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The Carpenters International Fan Club disbanded in 1989.
The newsletters written by Ms. Evelyn Wallace and Ms. Rosina Sullivan.
#64 contains C's handwritten message!
#Extra! News of Karen's marriage!
#77 is the memorial number of Karen's passing.
NEWSLETTER #1 - May, 1971
Hi Fans! The following information on our famous brother-sister team pertaining to their individual characteristics etc. may interest you. Richard Lynn Carpenter (Libra) was born at 12:53 a. m. on Tuesday, October 15, 1946. Blonde hair, hazel eyes. Present height 6 ft. His voice range in low E for two octaves. His favorite colors are yellow, black and gold. Hobbies include luxury cars, sports cars (the faster the better) and antique cars. He collects records, specially old 78's. Karen Anne Carpenter (Pisces) was born at 11:45 a. m. on Thursday, March 2, 1950. Brown hair and eyes. Present height 5 ft. 4 in. Her voice rang is C below middle C to G above height C. Her favorite colors are red, black and yellow. Hobbies include cooking, needlepoint and bowling. She loves horses, and her love of them convinced her to make the move to California from New Haven, Connecticut where she and Richard were born. Karen was rather disappointed when her parents bought a house in the city of Downey, where she discovered there was no room to house a horse. However, she settled for a second love - a dog. At present she has a beautiful Belgian Shepherd she calls Lady and a Sammoyed pup she has named Mush. Karen's private collection consists of a variety of stuffed animals. What do they wear when they're home? Both prefer blue jeans and T-shirts. Like most people, they like to dress for comfort. Richard likes old shoes that are well broken in. Karen has a thing about fuzzy bedroom slippers, and takes a pair to wear on tour in her dressing room. Favorite food? Karen's favorite is spaghetti, home made fruit salad, Italian egg-plant and barbecue ribs. Richard just likes FOOD most any kind. Richard and Karen both enjoy a game of pool. They have a pool table installed in their home, and visitors challenged to a game, find they have stiff competition. Both enjoy movies and t. v. Richard particularly likes science fiction films. Richard and Karen attended Long Beach State College. See you later - Evelyn
NEWSLETTER #2 - June, 1971
Hi Fans! Thought you'd like to hear a bit about the CARPENTERS midwest tour this past February. The going was rough as the weather was cold, wet and miserable. Living conditions were horrible, as roads were covered with ice and snow. A lot of driving was involved, because there were no airline connections between many of the towns where they were scheduled to appear. To top it off, both Richard and Karen took sick, due to extreme cold. Being acclimated to the warmer Southern California weather, their blood had thinned, and in spite of extra warm clothing they wore, they got chilled to the marrow while driving, and caught chills. On February 8th they played Kearney, Nebraska, but much to the disappointment of the audience, the show had to be cut short, and Karen was taken to the hospital. She had developed flu and laryngitis. (This show was re-scheduled for May 24th). The next day was their day off (the only one they had all month) so Karen had a chance to recuperate a little. A couple more trips to doctors between Kearney and Cedar Rapids, and she was back on stage the night of the 10th. Washington's birthday found them in St. Louis, bound for Weatherford, Oklahoma. They had played at Meramec College in St. Louis the night of the 21st, and their next engagement was at S. W. Oklahoma State University, a distance of 569 miles. The group was scheduled to take a 10:00 a. m. flight from St. Louis, and arrive in Oklahoma City (72 miles east of Weatherford) about noontime. However, shortly after arising to snow-filled skies, they were informed all flights had been canceled, due to blizzard conditions .They were assured that landing conditions in Tulsa were much better, should they decide to fly there, then drive nearly 200 miles to Weatherford. They decided on the alternate route, and the driving distance seemed more like 2000 miles than 200 as they slipped, slid and slushed through ice filled roads and blinding drifting snow. They finally reached their destination safely, quite an accomplishment for youngsters who had earned their driving licenses in California, and had never before driven in such miserable conditions. On arrival at their motel, where rooms had been reserved from them in advance. They learned their reservations had been canceled due to the large amount of people stranded there. Every motel and hotel room in town was filled with visitors stranded by the storm. When the students of S. W. Oklahoma University heard of their plight, they invited the group to spend the night at their dorms. There were 150 girls to greet Karen when she arrived at the girl's dorm, weary from the travel, but grateful for a place to rest before the evening's performance. Richard and Karen assumed that only a handful of people would brave the blizzard that continued to rage, to attend their concert. They were mighty surprised when the curtain rose, and they found instead, a very large and enthusiastic audience. They were indeed gratified to discover their efforts to reach their venue in Weatherford were not in vain. The students of S. W. O. U. will forever be endeared in the hearts of Richard and Karen Carpenter. Evelyn
NEWSLETTER #3 - July, 1971
Hi Fans! After a long hot tour of the South States in April/May, CARPENTERS finally reached home base, their beautiful home in Downey. Karen's firsts thought after greeting Mush and Lady, was to take a dip in their pool, but Richard just wanted to sit down, relax and listen to records. But they were faced with business meetings and a very busy TV schedule. By 8:30 a. m. the day after they arrived home, they were at the NBC Television Studio getting made-up for the taping of their first show "Make Your Own Kind of Music. " This is THEIR show - an hour long variety production, scheduled to air July 20th. Watch your TV Guide or local newspaper for time schedule. It will replace the Don Knotts show so it might be in the same time slot. (Don will make a few cameo appearances on their show. ) To Karen, TV taping is a drag when not on camera. Ambitious young lady that she is, she hates to stand around and wait. If you've ever visited or read about TV tapings, you know there is scads of waiting time while lights are changed, sets are re-done, hair is re-styled for a new scene, make-up is touched or entirely re-done, etc. Then there is rehearsing! Lots of rehearsing! The same song over and over again and again. Not because THEY need it, but because the cameramen need to get their shots just right for every movement. They did eight shows in eight days time, working long and wearisome hours to accomplish this incredible feat. But at long last it was finished and they were able to leave on a well-deserved and much needed vacation -- almost. Lady and Mush, Karen's dogs, had other ideas. They had been following Karen back and forth from house to garage as she packed and carried here luggage to the car. Just as she was ready to climb into the back seat beside her Mom, Mush and Lady slipped into the car and jumped up on the seat leaving absolutely no room for Karen. She tried coaxing them out and pulling them out but they braced their feet and wouldn't budge. Finally, Richard, too, had to get from behind the steering wheel, and between the two of them, they finally enticed Lady and Mush into their secretary's car. She took them for a short ride while Richard, Karen, Mom and Dad made their "Get-away", and headed for the East Coast in Richard's Mark III. I know you all wish them a grand vacation and I'll try to capture a little of it and put it into the next Newsletter. So long 'til next month. Evelyn
NEWSLETTER #4 - August, 1971
Hi Fans! The price of fame is a cold meal or no meal at all! This is what Karen and Richard discovered during their June vacation. They were recognized and swamped in every restaurant they entered. Their salad wilted, soup turned cold, dinners got cold and drinks became watery from melting ice while Richard and Karen signed autograph after autograph for waiting fans who offered napkins, menus, coats purses and even arms and legs for signatures. There is one family they will never forget. During breakfast a family of six spotted them and though the youngsters were eager to go to their table and request their autographs, the mother and father restrained them and marched them out of the restaurant. There they waited until the CARPENTER family finished eating and returned to their car. THEN they got their autographs. Too bad more fans aren't that thoughtful at meal time. In New Haven, a cousin had planned a party for them. It was to be a small one and they had invited only a handful of close friends. But news travels fast and the small party soon grew to over a hundred people and had to be moved out doors. At Nathan Hale School where they went to visit two of their former favorite teachers they were swamped by several hundred youngsters. Visiting an Aunt in Maryland, a neighbor lady called and asked them to "Please step out in your Aunt's back yard so I can sweep down the alley to see you. ", which they did. Another - a dog named Lucky delivered to Richard and Karen a request for an autograph - he got it. In Ocean City, they spent two whole days on the beach without being recognized. The third day they went to a restaurant for dinner and the swamp story continued from then on. They managed to allude fans for a little while one day when they took an early morning bike ride on the little board walk. They were recognized, they know, when they saw faces pop out of windows and doors, but they were riding too fast for anyone to catch them. Because of the constant crowds they couldn't get in much sight-seeing but they did have fun one day catching crabs. I asked Karen how she went about catching them and she replied "very carefully"; we tied chicken on a string, she explained and when they had a good hold we pulled them out of the water very slowly. We got enough for a meal and Mom steamed them but everybody had to crack their own. They enjoyed being on the East Coast but were glad to get back home to the privacy of their back yard and their swimming pool. (Karen has finally had a chance to swim in it.) During the two days they had off before their Hollywood Bowl Concert (which was a sell out) Karen managed to get a lovely tan while Richard browsed through music stores buying more records to add to his already huge collection. A number of you have asked what a typical day in the life of the CARPENTERS is like. Next month I'll try to give you an idea of what it is like both home and on the road. In the meantime, there is good news for all Fan Club Members!!! Beautiful colored CARPENTER posters are now available to Fan Club Members for half price. More next month. Evelyn
NEWSLETTER #5 - September, 1971
Hi Fans! I promised you a typical day in the life of the CARPENTERS, so this will cover a day on tour. The phone rings in their hotel rooms at 6:00 a. m. to inform them of the time of day. Though their bodies are pleading for another hour or so of sleep, their minds tell them they must get up and be on their way to their next engagement. They dress, pack, and are on their way. Sometimes it's a cab that takes them to the airport, other times a rented vehicle will transport them and their tons of equipment by surface to their next appearance. In a plane, both Karen and Richard try to catch another forty winks. In a car, Richard drives, so lucky Karen gets to conk out on the back seat for a bumpy nap. When they reach their destination, they check in at their scheduled hotel, and by that time are ready for breakfast. It's noontime or close to it. After eating, they drive to the theater or arena to set up their equipment and instruments, and test the sound system. Now they're ready for rehearsal which lasts three to five hours. It's getting close to concert time, and they haven't thought about dinner. Oh well, they'll grab something after the performance. On their way to their dressing rooms to prepare for the concert, they find that sandwiches and snacks have been brought in for them. If they're real lucky like they were in Fresno, it might even be fried chicken and shrimp with baskets of bread, platters of cold cuts, cheese and hors d'oeuvres, and lots of nice fresh fruit. If time is running short, Karen might fix a plate, carry it to her dressing room and eat it while she dresses. Richard likes to sit down and enjoy his meal while conversing with stage hands or musicians. By this time, the audience has arrived, the theater is packed, and it's time for the opening act to go on. Karen hasn't even showered but she's not worried. She has her 'getting ready' time worked to a precise art. While showering, she also washes her hair. (Yes, everyday). She dries it with a hand dryer until it is barely damp, then up in curlers it goes, then dries it completely under a 'plastic cap' dryer. Whilst under this, she applies her makeup and slips into her stage clothes. Hair now dry, she removes the curlers, a brisk brushing and she's ready to make her appearance. Her timing is perfect. Richard's dressing schedule is much the same as Karen's. Performance over, and the last bow made to the audience in appreciation of their standing ovation and generous applause, they rush backstage and change into street clothes. After they have changed, and if the security guard permits, they sign autographs for fans, pose for pictures, etc. If they are hungry they go out to eat, and though the hour is late, there are still autograph requests during their meal. Back in their hotel, they watch TV while their dinner settles, then back in the sack to sleep 'til an early morning phone call beckons them to new horizons in another town. See ya next month when I'll let you peak into a day of their lives at home. EV.
NEWSLETTER #6 - October, 1971
Hi Fans! This month, I promised you a typical day in the lives of the CARPENTERS at home; so we'll begin in the wee small hours of the morning, between 2:00 and 3:00 a. m. which is about the time Richard and Karen arrive home from A&M Studios, after a fourteen hour recording session. They are dog-tired, and their beds look very appealing. They are soon fast asleep, and if visions of anything dance through their slumbering heads, it has to be visions of 'sleeping in' and arising at their leisure. Alas, this does not materialize. By 9:00 a. m. the phones are ringing and managers agents, business and professional associates are requesting time for meeting, interviews, photo sessions, publicity, taping etc. etc. They amble downstairs to the sunny kitchen for a light breakfast. (They love juice and cereal, and rarely eat a heavy breakfast.) Richard usually wears jeans and a T-shirt. Karen is comfortable in a robe and fuzzy bedroom slippers. They scan the morning papers, read some of their fan mail and it time permits, Karen enjoys exercising her brains with a crossword puzzle. Breakfast over, they shower, shampoo hair and dress in readiness for their first meeting or interview. If they're lucky, it will take place in their home, and if on schedule, they might have time for a quick game of pool between meetings. When the meetings etc. are scheduled away from home, they find they must head many times in a direction many miles from the studio. They are obliged to fight time and freeway traffic to reach their destination on time. They may have strings or woodwinds coming in, and they don't want to keep the musicians waiting. Once at the studio, they know they will be there for another lengthy session, and won't see their beds until the wee hours again. They love their work, and truly pour their hearts, talents, patience and personalities into their music they express so uniquely. Days off are rare indeed, but when they do pop-up occasionally, they want to relax. You might find Karen in the pool, doing needlepoint, or just sunning herself on the patio. In between naps, she 'roughs it up' with her dogs, Lady and Mush who have waited patiently for her loving and attention. Richard's loves on a day off are listening to his records or tapes, and/or buying new ones. He has a tremendous collection of singles and albums which include fine old rare 33's. An ardent admirer of Spike Jones - he has a large number of his records which he treasures. When not involved with his music, he also enjoys a spin on this motorbike, and watching car races. It can be said they never really have a day off, as they constantly plan ahead for upcoming concerts, new albums, etc. Arguments between them are very rare. There is a deep understanding between them, and a strong brother-sister love for each other. With the busy schedule you have just read, they don't have time to fight! They are intelligent youngsters who have learned to enjoy each other's company - even in silence on the way home from a long hard day at the studio. More next month. EV.
NEWSLETTER #7 - November, 1971
Hi Fans! First of all, a special message from Richard; He sends a heartfelt THANK YOU for all the cards and gifts you sent him for his birthday, and for the time and effort that went into some of the lovely things that he received. Mom and Dad Carpenter too, appreciate your thoughtfulness and are quick to display your offerings to guest and visitors. One of the cutest gifts was some thumb print portraits drawn by a fan named Susie, depicting Karen and Richard as children. In one, young Richard was shown eating while baby sister Karen sat on the floor using kettle covers as cymbals. Really cute! Thanks again Susie and everyone for everything. The European tour is over and Richard and Karen are glad to be back home in the good old U. S. A. There is no place like it, they say! They were treated nicely in the countries they visited, especially England and France. For sight-seeing they managed to visit the Eiffel Towel in Paris, and take a boat ride on the scenic Amsterdam canals. They also saw THE WALL in Berlin and spoke of it as depressing and heartbreaking. Their London bound 747 was forced to land in Goose Bay, Newfoundland to discharge a sick passenger, and after a 2 1/2 hour delay they were again airborne. In London they did a T. V. Special with Tom Jones and discovered what a "groovy" guy he is. They enjoyed his company and loved working with him. A T. V. Special in Berlin afforded them the opportunity to meet and work with Lulu and Herman of The Hermits. They enjoyed dinner at Lulu's home one evening and yet another friendship had been chalked up. Amsterdam's TV Special was strictly a CARPENTER special with full orchestra. No other guest star featured on the program. The Royal Albert Hall in London was a sell out for their concert there. The duo's aunt and uncle, residents of London, were in the audience, brought to the hall in a limousine ordered by Richard and Karen. The change in water and time created some difficulties. The water made them ill, and the time change caused trouble when they tried to sleep.. There was also a language barrier in Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam. Neither Karen or Richard speak French or German which created difficulties when ordering meals. In Paris they dined at the famous LaSaiire's, and in London they managed to visit Annabelle's and Burke's, both famous for good food. While in London they also found time for a bit of shopping, and Karen fond a beautiful blue suede pants and vest outfit, and a tan suede coat with matching hat. Needless to say she is very fond of suede clothes. En-route home from London they ran into head winds so they had to land in Greenland to refuel, which caused a lengthy 2 hour delay. When they arrived home they found all their equipment was missing. We all held our breath for a few days, wondering if it would show up in time for the next tour. It finally arrived, so last minute packing was accomplished by midnight of the 18th and we had the group at the airport by 7:00 a. m. next day! A last minute change in schedule has been announced, and regretfully, too late for you fans to be advised in advance. They are scheduled now to do the Johnny Carson show again on November 5th. This time they will appear with only their bass player Bob Messenger as a Jazz Trio. They will also do another Carol Burnett show, but no date has been set for that at this time. They have another overseas tour coming up in February scheduled for Australia. It will be summertime there, so hopefully, weather-wise, they will fare better than the February tour when they encountered 28 days of sleet, slush, rain, penetrating north winds and Blizzards. Homeward bound from "down under" they will visit Japan and Hawaii for more concerts. They cherish happy memories of former visits there. EV.