My First 45 By The Carpenters

When I was young I’d listen to the radio waitin’ for my favorite songs
When they played, I’d sing along; it made me smile

One of my favorite songs when I was young(er) was “Please Mr. Postman,” to which I was introduced via the version performed by The Carpenters, as the original hit version by The Marvelettes pre-dated my existence.

The Carpenters’ single entered the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974, the year my Grandpa Abe gave me a radio, entering me on a path of music fandom from which I have yet to stray. It ultimately went to #1, the same position at which The Marvelettes’ version peaked fourteen years earlier (and in doing so, became Motown Records first #1 pop hit). Incidentally, The Carpenters final Hot 100 entry was also a cover of a Marvelettes hit, “Beechwood 4-5789.” It peaked at #82, sixty-five notches below the peak position of the original.

I bought the Carpenters 45, which came with a picture sleeve cleverly replicating an envelope.

Carpenters002Zip codes? We don’t need no stinkin’ zip codes!

I wrote to the address on the sleeve. A few weeks later I received this in the mail:

By the way, the lyrics that open this blog post are taken from “Yesterday Once More,” a #2 hit for The Carpenters. The song was written by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis.

Karen Carpenter, the sibling duo’s singer and drummer, was born on March 2, 1950. She died in 1983 at age 32 from “emetine cardiotoxicity due to or as a consequence of anorexia nervosa.”

Between 1970 and 1981 The Carpenters scored twenty top 40 hits on the Hot 100. Here they are:

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