Tag Archive | Richard Carpenter today

The Carpenter’s Left a Lasting Impression

During the 1970s the Carpenter’s were very popular. Even today their hits can still be heard in commercials and movies.

The Carpenter’s were a brother and sister group. Richard was born on October 15, 1946 and Karen was born on March 2, 1950. They were born in Connecticut and later moved to California.

In his childhood Richard developed an interest in music. By the age of twelve, Richard knew he wanted a career in the music industry. He studied the subject at California State University.

Karen began playing the drums, joining the band in high school. In the beginning Karen played the drums during all of their concerts. She is said to consider herself “a drummer who sang.” Her drumming was widely praised by her peers and Modern Drummer.

Richard formed the Richard Carpenter Trio from 1965-1968. Their first recording was made in 1965. They appeared on the talent show Your All-American College Show. Many of their recording demos were made in a friend’s garage. Unfortunately most of their tapes were rejected.


The duo signed their first contract with A&M Records in April 1969. Karen sang the majority of their songs. She started out singing behind the drums, but eventually was convinced that she should be out front.

Karen felt she had little creative control over her career and began dieting obsessively. She developed anorexia nervosa, a disease she would battle for the rest of her life. Richard also battled his own addiction with Quaaludes.

Their last tour ended on September 4, 1978. Karen worked on a solo album the following year. This work was very different from the Carpenters. {Richard released Lovelines after her death.}

Karen married Thomas James Burris on August 31, 1980 but the couple would eventually separate.

In 1981 the duo made a handful of live performances to promote their latest album.

In April 1982, Karen would record her last song. Her final appearance was at a local school on December 17 that same year.

On February 4, 1983, the thirty-two year old Karen Carpenter died. Her death cast light on anorexia nervosa and bulimia. She is now buried {with her parents} at a cemetery in Westlake Village, California.

On October 12, 1983 the Carpenters received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Richard married Mary Rudolph in 1984 and they have five children. He continues to work as a pianist and composer. He has also released a solo album.

During their fourteen year career the duo recorded eleven albums, releasing 31 singles. They also had five television specials and toured not only through the United States, but the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and parts of Europe.

Many of their popular songs include “Close To You”, “Ticket To Ride”,”Rainy Days and Mondays,” “Top of the World”, and their signature song “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

While Karen is greatly missed, she lives on through her music.