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Richard Carpenter

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Richard Carpenter was one-half of the brother-sister duo the Carpenters. He arranged, played piano, and sang backup vocals along with his sister, Karen, who drummed and sang lead vocals. Richard began studying classical piano at age nine and continued while attending Yale. The Carpenter family moved to Downey, CA, in 1963, and Richard continued his studies at the University of Southern California and California State College at Long Beach. In 1965, he formed a group with his sister and a third member. This trio recorded unsuccessfully for RCA and was followed by a six-piece, Spectrum, that also failed to register. But Richard and Karen were signed to A&M in 1969. As the Carpenters, they enjoyed tremendous commercial success with a series of soft rock ballads during the first half of the '70s, some of them co-written by Richard. Karen died in 1983 due to complications from anorexia nervosa. Richard released his debut solo album, Time, in October 1987. ~ William Ruhlmann

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15 October 1946 in New Haven, CT

Years Active:

'60s, '70s, '80s, '90s