February 4, 2018

Thirty Five Years Without Karen Carpenter

While I find it difficult to believe, it has been 35 years since the golden voiced Karen Carpenter passed away unexpectedly. Like many of her fans, I can remember exactly where I was when I heard the news. Granted, this should be a sad day of remembrance. 

I had initially planned to post another review of her one and only solo album. Yet, I realized I did an in depth look at it five years ago (here).  Then I thought about posting about her final years and the warning signs of eating disorders, but I decided against that. Those of you wanting to read about her last days should look here.

Truthfully, I have written so many articles on Karen and Richard Carpenter that I didn't know what I should do. Her voice brought happiness to so many people. So, in honor of Karen today, I'm sharing a handful of photos that show her happy, joyful side. 


Here's a  screenshot of Karen appearing on good friend Olivia Newton-John's television special, Hollywood Nights. Originally, she was going to premier a song from her forthcoming (but cancelled) solo album. It wasn't to be. Instead, Karen's part on an all star line up covering the Eagles' classic Heartache Tonight. If you can turn her up, you'll hear Karen sounds as well as looks terrific. It's clear she's having a great time!

Photo shoot for the epic A Song for You album. With so many hits under their belts, more were to come. In addition to boasting five smash singles, it also includes Bless the Beasts and Children, the amazing title song written by Leon Russell, and the pensive and powerful Road Ode, written by members of their band. 

Karen loved Mickey Mouse and Disneyland! Who doesn't? Here she is with Richard having a good time as they toured the park. 

Making the cover of Rolling Stone and finding a fairly objective-   even positive-article on the duo inside its covers had to make them both very happy. Seeing Karen ham it up for the photographer is a nice change of pace from the expected serious pose.

Solo and glamorous. Finally, somebody had the sense to present her in a fresh, updated, contemporary, and beautiful light. 


Another solo shot. Though, sadly, never released until after her death, Karen was rightly proud of this effort.  Jazzy, bluesy, and even with a bit of dance music thrown in, the solo album deserved much better than it was given by A&M Records.

One last photo. Karen at the time of recording All You Get From Love is a Love Song. (She's wearing the shirt found on the Horizon cover, however.) Getting thinner here but still looks happy. I can just see her on that Boat to Sail!

Thanks, Karen, for all the happy memories. Rest peacefully- and joyfully- in the arms of Jesus!

3 comments:

JRC said...
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JRC said...

Thanks for such a wonderful and great Tribute to Karen. It is very much appreciated. ...Jamie Colombo

Mark Taft said...

Thank you for reading, Jamie!