: ''This article is about a musical group. For the skilled trade, see carpenter.''
"The Carpenters" were the biggest selling American artists of the 1970s. A vocal and instrumental duo, the act consisted of siblings "Karen and Richard Carpenter". With their brand of melodic pop, they charted a score of hit recordings on the American Top 40, becoming leading exponents of the soft rock or adult contemporary genre and ranking among the foremost recording artists of the decade.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, USA (Richard Lynn on October 15, 1946, and Karen Anne on March 2, 1950), the Carpenter siblings moved with their parents to California in 1963 and settled in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey. Richard had developed his interest in music at an early age, becoming a piano prodigy. The move to southern California was intended in part to foster his budding musical career. Karen, meanwhile, did not manifest her musical talents until high school, when she joined her high school band (Downey High School) and found an interest in the drums. She soon taught herself how to play the drums and mastered them. Around this time she also realized she could sing.