Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter

Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter

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Overview

Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter by Randy L. Schmidt

Little Girl Blue is an intimate profile of Karen Carpenter, a girl from a modest Connecticut upbringing who became a Southern California superstar.

            Karen was the instantly recognizable lead singer of the Carpenters. The top-selling American musical act of the 1970s, they delivered the love songs that defined a generation. Little Girl Blue reveals Karen’s heartbreaking struggles with her mother, brother, and husband; the intimate disclosures she made to her closest friends; her love for playing drums and her frustrated quest for solo stardom; and the ups and downs of her treatment for anorexia nervosa. After her shocking death at 32 years of age in 1983, she became the proverbial poster child for that disorder; but the other causes of her decline are laid bare for the first time in this moving account.

            Little Girl Blue is Karen Carpenter’s definitive biography, based on exclusive interviews with her innermost circle of girlfriends and nearly 100 others, including childhood friends, professional associates, and lovers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781569768181
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 09/01/2011
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 141,622
Product dimensions: 5.84(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Randy L. Schmidt compiled and edited Yesterday Once More and served as creative consultant for several television documentaries on the Carpenters, including the E! True Hollywood Story, A&E’s Biography, and VH1’s Behind the Music.

Dionne Warwick is a popular American singer, an actress, and activist; a United Nations Global Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization; and the former United States Ambassador of Health.

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Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
JohnAJ More than 1 year ago
Being an avid Carpenter fan, throughout the years something about the story we were told about her life and death just didn't add up. There was first of all the 1989 TV movie "The Karen Carpenter Story" and then Ray Coleman's "The Carpenters: The Untold Story" five years later. Now, sixteen years later, author Randy Schmidt, who spent nearly a decade researching this effort, has been able to write a book based on many interviews, some with the same people Coleman's book interviewed, but this time the Carpenter family did not control the content. The result is a well written and documented book that delves into the life of one of the greatest female singers in pop music history. Karen Carpenter's life was short, triumphant, yet also very tragic. In this book the reasons only previously hinted at for her struggle against anorexia nervosa are fully explored. New details are now known about her relationship with a rigid, controlling mother. Her disastrous marriage. Her career, the success of which she was constantly reminded was because of her brother. Her aborted solo album, an attempt at indepencence as an artist which was sabotaged on several fronts. And lastly, the truth about what ultimately took her life. When I finished this book, I left it with a firm sense of what led to Karen Carpenter's battle with anorexia and ultimately her death. Anyone who remembers the melancholy beauty of the music of the Carpenters must get this book!
Clix_Pix More than 1 year ago
At last, a biography which warmly and sensitively explores the life of singer Karen Carpenter, sharing her story while allowing readers to come to their own conclusions about the people and events which shaped her. Over a number of years Randy Schmidt carefully and thoroughly researched his subject, coordinating the results he found in a wealth of printed sources, but the true value in this book lies in the many personal interviews he was able to arrange with those who knew Karen, including her closest friends. He skillfully relates what had been to many fans a familiar story but goes beyond that to present a very insightful portrait of Karen, her family, her relationships, her marriage, her career and her deadly struggle with anorexia nervosa. The cover photo is a stunning choice, cropped and presented in such a way that the viewer is immediately transfixed by Karen's direct gaze, which engages one's attention before a single page has even been turned. The author also includes many other photos in the book, some being shared with the public for the first time. This biography is a must-read not just for all Carpenters fans, but for anyone who has ever marveled at that velvet, instantly-recognizable voice and savored that unique "Carpenters sound." Here we are given a fresh and intimate look at Karen the person beyond the performer and the complexities of a life beyond the stage or recording studio. We are treated to reminiscences of her fun-loving side, her wicked sense of humor and her thoughtfulness and caring towards family and friends. Sadly, this book is also a cautionary tale as it clearly illuminates how the impact of family dynamics as well as that of a successful but stressful career can have serious, even fatal consequences. In 1983 the world lost a unique, special and very talented woman, but Karen Carpenter lives on in the hearts of her family, friends and fans. Randy Schmidt honors her and has given us all a wonderful gift in this beautifully, thoughtfully written biography.
BestBooksRJ More than 1 year ago
This is the biography that every ardent admirer of Karen Carpenter has been waiting nearly three decades for. In his candid, illuminating, inspiring, and ultimately soul-wrenching book, Randy L. Schmidt has given us a deeper explanation of Karen's life and untimely death. Far more than any previously published attempt, it answers all the questions that we, who still grieve for Karen, have been asking for years, and it clears up the mystery of her self-destruction. This is a biography that reads with the swift page-turning pace of an all-engrossing novel. And, although we know the tragic ending even before picking up this book, readers will be surprised by the many never-before-revealed facts of Karen's demise. "Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter" does not make Karen's death easier to accept, but at least for me, it actually does bring a sort of closure. And although this biography is respectful of its subject, it does not sweep difficult to accept facts under the carpet. This is one of the few biographies of an entertainment icon that I unreservedly recommend to all.
Amber_G_M More than 1 year ago
If you want to read a book about Karen Carpenter that is uncensorsed by her brother Richard then this is the one. It talks about her carrer & her struggle w/ anorexia. Her friends have put in their input about Karen & talk about how much they loved her & wanted to help her. Awesome book that is hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was ok. A little slow in places
gregnewyorkcity More than 1 year ago
I had devoured this book upon its release, and was enthralled by the honesty (lack of family censorship, and Richard didn't send warnings to those being interviewed), integrity, grit, and truthfulness of its author Randy Schmidt. I've just been rrereading portions, and my opinions have only grown stronger. This is not a Kitty Kelley book when tons of anonymous sources say this or that; Schmidt a (actual) teacher in his own right meticulously supports everything in the book, including a terrific bibliography. He has writen, with enormous frankness and fairness, Karen's story, and this is an amazing biography. If the Hollywood studio moguls can get pass getting the rights to license and use the music in a film, this is a potentially Oscar winning role for a young actress (and for whoever plays Richard and Agnes as well).. Highest recommendation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, engrossing and, ultimately, heartbreaking. Hated the mother after reading this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always felt that Karen had an air of sadness about her. I think what she should have done was get away and live her life on her terms. I didn't care for her mother and I still think Richard is pompous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I grew up listening to listening to the
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very detailed accounti g of Ms. Carpenter's life. Appreciate the effort put into this book, but it's short as was the life of the subject.
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Superbird43 More than 1 year ago
* I have the movie A Song For You, The karen Carpenter Story. And This Book Takes That Movie To The Next Level. Once you start reading you cannot put This Book Down. This is the most comprehensive story of Karen Carpenter ever told. Randy Schmidt did A beyond amazing job of telling Karen's story. this is a must for any and everyone who ever heard or grew up listening to the Carpenters. This is a loving tribute to Karen That is guaranteed to last forever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago