Burt Bacharach, Leon Russell, Paul Williams, Neil Sedaka, Carole King and Joe Raposo make up quite an eclectic group of songwriters. What's the common link that unites them? Each composed a song that was recorded by the Carpenters.
During a career that lasted from 1969 to 1983, siblings Karen and Richard Carpenter recorded 30 singles, 10 of which were certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. The duo also won three Grammy Awards.
The Oklahoma City Philharmonic will pay tribute to the Carpenters with an upcoming pops concert pair titled “Yesterday Once More.” Guest vocalists Jen Burleigh-Bentz, John Trones, David Lohman and Michelle Carter will join guest conductor Douglas Droste for this evening of musical nostalgia.
A show produced by songwriter and pianist Jim Brickman, “Yesterday Once More” surveys the Carpenters' extensive musical catalog, one that produced such hits as “Close to You,” “We've Only Just Begun,” “Superstar,” “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “For All We Know.”
“I knew most of these songs because my parents played this music when I was growing up,” said Burleigh-Bentz. “Karen had an ability to create such a range of emotions that she put into a song. There aren't many singers out there with those talents.
“When I first heard some of the arrangements used in ‘Yesterday Once More,' I knew I had to be a part of it. If they hadn't had me in mind, I certainly would be vying for a position in this show. This music brought back a lot of memories that I didn't even knew I had.”
Burleigh-Bentz became involved in “Yesterday Once More” through her co-star John Trones, a singer who has worked with Brickman for the past 15 years. The youngest of five children in a musical family, Trones was also smitten with the Carpenters at a young age.
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You could really feel what they were singing about — the despair in ‘Rainy Days and Mondays' for example. It was music that grabbed you because they put their heart and soul into it.”