21 February 1958, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. Carpenters father was an executive for Life magazine, and she spent part of her early life living in Japan. She grew up with a love of contemporary pop hits, although her mothers Woody Guthrie and Judy Collins records gave her some interest in country/folk music. She spent her time at home with her guitar, and her father encouraged her to perform at a talent night. At university, she achieved a degree in American Civilization. By 1986, Carpenter was a local star, winning five Washington Area Music Awards without having made a record, after which she signed to a major label in Nashville with guitarist/producer John Jennings. She had felt she should have a conventional job, but continued performing in bars, often having to sing current favourites; unsatisfied with this situation, she resolved to perform only in bars that would let her play original material. Carpenter had recorded John Stewarts song...
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