If you are a person of a certain age, you probably remember the moment when you were first seized by Karen Carpenter's voice. For me, it was getting into my mother's Pontiac LeMans after a commencement ceremony at Kingswood School in 1970. I was a sophomore at an all-boys school, and nobody wanted to be "Close To" me.
But hearing that voice, I imagined a kind of angel who did. In fact, it was a shock when I really saw what Karen Carpenter looked like, because the voice conjured up images of a lush, heart stopping beauty. Karen had grown up a tomboy, and she still looked it a little.
The Carpenters were immensely popular, but never cool, at least not during the 1970's, when they dominated pop music. Today, I think they are cool, and everybody from Chrissie Hynde to Alicia Keys sites Karen as an influence.
What do The Carpenters mean to you? Comment below, email Colin@wnpr.org, or tweet @wnprcolin.
- Michelle Berting Brett is the star of "We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered"
- Mark Brett is the producer of “We’ve Only Just Begun, Carpenters Remembered”
- Randy Schmidt is the author of Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter and a music educator in Denton, Texas
- Joel Samberg is a writer, journalist, and corporate communications professional