Making a fine art out of lush, sentimental, romantic ballads, the brother/sister duo the Carpenters had a phenomenal run of hits in the 1970s broken only by the velvet-voiced Karen Carpenter's long battle with anorexia nervosa; which finally ended with her tragic death from a heart attack in 1983 at the age of 32. They first teamed up in 1965 when Karen joined Spectrum, a jazz-flavoured group her brother Richard had formed in Los Angeles after linking up with a student friend John Bettis to write many of the now classic Carpenters hits. In 1968 Spectrum disbanded, but Richard and Karen were offered a spot on the television programme Your All American College Show, which effectively launched them. In 1969 they signed to A&M Records and debut album Offering received plenty of attention due to a compelling cover of The Beatles' Ticket To Ride. Their version of Bacharach/David's (They Long To Be) Close To You then topped the US charts for four weeks in 1970, opening the door for a long, glittering run of smooth pop hits, interrupted only by Karen's tragic illness and subsequent death.

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Stations Featuring Carpenters

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