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