Tag Archive | 1970

Just like me, they long to be…

…Close To You

July 30, 2019

In the spring of 1970 there were around 17 million Americans between the ages of 12 and 16, approximately eight and a half million of which were female. It was the era of AM radio and the dawn of a musical period often dominated by a form of music known as soft rock.

According to the Infallible Wikipedia:

“The Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts became more similar again toward the end of the 1960s and into the early and mid-1970s, when the texture of much of the music played on Top 40 radio once more began to soften. The adult contemporary format began evolving into the sound that later defined it, with rock-oriented acts as Chicago, the Eagles and Elton John becoming associated with the format. The Carpenters’ hit version of ‘(They Long to Be) Close to You’ was released in the summer of 1970, followed by Bread’s ‘Make It with You’, both early examples of a softer sound that was coming to dominate the charts.”

Carpenters album cover 1970It was during the last week of July 1970 when Close To You topped the Billboard Hot 100 and held the number one position for four weeks. It marked the ascension of The Carpenters as one of the defining musical acts of the early 1970’s.

Despite the group being derided as saccharin at the time, their musical success is undisputed. Much has been written about Karen Carpenter’s voice and her three octave range and soulful interpretations. The Carpenters would not, however, have been the Carpenters without older brother Richard who was the arranger behind their ‘sound.’

Love em or hate em, the Carpenters’ style was original enough to propel them to the top of the pop charts. Also from the Infallible Wikipedia:

“They produced a distinct soft musical style, combining Karen’s contralto vocals with Richard’s arranging and composition skills. During their 14-year career, the Carpenters recorded ten albums, along with numerous singles and several television specials.”

It was from 1970 through 1973, however, when they achieved their greatest success, appealing to a demographic who purchased their records and made the Carpenters a household name: females aged 13 to 18.

“Their career together ended in 1983 when Karen died from heart failure brought on by complications of anorexia. Extensive news coverage surrounding these circumstances increased public awareness of eating disorders. Though the Carpenters were criticized for their clean-cut and wholesome conservative image in the 1970s, their music has since been re-evaluated, attracting critical acclaim and continued commercial success.”

I have decided to reserve the right to blog more about the Carpenters at a later date. They were the most influential musical group for me during my teen years and I will have more to say. But this article is only to focus on their launch and the song Close To You. 

My early blogging was in the form of keeping a diary. Although I couldn’t put my hands on my 1970 diary, I found a reference to this song at the end of my 1971 diary, noting when it was played on the radio.

I was so obsessed with the song that I used a cassette tape recorder with the microphone held up to the radio to record it for later listening. Close To You was one of the first single records I purchased as was their album of the same title. It’s four week run on the charts also coincided with my 13th birthday.

My obsession even prompted me to think it was a good idea to do a lip-sync version for a competition where I needed a ‘talent.’ (I have zero public performance talents) Taken from the pages of my 1971 diary on December 31 I dutifully record that “I am going to pantomime Close to You like I’m a chorus girl or something. I’m going to wear Sue’s blue velvet formal and silver shoes. If she’ll let me.”

Yes, my older sister did let me wear the dress and the shoes. Yes, it was a total embarrassment. It’s why I avoid karaoke and limit my singing to the shower and the car.

Thank goodness Karen Carpenter – who suffered from stage fright – was able to overcome it enough to share her amazing voice with the world. But I’m not so sure the price she paid was worth it.

The lyrics:

Why do birds suddenly appear, ev’ry time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be close to you.
Why do stars fall down from the sky, ev’ry time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be close to you.

On the day that you were born the angels got together.
And decided to create a dream come true.
So, they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold
And star-light in your eyes of blue.
That is why all the girls in town follow you all around.
Just like me, they long to be close to you…

On the day that you were born the angels got together.
And decided to create a dream come true.
So, they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold
And star-light in your eyes of blue.
That is why all the girls in town follow you all around.
Just like me, they long to be close to you…
Just like me, they long to be close to you…

And a couple of links:



I Think I Love You!

David Cassidy

November 27, 2018

David Cassidy.jpgFor teenage girls in the early 1970’s, he was the heart-throbiest of heartthrobs. His female fans cried, screamed and swooned. The guys of the era attempted to imitate his hair and his clothes. And on November 27, 1970, his group’s song “I Think I Love You” sat atop the pop charts. The idol: David Cassidy.

His was a meteoric rise fueled, no doubt, by a combination of connections, classic good looks, and the ability to sing. Born in 1950 to actor parents Jack Cassidy and Evelyn Ward, his childhood was unusual in that he was mostly raised by his maternal grandparents while his parents traveled for work.

It was in 1956, at the age of six, two years after his parents’ divorce that he learned of the event! His father remarried that year and it was his father’s second marriage, to Broadway musical phenom Shirley Jones, which became Cassidy’s ticket to worldwide fame.

From the Infallible Wikipedia:

“On January 2, 1969, Cassidy made his professional debut in the Broadway musical The Fig Leaves Are Falling. It closed after four performances, but a casting director saw the show and asked Cassidy to make a screen test. In 1969, he moved to Los Angeles. After signing with Universal Studios in 1969, Cassidy was featured in episodes of the television series IronsideMarcus Welby, M.D.Adam-12 Medical Center and Bonanza.

partridge bus“In 1970, Cassidy took the role of Keith Partridge, son of Shirley Partridge, who was played by Cassidy’s real stepmother and series lead Shirley Jones. The Partridge Family series creator Bernard Slade and producers Paul Junger Witt and Bob Claver did not care whether Cassidy could sing, knowing only that his androgynous good looks would guarantee success. Shortly after production began, though, Cassidy convinced music producer Wes Farrell that he was good enough, and he was promoted to lead singer for the series’ recordings.”

The fever which gripped his fans was dubbed “Cassidymania.” Also from the Infallible Wikipedia:

“Ten albums by The Partridge Family and five solo albums were produced during the series, with most selling more than a million copies each. Internationally, Cassidy’s solo career eclipsed the already phenomenal success of The Partridge Family. He became an instant drawing card, with sellout concert successes in major arenas around the world. These concerts produced mass hysteria, resulting in the media coining the term ‘Cassidymania’.


For example, he played to two sellout crowds of 56,000 each at the Houston Astrodome in Texas over one weekend in 1972. His concert in New York’s Madison Square Garden sold out in one day and resulted in riots after the show. His concert tours of the United David Cassidy Pop Star At Manchester Airport.Kingdom included sellout concerts at Wembley Stadium in 1973. In Australia in 1974, the mass hysteria was such that calls were made to have him deported from the country, especially after the madness at his 33,000-person audience concert at Melbourne Cricket Ground.”David-Cassidy-at-Radio-Luxembourg

As is always the case, the mania eventually ends, and an aging idol is soon replaced with someone younger. Cassidy, however, continued as a singer/songwriter/actor, with a solid career well into the early 2000’s.

Sadly, he battled a lifelong alcohol addiction and it was this which destroyed his liver. He died on November 21, 2017, awaiting a liver transplant.

cassidy maniaAs a 13 year old girl in 1970, I was precisely the demographic which was all agog over David Cassidy. I never put up posters on my walls, however, but I did watch the Partridge Family almost every Friday night. And I might have had a teeny bit of a crush on Keith Partridge.

I Think I Love You is one of ‘those’ songs, instantly recognizable from the first chord and the compelling lyrics… Baa-baa-baa-baa, baa baa baa, baaaa… and one that I will forever associate with those awkward teenage years.  In a good way.

For those who have forgotten or never seen any of the 1970’s sitcom or heard the song, enjoy! For the rest of us, it’s a trip down memory lane.

About David Cassidy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Cassidy

About The Partridge Family: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Partridge_Family