Tag Archive | Tuesday Newsday

Tuesday Newsday

Do you enjoy these stories? On September 29, 2020, I reached the halfway point of Tuesday Newsday articles with 182! Of course when I began I did not count on the issue of Leap Year… and the fact that there will be some dates which never fall on a Tuesday. I’ll probably tack those on to the end OR I might post for those dates on any ‘duplicate’ dates I encounter.

Click on any of the links at the top of the page to find items of interest to you. In each category you will discover a variety of musings on popular culture, biographical, historical, and other topics.

tuesday newsday cartoon

Cartoon by Cherdo of the Flipside. http://www.cherdoontheflipside.com/

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:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/(They_Long_to_Be)_Close_to_You

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_rock

 

Answers to the Facebook Quiz: Bread, America, The Carpenters. Soft Rock is the genre