While Karen Carpenter drew the more obvious acclaim as the angelic voice of the pop duo The Carpenters, her older brother Richard was equally integral as the group's arranger, pianist and one of its key songwriters, most notably on hits like "Top of the World," "Only Yesterday," "Yesterday Once More" and "Goodbye to Love," all of which he co-wrote with Jack Bettis. He began performing in instrumental groups as a teenager before forming the Carpenter Trio with his younger sister Karen on drums and vocals in the mid-1960s, which became the Carpenters at the end of the decade. Her sweet singing voice and his lush, romantic arrangements struggled to find an audience until 1970, when their simple, old-fashioned style of music struck a chord with older listeners who longed for the gentle pop of the 1950s. The Carpenters soon became a major act on both the pop and adult contemporary charts, but personal demons, most notably Karen's weight issues and Richard's dependence on Quaaludes, undermined their stratospheric rise. Karen's untimely death in 1983 brought the Carpenters to an abrupt end, but Richard remained steadfast in keeping the flame alive through numerous compilations and outtake albums. As an arranger, songwriter and archivist, Richard Carpenter enjoyed one of the most successful careers in contemporary pop music.