Monday, October 10, 2011

The Carpenters--We've Only Just Begun (1970)

      The suits at Crocker National Bank of California wanted something different. The desire was to plan an advertising campaign that was appealing to young couples, but at the same time, desired to steer clear of traditional jingles.  The bank enlisted the songwriting team of Roger Nichols and Paul Williams to write a song that conveyed the feelings of a newly married couple. The plan was to play the song over the film footage, a concept that was fairly new to advertising.

     Late one night, Richard Carpenter was watching TV when the ad came on the air, he immediately recognized Williams voice and the next day called to inquire about it's availability. There were only two verses and no bridge at the time, but the songwriters, who had never had more than a couple of minor hits, didn't want to pass up the chance to work with one of the hottest duos in music at that time, so Williams admits that he flat out lied to Carpenter and told him it was finished. This began a series of feverish, late night sessions to complete the song as they stalled for time until it was complete.

     The song was an immediate hit with it going to #2 on the charts, and helped The Carpenters to win two Grammy's in 1971. It also propelled the career of Paul Williams as he wrote two more top 10 songs for the Carpenters (Rainy Days and Mondays, Won't Last A Day Without You), Three Dog Night (Just an Old Fashioned Love Song), Barbara Streisand (Evergreen) and others.


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