Author searching for stories about Karen Carpenter

DOWNEY – Downey may play a prominent role in a new book scheduled to be published next year about Karen Carpenter. The book, being written by journalist Joel Samberg, will be an assessment and exploration of the late singer’s career and enduring legacy. Samberg has previously written for such publications as the Downey Patriot and New Haven Magazine about Karen and her brother Richard, who together formed the nucleus of the 1970s pop sensation, The Carpenters.

The book, called “Some Kind of Lonely Clown: The Melancholy Lives of Karen Carpenter,” may not be able to answer all the questions, but will be able to throw some light on the long-lasting and ever-growing source of Karen Carpenter’s appeal.

“I’m both a serious journalist and an ardent fan,” says the author, whose previous work was a biography of the novelty musician Benny Bell. “So the book won’t necessarily be unbiased. But I think that’s what a lot of devotees will like about it. I’ve spoken with professional musicians who worked with her and who are fans, I’ve consulted with psychotherapists who have commented on Karen’s personal issues, I’ve jumped head first into dozens of videos and printed interviews, and I’ve listened over and over to Richard’s inimitable arrangements and Karen’s mesmerizing vocals. But my quest continues.”

What Samberg is referring to is his goal to solicit stories, anecdotes, comments and opinions from people in Downey who knew, was friendly with, or worked with Karen Carpenter.

“I’m looking to round out my research with some first-hand accounts that can help paint an even more complete picture of someone who was, at once, exceedingly endearing and amazingly complex,” Samberg says. “I expect there are still a few such people in Downey, where the musical magic we all know started to materialize.”

Anyone who wishes to contact the author can do so by emailing him at



Published: Nov. 6, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 30