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Richard Carpenter

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Richard Carpenter


Richard Lynn Carpenter (b. 15 October 1946, New Haven, Conn.) is an American pop musician and composer.

Carpenter's parents were Agnes Reuwer Tatum (a housewife) (March 5, 1915 – November 10, 1996) and Harold Bertram Carpenter (November 8, 1908 – October 15, 1988) who had been born in China where his parents were missionaries and educated at boarding schools in England, before working in the printing business.

Carpenter frequently played the piano while his younger sister, Karen, played baseball outside. He and Karen also liked to listen to the children's records their father bought for them when they were young. Richard was introduced to Perry Como and Ella Fitzgerald, among many others, and by age 12, he knew he wanted to be in the music industry.

The Carpenter family moved from New Haven to Downey, California, in June 1963. They wanted Richard to further his music career, and the family was fed up with the cold New England winters. He studied music at the California State University at Long Beach. There, he met Frank Pooler, a conductor and composer who wrote the lyrics to the Christmas classic Merry Christmas Darling in 1968.

Carpenter created the Richard Carpenter Trio in 1965 with sister Karen and friend Wes Jacobs, and a sextet called Spectrum around 1967.

Richard and Karen signed with A&M Records on April 22, 1969. "Let's hope we have some hits," Herb Alpert told the two. The first success was an arrangement of the Bacharach/David song Close to You, followed by We've Only Just Begun.

The Carpenters stopped touring, for health reasons, in 1979 and Karen died in 1983

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