The Carpenters Tribute featuring Michelle Whited takes great attention to detail. CONTRIBUTED

Take a trip back in time with Carpenters tribute show in Springfield

They want to feel “Close to You” so you can leave the Kuss Auditorium feeling on “Top of the World.”

The Springfield Arts Council will open its “Showstoppers Great Entertainment Series” with some of the most popular pop hits of the 1970s with The Carpenters Tribute featuring Michelle Whited.

The concert will be 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Clark State Performing Arts Center and the show is appropriate for all audiences.

With Karen Carpenter’s distinct voice and her brother Richard Carpenter’s ability to write catchy pop hits, The Carpenters created chart magic with 28 Top 40 hits including three chart-toppers and eight other top 5 hits.

Sadly, Karen’s voice was silenced when she died of eating disorder anorexia nervosa in 1983, which was led to wider awareness of the illness.

Michelle Whited was in a Nevada piano bar when “Rainy Days and Mondays,” was being played, got up to sing and she noticed the place got very quiet as the audience was entranced by her interpretation of Karen Carpenter.

“It got familiar, my voice developed in that good, low range Karen had and I kept coming back to the music,” said Whited. “When we go out there, her voice is right out front.”

The Carpenters Tribute takes great attention to detail to make its concerts as close to the original arrangements as Richard Carpenter created and for Karen’s lower vocal range.

“There are so many great singers whose voices are in the higher range and hers was unique for its lower range,” Whited said.

The audience can expect the hits and some condensed into medleys since there were so many.

“Whether you grew up with the music or are discovering it, people will love the music,” she said. “They are very pop-oriented and easy to sing to with positive lyrics and universal feelings for a lot of people. It’s interesting how many people in the audience already know the songs.”

Whited’s favorite tune is “We’ve Only Just Begun” and the cover version of The Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride.” There will also be a variety of songs The Carpenters covered in the show.

Whited will occasionally inform audiences about the various songs.

The Carpenters Tribute performed at the Ohio State Fair, helping people move on after the tragedy of the ride that broke early on.

“We were happy to hear afterward how our music was able to lift some spirits after that. We were honored to be at your state fair,” Whited said.

Whited emphasized that although the group wants to replicate a Carpenters’ show, they are not impersonators. She will occasionally bring her own vocal style on certain songs.

“We’re honored to sing and play and hope the audience likes that we deliver a concert of their music in a spiritual aspect and bring this music back with the utmost integrity.”

The show will have an unusual opening act with comedian Dan St. Paul.

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