AN EVENING WITH
LEGENDARY SONGWRITER AND ONE HALF OF THE BEST-SELLING DUO OF THE 1970S
TO TOUR THE UK PERFORMING AND TELLING THE STORIES BEHIND THE SONGS FOR THE FIRST TIME
Legendary songwriter Richard Carpenter, one half of the best-selling duo of the 1970’s The Carpenters, will tour the UK in September 2024, where for the first time ever he’ll be both performing and telling the stories behind their incredible hits.
Richard will share anecdotes and reflections on how he and his late sister, Karen Carpenter, took the world by storm, becoming one of the most successful duos in music history – as well as performing these iconic and timeless songs.
On the UK tour, Richard says:
“After too long an absence, I'm very much looking forward to performing for the U.K. audiences once again.”
No fewer than ten of The Carpenters’ singles went on to become million-sellers, and by 2020 combined worldwide sales of albums and singles well exceeded 150 million units.
Yet the Carpenters were much more than creators of beautifully crafted and hugely successful hit records. Within the space of just a few years their unique and inimitable sound had brought a new dimension to the world of popular music.
During their 14-year career, they won 3 Grammy Awards and were nominated for a Grammy Award 15 times.
They first performed together as a duo in 1966 and formed the jazz-oriented Richard Carpenter Trio. Then Richard and Karen signed as Carpenters to A&M Records in 1969, they achieved major success the following year with the hit singles “(They Long To Be) Close To You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun"
In December 1969, they met Burt Bacharach, who was impressed by their work and invited the duo to open for him at a charity concert, which should include them performing a medley of Bacharach / Hal David songs. Herb Alpert asked Richard to re-work a Bacharach/David song “(They Long To Be) Close To You”, which had first been recorded in 1963 by Richard Chamberlain, and Dionne Warwick the following year.
Richard Carpenter decided the song would work and wrote an arrangement from scratch without being influenced by other artists because Herb Alpert did not want Richard to hear any previous recordings that might influence his interpretation of the song.
The duo struggled on an early recording attempt, and for the second session, Alpert suggested that seasoned session player Hal Blaine play drums instead of Karen, although Blaine stated that Karen approved of his involvement. The Carpenters' version was released as a single in May 1970. It entered the charts at No. 56, the highest debut of the week ending June 20. It reached No.1 on July 25 and stayed there for the next four weeks.
The Carpenters had a string of hit singles and albums through the early 1970s. Richard heard "For All We Know" and saw the song's potential for the Carpenters and recorded it in the autumn of 1970. The track became the duo's third gold single, and later won an Oscar for "Best Original Song". On March 16, 1971, the duo received 2 Grammy Awards, winning Best New Artist and Best Contemporary Performance by a Duo, Group, or Chorus
Just some of their incredible number of hits include:
(They Long To Be) Close To You, Yesterday Once More, Superstar, Top Of the World, Rainy Days And Mondays, Only Yesterday, Please Mr Postman, There’s A Kind Of Hush, Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft, Goodbye To Love, We’ve Only Just Begun, Solitaire