INTERVIEWER: Rich and Karen Carpenter. Hey, that was something else, you people. You work mighty well together, I must say. I thought brothers and sisters were always fighting.
RICHARD: We *are* always fighting, Sam -- for the right sound. But we fight our musical battles as a team. Right, Karen?
KAREN: Yup, you're right, brother. You're a senior member. You're 23 and I'm 20.
INT: You've both been on the music scene a very long time. You must have teamed up early.
RICH: We did. I started on the accordion as a school kid and switched to the piano a little later. For a few years I played at, uh, some jazz at some clubs and parties and stuff like that. The usual.
INT: Then your family moved from Connecticut to Southern California. Karen, how did you like the trip?
KAREN: That was pretty nice. But it was kind of rough getting my drums over the Rockies along with my electric base.
INT: But you both *did* get to Hollywood and the Hollywood Bowl in 1966. It's not bad for two youngsters, I'd say.
RICH: We were fortunate enough to win the Hollywood Bowl Battle of the Bands. Karen, her older brother, and a base man. The Carpenter Trio. Our base picker also played the tuba, and that night he knocked everybody's eyes(?) with a sensational solo. We won the contest, then a recording contract.
INT: You were a *jazz* trio then as I remember. A little later you went rock with a sextet and you called yourselves "the Spectrums"?
KAREN: That's correct. We dug around the rock scene in L.A. for about a year. Played some of the top nightclubs. Rich and I were lead singers as well as members of the band. Then...
RICH: ... we decided to concentrate on singing, playing, and creating our own special arrangements.
RICH: That's the word. Arrangements are very important. It's like a fellow making arrangements today for his career tomorrow.
INT: Well, here's some more of the Carpenters' arrangements in just a few seconds.
[Transcribed on August 31, 2019]