate for a couple of hours

For your holiday pleasure please enjoy this interview Karen Carpenter did in December 1978 to promote the newly released "Christmas Portrait" album.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Carpenters - Christmas Collection is a seasonal favorite that begs to be played every year. Karen Carpenter shines with her crystal perfect voice and the music is fantastically beautiful.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Live in Australia (1972)

As most of us know Karen Carpenter's voice was known around the world by millions of fans. The music of Carpenters has reached the #1 spot in almost every country imaginable and today their music is still revered as some of the finest music ever made.

Today Karen Carpenter Avenue is happy to share this video of the Carpenters performing live in Australia in 1972. This clip features the songs "Hurting Each Other" and "we've Only Just Begun".

Karen Carpenter!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A few recent releases...

It's been a while since we've seen a new Carpenters release. But lo and behold there have a been a few in the past year or so... just not a bunch of hoopla made over them. The last Carpenters release to make a splash was compilation album 40/40 released in October 2009. It hit #1 in Japan and #21 in England.

On March 9, 2010 a DVD was released of their Live At The BBC concert from 1971. They named this DVD "Live In London". 

In November 2010 a live CD was released and titled "Live In Stage". This contains the songs Carpenter performed in 1971 for the BBC Concert - this must be the companion piece to the DVD released earlier in the year.

The most recent release was another live CD this one titled "Live On Air" was released in January 2011 and is the audio release of their 1974 Japanese tour. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fan Club Newsletter #66 - January 1980

This is one of my favorite Carpenters Fan Club Newsletters as it speaks of Karen's solo album...

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Greetings Friends!

The Carpenter family wish to convey their warmest thanks for all the beautiful cards and gifts, and hope you all enjoyed the Holidays with your families and friends.

Our local radio stations provided us with many happy listening hours of Christmas Portrait music over the festive season.

Karen has made several return trips to New York in connection with her recordings, and we can anticipate release of her solo album sometime in March. She is in New York now, working on the final segments, but until completion stage it cannot be determined which track will be chosen for the initial single release, so watch for it soon.

Richard and Karen recently participated in the popular TV show 20/20 with Herb Alpert, which is due to air shortly, but no date is set at present time.

You will be happy to know tentative plans are in the making for a Carpenters Special some time in the Spring. Taping is scheduled to begin next month, but there is no information on the theme or guests as this letter goes to press.

Showing signs of having benefited greatly from his overdue hiatus, Richard plans on returning to the studios with Karen when she returns from New York, to resume work on their next album which will embrace some of the music they will feature in their Special.

Richard recently made two different type records! He's thoroughly enjoyed being involved with his cars and attending car auctions. Over the Thanksgiving weekend he paid a record price for a 1966 Mustang Convertible, and sold his 1959 Chrysler 300 for a record price.

Regarding the information I conveyed to you in the #65 newsletter pertaining to the Japanese LP The Carpenters First Ten Years, Alfa Records have since advised me of an error on the price. This should have been Y4,800 NOT Y4,500 plus Y5,000 for shipping etc. They wish to apologize for any inconvenience incurred by the error, but those who ordered would be wise to send the balance of Y300 promptly to ensure delivery of same.

Alfa Records have also compiled two new Carpenters releases which may interest you collectors. Both albums are entitled Sound Capsule Carpenters Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. Price for each recording is Y2,500 plus Y2,800 for shipping and handling.

Indicative of the appreciation of the Singles 1974-1978 released in England last year, it has already achieved Platinum status!

Many hours of preparation and research has finally culminated in a very nice souvenir book (now in mailing process) as a token of gratitude from the Carpenters for your faithful support during the first decade of their recording career. Enjoy!

These books will not be sold outside the fanclub, so anyone who wishes further copies for friends, can obtain them from the fanclub for $X.XX for USA members, and $X.XX for members residing outside the States. The price includes shipping and handling.

The Carpenter homestead in Downey is an annual spectacle as the Holiday Season approaches, but this year was even more spectacular with the addition of a life-size Snoopy positioned on the red carpeted porch accompanying an enormous frosty reindeer (complete with gift wrapped packages) suspended over the porch railings. Dad Carpenter who supervises the decorating was awarded first prize in the form of a plaque presented by Chaney Realtors for the "Gallery Of Homes Christmas Decoration Contest". The usual stream of visitors filed past to view the magnificent sight.

As I have no further news just now, I'll include the answers to some of your questions:

Q. Does Karen hope for better promotion for her solo LP than previous Carpenters releases of recent years, and will she do a promo tour?
A. There is a possibility Karen might do a short promo tour. She feels A & M are behind them, and she and Richard feel very proud of being selected American Top 40's #1 Recording Duo of the past decade.
 Q. Have Karen and Richard ever met Barbra Streisand?
A. Yes, many times. 
Q. How many cars does Karen have now?
A. Three: 1956 Thunderbird Convertible, 1972 Mercedes, 1979 Jaguar XJS. 
Q. On which tracks did Karen play drums on the Horizon album?
A. Please Mr. Postman and Happy. 
Q. Did Karen and Richard see Grease, did they like it, and would they ever consider participating in a similar type film?
A. They both saw it, enjoyed it and would consider such a venture if the opportunity arose.
Q. Is Karen going to appear on Loveboat or Fantasy Island?
A. She is interested in appearing if a suitable script is offered. 
Q. Is it possible K&R might do a USA Singles 1974-1978 release?
A. They have no plans for this at the present time. 
Q. Did Karen visit Studio 54 while in New York?
A. She was invited, but had to decline due to pressure of work.
 Q. Will the Carpenters be touring in 1980?
A. There is a slight possibility, but no concrete plans at present.

The Carpenters Christmas Portrait album cover was reproduced for their personalized Christmas cards this year. As their hand written message inside the card was so meaningful, one was mailed to our hostages in Iran. To reflect their message seems a fitting conclusion to this letter: "For a warm and full season, we send you our wishes for Peace among men, and Love throughout the world". Karen & Richard.

Everyone connected with our duo warmly endorses their message.

Happy New Year! Rosina.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Karen Carpenter in Pictures

This picture is from the 1976 television special titled The Carpenters Very First Television Special. In this skit Karen dresses up in indian garb. Doesn't she look cute?

This set of photos is from the live in studio concert Carpenters did at the BBC in 1971.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Karen Carpenter: I Am Woman

Karen Carpenter always professed to not be part of the woman's liberation movement. Though in her own way Karen inspired many women in their quest for individuality. Karen was the first female lead singer/drummer. She was always confident behind her drum kit and it showed as she played her perfectly timed rhythm patterns.

Karen Carpenter was a one of a kind.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Karen Carpenter: A Silenced Voice

The following is an excerpt from the book; The Anorexic Self: a personal, political analysis of a diagnostic discourse written by Paula Saukko.

In 1996 Karen Carpenter's solo album was released. The media reception of Karen Carpenter was contradictory.  On one hand, the solo album which had been shelved after being produced in 1979, was framed as Karen's aborted declaration of independence. Many news reports focused on the production of the album, which was shrouded in controversy, by drawing on interviews with Phil Ramone, the producer who helped Karen to go solo, and his wife Karen Ichiuji (aka Karen Kamon). An example is the following story from the English broadsheet Observer/Guardian:

There were glam photo sessions for the album cover. Previously Carpenter had been photographed in matching outfits with her brother (her record company chose the clothes she would wear in the Carpenters photo sessions). When she saw the proofs of one shot, which showed her elegantly coiffed up, made up, and wearing an oversized white sweatshirt, she ran to Ichiuji in a rare outburst of self-worth. "Look at me Itch," she said, "I'm pretty, I'm really pretty." After four or five songs had been completed she flew back to Los Angeles, tape happily in hand. "She was so in awe of Phil and these cool, hip musicians, who were treating her like an equal," Frenda Franklin, Karen's friend says, "she wasn't used to that." Richard Carpenter told Ray Coleman (author of The Carpenters: The Untold Story)  that he sometimes wouldn't even tell Karen what she was going to sing until she got to the studio. (Hoerburger 1996)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Karen Carpenter: A Singing Troubadour

 The following is an excerpt from a book titled Rock 'n' roll: Gold rush : a singles un-encyclopedia
 written by Maury Dean

A blues singing girl with no happy news? "American Pie" eulogized superstar Janis Joplin. Singing more suburban blues, far from the muddy Mississippi, was Karen Carpenter. Brother Richard shepherded her soft rock musical arrangements. Karen's muted stylistics caressed her songs with spirit and deep feeling. Karen Carpenter had one of the most melancholy and hauntingly beautiful voices of all-time.

Karen had a one in a billion voice. Her sweet pure alto murmurs, purrs and soothes down through the generations, tinged with a tone of eternal melancholy. No matter how happy the song, she can make it sound blue and sad. And that's truly a compliment. Bittersweet, happy-that-hurts angst. Karen's vocal genius never required screaming. A gracious gift of grief sums up her midnight blue songs.

Sadly Karen Carpenter's life was curtailed by too much love, too much affection, too much trying to please everyone but herself.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Please Mr. Postman" stripped down version.

This is the SACD center channel stripped down version of "Please Mr. Postman".

Tony Peluso's excellent guitar solo is missed in this version, but it is great hearing Karen's voice front and center. Even on a poppy song as this her voice is still pure. You can really hear the joy inher voice. I wish she would have done more of these joyful sort of tunes.

Karen Carpenter 1975