Thursday’s Top Tune Throwback: The Carpenters’ “Yesterday Once More”

When Ole Miss rallied to defeat Kentucky this past Saturday, for some strange reason, this 1973 (Top Two hit) came to mind.

Karen Carpenter, who left us far too young at age 33, possessed one of the “purest and natural voices” of any singer in American history. The Carpenters enjoyed a distinct musical style featuring Richard’s skills as an arranger and accomplished keyboard player coupled with Karen’s vocals and expertise on the drums.

During their 14-year career, they produced 10 albums, have three No. 1 hits, five No. 2 hits and 12 Top Ten hits. They were the leading sellers in the soft rock and easy listening categories, touring extensively throughout the 1970s until health issues sidetracked the brother-sister duo in 1979.

Signing with A&M Records in 1969, Karen was only 19. A cover of the Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride” got their career going with their first No. 1 hit “Close to You” (influenced by Herb Alpert) soon to follow. In 2003, their album “Close to You” ranked 175th on the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Our featured single this week “Yesterday Once More” appeared on the album “Now and Then.” This would become their biggest worldwide single, which was a tribute to oldies radio and a compilation of eight hit songs from previous decades.

In 1975, their final No. 1 single, “Please Mr. Postman” (a cover of the Marvelettes blockbuster (No. 1 in October, 1961) would become their 12th million selling gold record. On Dec. 3, 1978, Karen and Richard appeared in their final concert together. February 1983, Karen died from an eating disorder. Celebrities including Dorothy Hamill, Olivia Newton-John, Petula Clark, Dionne Warwick and Alpert attended her funeral. In 1984, Richard married his adopted first cousin, Mary Rudolph.

Other notable hits included “We’ve Only Just Begun” (No. 2), “Top of the World” (No. 1), “Rainy Days and Mondays” (No. 2), “Superstar” (No. 2), “Hurting Each Other” (No. 2), “Sing” (No. 3) and “For All We Know” (No. 3).


Steve VassalloSteve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Both wonderful talents. One correction: Mary is not Richard’s adopted cousin. That was a cover story. They are full cousins. Richard’s mother, Agnes (Harold) Carpenter and Mary’s mother, Bernice (Paul) Rudolph were sisters.

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