Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: They needed a Side B

Driving to church on a Sunday morning I’m flipping the radio dial and ultimately settle on WRIT-FM that broadcasts a nationally syndicated show from the 1970’s and 80’s, “American Top 40,” hosted by…

When I listen to Kasem’s weekly countdown show I often find myself thinking, “Wow, I haven’t heard that one in a long time!”

In my small effort to keep great old music alive in the public conscience, on my previous blog on I posted a fun weekly segment, the Friday Night Forgotten Oldie that I hope to continue here.

In 1973, the Carpenters released their fifth album, “Now and Then,” with a three-panel cover that folded out, showing a panoramic view of Karen and Richard Carpenter driving past the Carpenter family home on Newville Avenue in Downey, California.

The car pictured on the cover was a 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 (“Daytona”) owned by Richard.

Richard Carpenter wrote in the liner notes: “…as the limited time we had to record the album approached, it was clear to me that we had only enough material to complete one side of an LP, and even that was by completing a track we had recorded in 1972, Jambalaya.  Fortunately, we had an ace up our collective sleeve, resulting in a damn good album which became a worldwide best-seller:  Karen and I introduced an oldies medley into our concert show starting in the summer of 1972, and it met with such an enthusiastic response, I decided to feature a version of it on side two…(guitarist) Tony Peluso  guests as a ‘D.J.’ and the medley was constructed as a Top 40 radio program.”

As with all Carpenters recordings, you get the incomparable voice of Karen combined with Richard’s magnificent arrangements. Cue the motorcycle and see how many tunes you’ve forgotten … and remember.

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