The Carpenters: Behind the Music #13

Season 1 Ep 131/1/1998

In 1970 The Carpenters won the Best New Artist Grammy, and for five years it seemed as though they were indeed on "Top of the World" as song after song continued to ride up the charts. Easy listening lovers of all generations found the clean-cut combo's orchestrated melodies and Karen's warm voice irresistible; even President Richard Nixon was a fan. But behind the smiles and the string of soft pop hits is the tragic tale of a woman whose quest for love and acceptance led to anorexia and finally, death at 32. In 1983 Karen Carpenter suffered a fatal heart attack while seemingly on the road to recovery, leaving Richard alone to mourn the loss of his sister and all the songs that would never happen. Now happily married and back on the road performing Carpenters songs to adoring fans, Richard reminisces about their early jazz trio, and speaks frankly about his past addiction to pain killers. Singers Olivia Newton-John and Dionne Warwick pay tribute to Karen's talent.