Monday, December 27, 2010

TEENA MARIE (1956-2010)


It is a very sad day in the world of music for the loss of r&b singer, Teena Marie.

I always loved her music and my favorite album was her 1983 album, "Robbery (Expanded Edition)".  She had a strong and passionate voice but I don't think her talent ever got the proper recognition she deserved.

She was born Mary Brockert in Santa Monica, CA, and began singing at the age of 2. She was heavily influenced by the sounds of Motown and other African-American artists and could convincingly sing in that style.

She would eventually sign with Motown Records where she met the late Rick James who would help write and produce her first album, "Wild and Peaceful" in 1979. She had success right away with her first single, "I'm A Sucker For Your Love" which hit number eight on the r&b charts although her picture did not appear on her album because the label was unsure how audiences would react to her being a white artist. The world did find out by her second release, " Lady T" the following year and it would be perfectly fine as she would later be dubbed, "The Ivory Queen of Soul ".

She completed thirteen albums during her career with her last, "Congo Square" being released last year. Although she had only one song, "Lovergirl" hit the top ten on the pop charts, she got plenty of airplay on the r&b charts with thirteen top forty with seven reaching the top ten there.

The glorious sounds of Lady T will truly be missed.

It Must Be Magic

Square Biz

Can't Last A Day (featuring Faith Evans)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

THE FIRST TUNE OF CHRISTMAS


The perfect Christmas song.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

"The Christmas Song" - Nat "King" Cole (1961)

Friday, December 24, 2010

THE SECOND TUNE OF CHRISTMAS


Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas" for the 1942 musical film, "Holiday Inn" and it was actually done as a duet with Bing Crosby and actress Marjorie Reynolds (although her voice was dubbed by singer, Martha Mears). Bing recorded a solo version and it topped the charts that year.

Later, the song would appear again in another musical, appropriately titled, "White Christmas" in 1954 which also starred Bing Crosby.

This is another song that has been recorded by many, many people but Mr. Crosby's version is the only one in the Guiness Book of World Records as the Best Selling Single Of All Time with 50 million copies being sold.

"White Christmas" - Bing Crosby (1942)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

THE THIRD TUNE OF CHRISTMAS


One of the best of the modern Christmas songs, "This Christmas" was originally written and recorded by the late, great Donny Hathaway. Of course, there are plenty of different takes of the song but this is still the only version that matters.   

"This Christmas" - Donny Hathaway (1970)         

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

THE FOURTH TUNE OF CHRISTMAS


"Do You Hear What I Hear?" was written by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne in 1962 and was a plea for peace during the Cuban missile crisis. This song has been recorded by many different artists over the years but my favorite is by Whitney Houston. She was in her prime, delivered a stirring and passionate vocal plus the song has a great arrangement.

Her version was made as part of a 1987 Christmas themed album,  "A Very Special Christmas". It assembled other popular musical artists of the day and the proceeds went to benefit the Special Olympics. There have been seven other albums released in the series.

"Do You Hear What I Hear?" - Whitney Houston (1987)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

THE FIFTH TUNE OF CHRISTMAS


The odd pairing of the elder Hollywood crooner and the younger glam-rock god was put together for what would turn out to be Bing Crosby's last television Christmas special, which merged the very familiar holiday song, "The Little Drummer Boy" with an original song written for the show, "Peace on Earth". This was done, apparently, because David Bowie hated the drummer boy song and didn't want to sing it. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it gave the song a fresh take and a Christmas classic was born.

"The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth" - Bing Crosby & David Bowie (1977)

Here is the clip from the TV special:

Monday, December 20, 2010

THE SIXTH TUNE OF CHRISTMAS


Christmas songs aren't typically known for being romantic and sensual but that changed with The Carpenters. This original song, written by Richard Carpenter and Frank Pooler which features a beautifully touching vocal by Karen Carpenter, is the group at their very best.

"Merry Christmas, Darling" - The Carpenters (1970)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

THE SEVENTH TUNE OF CHRISTMAS


This Christmas song is from another former Beatle with his wife, Yoko Ono but this actually began as a protest to the Vietnam War but has now evolved in to a holiday standard.

The song was produced by Phil Spector, along with John and Yoko and the background chorus is performed by the Harlem Community Choir. It reached number three on the pop charts in the U.S.

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon, Yoko Ono and The Plastic Ono Band (1971)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

THE EIGHTH TUNE OF CHRISTMAS


This is the former Beatle's musical contribution to Christmas in a song that is unusual because musically, it doesn't sound exactly like a Christmas song but that's the same reason why it makes it such a great Christmas song.

I could listen to this song anytime of the year.
"Wonderful Christmastime" - Paul McCartney (1979)

Friday, December 17, 2010

THE NINTH TUNE OF CHRISTMAS


There have been many versions of "Santa Baby" (Madonna's take is cute but a distant second) but none of them are effortlessly charismatic and sexy as the original created by the one and only Miss Eartha Kitt. A voice that was unique and special as the woman behind it.

"Santa Baby" - Eartha Kitt (1953)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

THE TENTH TUNE OF CHRISTMAS


This Christmas song actually began as way to raise money and awareness to the famine in Ethiopia. Bob Geldof of the rock band, The Boomtown Rats wrote the song with Midge Ure of Ultravox and they assembled a group of British pop superstars to record this song.

The song was number one for five weeks and sold 3.5 million copies in the U.K. alone and is now a holiday classic.

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" - Band Aid (1984)



This is the music video of the making of the song. Let's see how many of these artists you recognize and know who they are. . .

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

THE ELEVENTH TUNE OF CHRISTMAS


I'm going to continue with another funny novelty song. I think the title pretty much sums it up.

"Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" - Elmo & Patsy (1979)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

THE TWELVE TUNES OF CHRISTMAS

Christmas is almost upon us and, whether you want to or not, we have been hearing plenty of holiday music. We just have to accept that it's all part of the season. There are really not that many different songs or I should say, a wide variety of good Christmas songs but the classics out there have been done by many, many artists; a few great versions, many mediocre and some embarrassingly bad.

So for the next twelve days, I'm going to count down my favorite Christmas songs. These are also my favorite versions of each song (most tend to be the original) and they are not necessarily in any particular order but I guess the songs closer to the top are the ones I most prefer.


The first tune is the holiday novelty song by those cute animated critters, Alvin and the Chipmunks. This song was their only hit and it actually went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100.

It's a fun song and I still chuckle when I hear it.

"The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" - Alvin & The Chipmunks (1958)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

THE FIRST TIME: PART EIGHT

MARIAH CAREY - "MARIAH CAREY" (1990)


Named after the song, "They Call The Wind Mariah" from the musical, "Paint Your Wagon", Mariah Carey was the youngest of three children born and raised in Long Island, New York. She is of multi-racial descent ( Irish, Venezuelan and African-American) which caused her some difficulties growing up. After Mariah's parents split up, the family struggled as her mother had to work several jobs to keep food on the table.

Mariah would sing around the house as a young child and her mother, who was a former opera singer, would teach her daughter how to properly use her voice.

After Mariah finished high school, she worked as a local demo singer, wrote songs and went to beauty school before becoming a back-up singer for artist, Brenda K. Starr.

Mariah attended a party with Brenda and met Columbia Records executive, Tommy Mottola. Brenda gave him Mariah's demo tape and he listened to it after the party and was very impressed. Mr. Mottola tracked down Mariah and signed her to a record contract.

Her self-titled debut, "Mariah Carey" was released in 1990 and she co-wrote all of the songs on the album. It would reach number one on the Billboard Top 200 Album Charts, thanks to her first hit single, "Vision Of Love" which also hit number one for four weeks. There were three more singles released that also went straight to number one on the pop charts and it would become the best selling album in 1991. Mariah would receive two Grammy Awards including Best New Artist of 1990.

While Mariah's first album was more pop oriented with lite r&b, she wanted to move even more towards a solid r&b/ hip-hop sound, so her next album, "Emotions" was released in late 1991. Although it had three top ten singles, it was not nearly as successful as her debut and she also suffered from a critical backlash. She was being accused of being nothing more than a studio creation because she did not tour to support her albums but the truth was that she lacked confidence and suffered from a little stage fright. She did manage to perform for a small audience for an MTV Unplugged program in 1992. That live show was released as an EP and had a number one song with a cover of The Jackson 5 hit, "I'll Be There". Mariah eventually did do several major tours around the globe.

Mariah Carey would enjoy more hit singles and albums and achieve international success. She has had twenty-seven top ten hits in the U.S to date.and has eighteen number one singles, second only to The Beatles, and she has sold well over two hundred million units.

Mariah became romantically involved with Tommy Mottola and they wed in 1993 but the marriage ended in 1997 due, in part, to Mr. Mottola's controlling nature. In 2008, while shooting a music video for a song off her album, "E=MC²", Mariah met actor Nick Cannon and after a brief romance, they were married  in the Bahamas. Mariah is expecting her first child in the spring of 2011.

This is the first number one song for Mariah Carey:



Vision Of Love


WHAM! - "MAKE IT BIG" (1984)


George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley met as teenagers while they attended Bushey Meads School in Hertfordshire, England. They joined a SKA band called The Executive but formed Wham! after that band disbanded. George held the majority of the responsibilities of the band; singing, writing and producing while Andrew played guitar but more importantly was Wham!'s spokesman and handled their image.

Wham! released their first single, "Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do?)" in 1982, which was one of the first singles by a British band that featured rap but the song did not chart. Later that year, they put out their second single, "Young Guns (Go For It!)" but this song also stalled. It was a last minute appearance, after another band dropped out, on the BBC television program, "Top Of The Pops" that changed things for the band. After audiences, (mostly teenage girls) got a look at the boys and their performance, "Young Guns" moved up the UK pop charts and peaking at number three. "Wham Rap!" was re-released and went top ten as well as additional singles, "Bad Boys" and "Club Tropicana". Their debut album, "Fantastic" went straight to number one by 1983.

This was just the beginning, as Wham! had the rest of the world to conquer. Wham! used the music video to their advantage with the singles off of the first album, which featured the boys as black leather-wearing toughs but for the video of the first single off of their new album, "Make It Big",  Andrew had them soften their look and appear more playful while George took care of creating a catchy tune. The song, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" went straight to number one all over the world and Wham! became a global sensation. The next single, "Careless Whisper" was released as a "George Michael" solo song, which also went to number one. The two other hit singles, "Everything She Wants" and "Freedom" were released as Wham!. and also hit the top ten.

After all of the fame and fortune, George now wanted to be taken seriously as an artist and distance himself from Wham!'s teenage fan base and move more towards a sophisticated audience. In 1986, the duo announced that Wham! would be splitting up after their next album, "Music From the Edge of Heaven". Wham! staged a grand finale concert at Wembley Stadium on June 28, 1986 that was attended by 73,000 fans. After five years together, Wham! sold over twenty millions records.

Andrew Ridgeley only made a one solo album, "Son of Albert" in 1990 that was a commercial and critical flop while George Michael went on to have a somewhat successful solo music career.

The first Wham! single. . .This is the Brit-rap at it's best:



WHAM! Rap

This is the duo, looking tough, as they perform their song, "Bad Boys" on the Brit TV show, "Top Of The Pops" in 1983:



Andrew talks George into getting blonde highlights and wearing over-sized t-shirts and tiny shorts and this music video helped launch Wham! to world wide success:





CYNDI LAUPER - "SHE'S SO UNUSUAL" (1983)


Born and raised in Queens, New York, Cyndi Lauper was exposed to wide spectrum of different musical genres as a child. At the age of twelve, Cyndi learned how to play the guitar and soon started writing songs. Cyndi also began expressing herself by dying her hair in wild colors and wearing extreme fashions but her mother encouraged her to express her creativity and individuality. At seventeen, Cyndi left home to study art but ended up traveling through Canada and eventually ended up in Vermont where she took art classes.

She soon returned to New York and decided to pursue singing. She performed with a variety of cover bands but disliked doing other artist's songs. In 1977, Cyndi damaged her vocal cords and was told she would never be able to sing again. Cyndi worked with a vocal coach who helped her regain her voice and taught her exercises to help protect it.

In 1978, She met sax player, John Turi and they formed a new-wave rock band called, Blue Angel. The band recorded a few demos but many people who heard them only wanted to sign Cyndi to a record deal but she held out for the band. Polydor Records eventually signed the band and they released their self-titled debut, "Blue Angel" in 1980. Despite some critical acclaim, the album was not a commercial success and Blue Angel soon disbanded.

Cyndi continued singing in local clubs and met David Wolff, who became her manager and he got her signed with Portrait Records. Cyndi worked with studio musicians on her album and in 1983, "She's So Unusual" was completed. The album was an immediate hit, thanks to the first single, "Girls Just Want To Have Fun". The song was originally written and recorded by Robert Hazard and was done from a male point of view. Cyndi altered the lyrics slightly to change it to a female perspective and the song went to number two on the U.S. pop charts. "She's So Unusual" had a total of four top ten singles, was nominated for six Grammy Awards, winning two, including Best New Artist and would go on to sell a total of sixteen million copies across the globe.

Cyndi would go on to have a successful recording career, releasing eleven studio albums to date which include different genres of music; pop standards ("At Last" 2003), acoustic ("The Body Acoustic" 2005), electronic dance ("Bring Ya To The Brink [Explicit]" 2008) and her latest, the blues, "Memphis Blues" which she just received a 2010 Grammy nomination.

Cyndi has made many appearances as an actress in films and television and she even won an Emmy for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for "Mad About You" in 1995.

Cyndi has been married to David Thornton since 1991 and they have a son, Declyn.

Here is the song that launched Cyndi's music career:



Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ADELE . . . AT LAST

Twenty-two year old British singer/songwriter Adele released her debut album, "19" in 2008. It first became a hit in her native country and eventually throughout most of the world with the exception of the United States. It did get some buzz here and receive critical praise but not much else until Adele got a lucky break by being the musical guest on the October 18th episode of the television show, "Saturday Night Live".

Tina Fey was the host and Vice-Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, who Ms Fey famously parodied, was going to make a highly anticipated appearance. That show was watched by 17 million viewers and overnight, Adele's album went to number one on the Itunes album charts and leaped thirty-six places on the Billboard Top 200 Album charts to number eleven the following week.

"19" has sold over 2.2 million copies worldwide and Adele would go on to be nominated for four Grammy Awards and winning two, including Best New Artist.


Adele's second album, entitled, "21" is set to be released on January 24, 2011 in the UK and in the U.S. on February 22. "Rolling In The Deep" is the first single off of the record and she is already promoting it here, having made a recent appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The song features her soulful voice combined with a slight country back beat which makes for an interesting sound. I'm looking forward to hearing what else she will be surprising us with on the forthcoming record.

This is a music video for the song which includes footage of the recording sessions for her latest album:



Here is "Chasing Pavements", one of my favorite songs off of "19":

Saturday, December 4, 2010

2010 GRAMMY AWARDS NOMINATIONS

The Grammy nominations were announced on Wednesday, December 1st and this year is an interesting mix of established musicians and new artists being honored. Eminem leads the nominations with ten for "Recovery [Explicit]" which is also the best selling album of the year, followed by newcomer, Bruno Mars with seven, which include his solo work as well as his collaboration with hip-hop artist, B.O.B.

The awards will be presented on February 13. 2011.

Album Of The Year:
SUBURBS -Arcade Fire
RECOVERY -Eminem- Recovery
NEED YOU NOW - Lady Antebellum
THE FAME MONSTER -Lady Gaga
TEENAGE DREAM -Katy Perry

Record of The Year:
NOTHIN' ON YOU -B.O.B. Featuring Bruno Mars
LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE -Eminem Featuring Rihanna
F___ YOU -Cee Lo Green
EMPIRE STATE OF MIND -Jay Z Featuring Alicia Keys
NEED YOU NOW -Lady Antebellum

Song Of The Year:
BEG STEAL OR BORROW -Ray Montagne
F___ YOU - Cee-Lo Green
HOUSE THAT BUILT ME - Miranda Lambert
LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE - Eminem Featuring Rihanna
NEED YOU NOW - Lady Antebellum

Best New Artist:
Justin Bieber
Drake
Florence & The Machine
Mumford & Suns
Esperanza Spalding

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance:
KING OF ANYTHING - Sara Bareilles
HALO (LIVE) - Beyoncé
CHASING PIRATES - Norah Jones
BAD ROMANCE - Lady Gaga
TEENAGE DREAM - Katy Perry

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance:
HAVEN'T MET YOU YET - Michael Bublé
THIS IS IT - Michael Jackson
WHATAYA WANT FROM ME - Adam Lambert
JUST THE WAY YOU ARE - Bruno Mars
HALF OF MY HEART - John Mayer

Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals:
DON'T STOP BELIEVIN' (REGIONALS VERSION) - Glee Cast
MISERY - Maroon 5
THE ONLY EXCEPTION - Paramore
BABYFATHER - Sade
HEY, SOUL SISTER (LIVE) - Train

Best Pop Vocal Album:
MY WORLD 2.0 - Justin Bieber
I DREAMED A DREAM - Susan Boyle
THE FAME MONSTER - Lady Gaga
BATTLE STUDIES - John Mayer
TEENAGE DREAM - Katy Perry

Best Dance Recording:
ROCKET - Goldfrapp
IN FOR THE KILL - La Roux
DANCE IN THE DARK - Lady Gaga
ONLY GIRL (IN THE WORLD) - Rihanna
DANCING ON MY OWN - Robyn

Best Electronic/Dance Album:
THESE HOPEFUL MACHINES - BT
FURTHER - The Chemical Brothers
HEAD FIRST - Goldfrapp
BLACK LIGHT - Groove Armada
LA ROUX - La Roux

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album:
CRAZY LOVE - Michael Bublé
THE GREATEST LOVE SONGS OF ALL TIME - Barry Manilow
LET IT BE ME: MATHIS IN NASHVILLE - Johnny Mathis
FLY ME TO THE MOON…THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK: VOLUME V - Rod Stewart
LOVE IS THE ANSWER - Barbra Streisand

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance:
GONE ALREADY - Faith Evans
BITTERSWEET - Fantasia
EVERYTHING TO ME - Monica
TIRED - Kelly Price
HOLDING YOU DOWN (GOING IN CIRCLES) - Jazmine Sullivan

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance:
SECOND CHANCE - El DeBarge
FINDING MY WAY BACK - Jaheim
WHY WOULD YOU STAY - Kem
WE'RE STILL FRIENDS - (Kirk Whalum &) Musiq Soulchild
THERE GOES MY BABY - Usher

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals:
LOVE - Chuck Brown, Jill Scott & Marcus Miller
TAKE MY TIME - Chris Brown & Tank
YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND - Ronald Isley & Aretha Franklin
SHINE - John Legend & The Roots
SOLDIER OF LOVE - Sade

Best Rap Album:
THE ADVENTURES OF BOBBY RAY - B.o.B
THANK ME LATER - Drake
RECOVERY - Eminem
THE BLUEPRINT 3 - Jay-Z
HOW I GOT OVER - The Roots

Best Female Country Vocal Performance:
SATISFIED - Jewel
THE HOUSE THAT BUILT ME - Miranda Lambert
SWINGIN' - LeAnn Rimes
TEMPORARY HOME - Carrie Underwood
I'D LOVE TO BE YOUR LAST - Gretchen Wilson

Best Male Country Vocal Performance:
MACON - Jamey Johnson
CRYIN' FOR ME (WAYMAN'S SONG) - Toby Keith
TURNING HOME - David Nail
'TIL SUMMER COMES AROUND - Keith Urban
GETTIN' YOU HOME - Chris Young

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals:
FREE - Zac Brown Band
ELIZABETH - Dailey & Vincent
NEED YOU NOW - Lady Antebellum
LITTLE WHITE CHURCH - Little Big Town
WHERE RAINBOWS NEVER DIE - The SteelDrivers

For more information and the complete list of nominations, go to:
Grammy.com

Friday, December 3, 2010

FOCUS ON: THE CARPENTERS


I have a confession to make. . .  I am a big fan of The Carpenters.and I am no longer ashamed to admit it.

It was never cool to listen to their music but I just love their records. Many dismissed The Carpenters because of their soft, mellow sound and the clean-cut image but their music has continued to endure and, in some ways have become more influential over the years. Sometimes it's nice to hear a simple love song without it being crass.or vulgar. The combination of Richard's skill as an arranger, composer and producer and the deep, rich and soothing voice of Karen made the duo pure pop perfection.

Richard was born in 1946 and Karen in 1950 in New Haven, Connecticut. Both children spent a lot of time listening to music but while Richard mostly stayed indoors playing the piano, Karen was outgoing who loved playing sports.

The family moved to Downey, California in 1963. Richard attended college in Long Beach where he met John Bettis, who Richard would later collaborate with in the future to write some of the classic Carpenters songs like "Top Of The World" and "Goodbye To Love". Karen picked up the drums while in high school and joined the marching band.

By 1965, Karen had improved her drumming skills and Richard refined his piano technique and the two formed a jazz trio with their friend, Wes Jacobs who played bass and tuba. The Richard Carpenter Trio won a Battle Of The Bands contest in 1966 which led to them signing with RCA Records. The trio made a few demo recordings but none where actually released and they were eventually dropped from the label.

In 1968, Wes Jacobs left the band to join the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Richard and Karen continued to work on demo tapes which they sent to several record labels until musician Herb Alpert, co-owner of A&M Records heard them and signed them in 1969.

The Carpenters  released their first album, "Offering" later that year which featured several compositions either written or co-written by Richard but they only had a minor hit with a ballad remake of the Beatles song, "Ticket To Ride" which peaked at number fifty-four on the pop charts. "Offering" was later renamed "Ticket To Ride" when the album was repackaged and given a new cover in 1970.

It was their next album, "Close to You" in 1970 which sent them to the top of the charts with the title track. "(They Long To Be) Close To You" which was written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, was number one for four weeks. The next single, "We've Only Just Begun", which Richard first heard on a television commercial, hit number two and has become the group's signature song. The Carpenters continued with a string of hit singles throughout the early seventies which include "Rainy Days And Mondays", "Hurting Each Other" and "Superstar" written by Delaney Bramett and Leon Russell.

The Carpenters made numerous television appearances, including headlining five variety specials as well as performing at the White House for President Richard Nixon in 1973.

Disco was controlling the music airwaves by 1977 and the easy listening sounds of the Carpenters was falling out of favor. The group decided to release an experimental album, "Passage" that year which featured a mix of other musical genres the Carpenters were not known for, like jazz-fusion, calypso and orchestral accompaniment as well a version of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina" from the musical, "Evita". The album was not a huge success and was the group's first that did not sell at least a half a million copies.

In 1979, Richard received treatment to an addiction to Quaaludes and wanted to take some time off from their grueling schedule. Karen, not wanting to take a break, decided to work on a solo album with producer Phil Ramone in an effort to change her image. Richard nor the record label were impressed with the results and the album was shelved (but would eventually be released in 1996). The Carpenters released what would be their final album in 1981, "Made in America" but it also sold poorly.

Karen met real estate developer, Thomas Burris and after a brief romance, married in August of 1980 but the marriage was short-lived and ended by 1981. Karen had been struggling with anorexia for many years and finally sought treatment in 1982 and managed to put back on some weight.

After the holidays in 1983, Karen decided that she was ready to return to the studio but Richard felt that she still did not look well and needed to go back in to treatment. Angered by this, Karen returned to Downey, California to visit her parents in February. Her mother soon called Richard to come home since Karen had become very depressed. By the time Richard had arrived, Karen had been hospitalized. On February 4, Karen suffered cardiac arrest due to complications of anorexia nervosa and died at the age of thirty-two.

Following Karen's death, Richard has continued to produce previously unreleased recordings of The Carpenters as well as protect the band's image and musical legacy. In 1987, Richard released his first solo album, "Time".

The Carpenters had twelve Top Ten singles on the pop charts, a record fifteen number one singles on the Adult Contemporary charts, won three Grammy Awards including for Best New Artist in 1971 and sold over one hundred million records over their fourteen year career.

Enjoy some of my favorite Carpenters songs:

(They Long To Be) Close To You

Rainy Days And Mondays

Superstar

Hurting Each Other

We've Only Just Begun

And here is a video of them doing their version of "Ticket To Ride" (I love the way she sings, ". . .And he don't care"):

NUMBER ONE FLASHBACK

I can't believe it but it's been forty years since " Best of My Love " by The Emotions landed at number one on the pop...