Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter
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Little Girl Blue is an intimate profile of Karen Carpenter, a girl from a modest Connecticut upbringing who became a Southern California superstar.
Karen was the instantly recognizable lead singer of the Carpenters. The top-selling American musical act of the 1970s, they delivered the love songs that defined a generation. Little Girl Blue reveals Karen’s heartbreaking struggles with her mother, brother, and husband; the intimate disclosures she made to her closest friends; her love for playing drums and her frustrated quest for solo stardom; and the ups and downs of her treatment for anorexia nervosa. After her shocking death at 32 years of age in 1983, she became the proverbial poster child for that disorder; but the other causes of her decline are laid bare for the first time in this moving account.
Little Girl Blue is Karen Carpenter’s definitive biography, based on exclusive interviews with her innermost circle of girlfriends and nearly 100 others, including childhood friends, professional associates, and lovers.
drumming was intense and her singing strong and deliberate. They appeared as a trio several times during that year, and the group won $3,500. The publicity alone was enough to keep the trio excited about Your All-American College Show, but Wendell Niles and his organization also expressed interest in representing them. Everyone was surprised when celebrity judge John Wayne wanted Karen to audition for the role of young frontier girl Mattie Ross in his upcoming film True Grit. The part ultimately
people to get onto a new artist and the frequency and the message that they are trying to send out. It didn’t surprise me that the public didn’t take to it. It was just a matter of time before they found the right song at the right moment and things turned around. With ‘Ticket to Ride,’ the idea that we were accustomed to that melody, and that they presented it in another format, was attractive to people. It wasn’t their breakthrough record but it certainly got them a little bit of attention.”
funny as heck. . . . She likes to pick on me, but I think that’s just a good showbiz bit for her.” Returning to the Grammys as presenter the following year, Bette recalled the event in her monologue. “It was only a year ago that Karen Carpenter crowned me the Best New Artist of the year,” she told the audience. “If that ain’t the kiss of death, honey, I don’t know what is.” THE DAYS of the Carpenters performing as an opening act were over. On May 14, 1971, they headlined a sold-out concert
school. Touring with the Carpenters, Squeglia would take on the stage name of Jim Anthony, his first and middle names. Appearing on The Mike Douglas Show the following month, Karen announced her plans. “In the middle of our in-person show I’m going to go out front and do some tunes,” she said. “I’m never going to give up playing, no way. . . . I love it. I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t. People think it’s a gimmick. I don’t care what they think; it’s not a gimmick. It’s my instrument.” Out
husband, Eddie,” she says. “You see, Karen had a propensity to fall in love with people that could change her life in big ways. She certainly had a giant crush on Herbie. She was like a little starstruck girl. These guys were not only handsome, they were powerful, they dressed great, they smelled great, and they were wealthy. She saw it as a way out, definitely. No question about it, it was freedom. But David Alley wasn’t enough.” 8 MOVING OUT “HAROLD AND Karen were both sweethearts,”