Skip to main content

Carole King




Carole King



Carole King (born Carol Joan Klein, February 9, 1942) in Manhattan is now 76 years old. At the age of four her mother (a piano player) and father noticed she had absolute pitch. What was known to me and others I'd imagine as 'perfect pitch' it means among other things that little Carol could name any note she heard, her formal music lessons began shortly thereafter. Her genius had her accelerated through school and she attended Queens College at The University of New York at age 17. She had changed her name in High School, a common practice among Jewish people to try to avoid Antisemitism .
Also at age 17 Carole met Gerry Goffin, got pregnant and then married. Initially after quitting college to raise their daughter Louise they worked day jobs and started writing songs at night, Gerry wrote lyrics, Carole the music. The two of them would form one of the most formidable writing duos of the 1960’s and part of the legend of the Brill Building in New York City.


They needed their day jobs to pay the bills. This song changed all of that.
Will You Love Me Tomorrow originally released as just “Tomorrow” by the Shirelles in November of 1960. The song reached number one on Billboard's Hot 100 the week of January 30, 1961. This was the first #1 for an all girl black group in the US. Covered over 340 times,  Frankie Valli with his 4 Seasons would reach #24 with this song in 1968.

Will You Love Me Tomorrow Carole included this on her 1971 masterpiece ‘Tapestry’  

Now writing full time the pair (King & Goffin) would write many songs during their partnership including; “Take Good Care Of My Baby” (Bobby Vee, 1961 his only #1 hit), “The Loco-Motion” (Little Eva, 1962), “Chains” (The Cookies, 1962; The Beatles, 1963), “One Fine Day” (The Chiffons, #5 in July 1963), “Hey Girl” (Freddie Scott, #10 Sept. 1963), “I’m Into Something Good” (Earl-Jean McCrea then Herman’s Hermits,#14 Dec. 1964), “Just Once In My Life” (with Phil Spector for The Righteous Brothers, #8 in Aug. 1965), and “Don’t Bring Me Down” (The Animals, #12 July 1966).
Click here for more covers of this song.

Now divorced from the late Gerry Goffin and many life changes later Carole embarked on a solo career. The aforementioned ‘Tapestry’ album would sell over 25 million copies and win four Grammy Awards.
You've Got a Friend written and performed by Carole King on 'Tapestry' in 1971. Covered over 260 times.

You've Got a Friend” by James Taylor. Taylor recorded his version (technically a cover as he recorded it second) with King and they shared some of the same musicians. They released it simultaneously with Taylors version reaching  #1 on Billboard and won him the Grammy for Best Male performance.

Beautiful written and performed by Carole King, again from 'Tapestry'

“Beautiful”  by Anne Murray in 1972.

It’s Too Late written by Carole King and Toni Stern. 'Tapestry'  Covered over 100 times.

“It’s Too Late” The Stylistics (1972),  Kiki Ebsen (2010)

Still a couple of teenagers and professional songwriters

One of my favorite Goffin/King compositions is Up on the Roof recorded by Carole King in 1970 from the Album ‘Writer’.

Up on the Roof originally performed by The Drifters in 1962. This song peaked at #5 on Caroles 21st birthday (Feb. 9) in 1963.


Carole King's musical opened on Broadway on January 12, 2014, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” and has won a Grammy and two Tony Awards. She has lived on her ranch in Idaho since the 1980’s and remains a staunch supporter of environmental and wilderness preservation issues.
Oh, and of course you'll remember I blogged about Aretha Franklin's hit song "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" Music written by Carole King, Jerry Wexler and Lyrics written by Gerry Goffin. To date at least 130 of her works have been covered thousands of times by hundreds of artists.


Crying in the Rainby the Everly Brothers (1961), written by Howard Greenfield and Carole King

Crying in the Rainby Carole King (1983), here is the original demo recorded by King in 1961.

A bit of fun here, but you may not know Neil Sedaka and Carole King dated in high school. Neil had a hit song Oh Carol (1959) written by Howard Greenfield and Neil Sedaka, which he ‘wrote’ about her.

...in a friendly and very funny response she wrote Oh Neil


Music Trivia. What well known singer sang backup on both James Taylor's and Carole King's versions of “You've Got a Friend”?  One Joni Mitchell, the three were all part of the California music scene and played at the famous Troubadour, in L.A. at various times, Joni and Carole also played with James on several occasions.

Click here for a playlist of all the videos







If you like my blog, please consider clicking the ‘Subscribe’ button at the top right hand of the home page. Remember to confirm the subscription when you get the first email. Pass it along to a friend who might enjoy it as well! And many thanks as always for reading my blog!




Popular posts from this blog

The 2021 Update of the Most Covered Pop Songs and Artists of All Time

The 2021 Update of the Most Covered Songs and Artists of All Time I have three categories in today’s blog: 1. The most covered songs written by a single artist, 2. The most cover versions combined and 3. The most covered Pop songs.  These numbers are for artists that write and record their own songs. For more on songwriters, read my series I Write the Songs . The statistics come courtesy of Secondhandsongs.com and are verified via strict protocols. This website posts 'covers' submitted from around the globe and in many different languages, edited by very knowledgeable experts in music recording. There are other resources as cited but other than the odd personal anecdote or opinion, I'm using information and knowledge, not to mention YouTube posts that already exist. In addition, the numbers change daily, I had originally written this blog in December 2019 so it’s been interesting to see the changes over two years. On the whole, the artists in each list mostly stayed th

Women of Rock

Women of Rock History Melissa Etheridge You can always count on me for a walk back in time in my blog and this topic will be no different. In order to trace the history of female Rock singers I will go back to some of the pioneers.  Let’s first start with some background on the Rock & Roll genre. What was once referred to as Rock & Roll was shortened to just Rock by the late 1960s and has continued to evolve. Some may want to separate it into two genres, but semantics can't change the history of this diverse genre. The Rock & Roll period also includes Blues, R&B, Country and Rockabilly styles, among others. So whether these artists find themselves in the subgenre of Hard Rock, Acid Rock, Pop Rock, Folk Rock or one of the many dozens of other sub-classifications, a little reminder of the history is what I'm starting with today. These early influencers are where some of our more recent great artists received inspiration, motivation and in some cases the educatio

The 1960's

  The 1960's Fully discussing a decade of music in one post is nearly impossible, but if you look back, I have done blogs titled: 1960, 1969 and The Greatest Pop Rock Ballads of the '60s. I’ve also featured a number of artists and songs that were prominent during those 10 years. However, there are a number of significant gaps where I have missed singers, groups and songs that were popular in the 60s and many have an enduring quality as well. Certainly, the TV and Movie Industry has done a great job using songs from this era, whether the subject matter was from this time period or not. Apart from many of the songs being a lot of fun, others, including myself, have described the 1960s pop music scene as being divided by pre- and post-Beatles/"British Invasion". At the same time, while the Fab Four and similar bands had a significant impact, and were followed by the inevitable look and soundalike bands, enter ' The Monkees ', but not everyone was trying to emulat

The Mojo Triangle

The Mojo Triangle Source: USA Today Writer James L. Dickerson coined the brilliant term Mojo Triangle in 2005, before I learned of it I had referred to the area as the reverse Bermuda Triangle of music. This (among other things I'll admit) is why I write a blog and he is the award winning author of Mojo Triangle: Birthplace of Country, Blues, Jazz and Rock 'n' Roll . I confess I haven't gotten round to reading it yet but I've been itching to write about the area for some time and I have researched the names and places for several years now. The 'triangle' refers to the geographic region with Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans as the three corners. The states of Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana are at the core. We know it as part of the "Deep South" and it's been referred to by other music related terms that pre date the 'Mojo' handle such as "America's Musical Triangle" and the "Americana Musical Triang

Groundbreakers Part 2

  Groundbreakers Part 2 Rock & Roll I have talked about R&R in numerous posts, and I have many reasons for doing so, aside from the many great songs. R&R revolutionized Popular music and by extension almost every facet of the music industry. The music itself, even today, has not definitively been described to my or many others satisfaction. But here are some things that we do know, it's genesis came from Rhythm and Blues and we can give that a full stop. We also know there were many other influences that brought about this phenomenon that kicked off a music frenzy in the mid 1950's. For example it's also an amalgam of many forms of music including Country, Folk and the wild child of Hillbilly music known as Rockabilly. In the early days we have artists such as the New Orleans sound from Lloyd Price and Fats Domino under the same umbrella as Etta James, Wanda Jackson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and the Comets and I could go on. Sometimes just bas

When did Rock drop the Roll?

  When did Rock drop the Roll? They Called it Rock Since Rock and Roll was such a groundbreaking development in Music, I set myself to reading more about the genre itself, more specifically its definition and the subsequent application of related subgenre.  I have been reluctant to give in to the idea that Rock and Roll (the genre that came first), it is now widely considered a subgenre of Rock Music. To me this sounds like a rearranging the order of things. Maybe you're like me, I thought it was always genre first then your various subgenre and sub subs and so on. This is not a chicken and the egg thing, Rock and Roll came first. I think it is generally accepted that a genre refers to a particular style and is most often applied to Literature and Music. The word has the same root as genus, which is applied to the natural world to classify plants and animals. Music that is 'Rock' related certainly had its DNA come from Rock 'n' Roll.  However the prevailing consensu

Happy Holidays 2021

  Happy Holidays!   Whether you view the upcoming holidays as a secular event, religious or a bit of both there's one thing that's synonymous with this time of year- Christmas songs! You don't have to celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday to enjoy a good song. Maybe you celebrate "Festivus" on December 23 which is a fictional/parody holiday created by Daniel O'Keefe of Readers Digest fame, it was of course made popular by Seinfeld as an alternative to Christmas. The topic of many songs is based on love, family and fellowship. So what's wrong with that? Nothing I say! I have issued a post each year at this time and because of that I'm getting lazy this year and including much of that material with updated stats and links in today's post.  Many find it hard to relate to religious carols like " Silent Night " or even the more secular songs such as " White Christmas " and even the happy go lucky " Holly Jolly Christmas &qu

Women in Music

Women in Music Anne Murray Recently, while doing some research I was reminded that the history of ranking and rating recording artists really does give women the short shrift. My next post will be on May 6, it's the third anniversary of writing my blog and a bit too close to Mother's Day for this topic. So I'm getting ahead of that to celebrate Women (and many of them mothers) in music.  A  clue on Jeopardy also piqued my interest to dedicate a post. It was from April 7, 2021, "Last name of Fanny, seen here, (picture shown) some of her compositions were originally published under her brother Felix's name" and a contestant got it right, I however had no answer. I will get to that a bit later. I have pointed to this issue before, in several of my posts I discuss the lists of the greatest of this or that and in one post I was pointing out the systematic low ratio of airplay given to female Country singers. Last year women had 23% of the #1 songs, this is the high

Groundbreakers

  Groundbreakers in Music (Part 1) *Note to subscribers at the end So, what is a "Ground breaker" anyway. And is it two words or one? For my purposes, the Dictionary.com definition as a noun works for me; “a person who is an originator, innovator, or pioneer in a particular activity”. In the world of music there are many names that can fall into this category, and the contributions that qualify them are not only varied, but in many cases somewhat unrecognized.  The importance of history is often overlooked by those of us in the present, and I find it no different in music. What is also not dissimilar is the tendency to revise history and make attributions or proclamations where they are not warranted. For example, if we are talking about pop music in general, I've touched on the attention paid to the first/best of this or that, such as the very first Rock & Roll song. As for that, I think I debunked one of the prevailing songs given that moniker, "Rocket 88"