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Carole King Writes Hits (And Sings Some, Too)

Today we celebrate one of the great singers of the Golden Age: CAROLE KING, considered the most successful female songwriter of the Second Half of the Twentieth Century. Carole, who was one of the Brill Building Tunesmiths, had 118 Pop Hits between 1959 and 1995.

 

As we've seen with so many others, Ms King (born: Carol Joan Klein in February 1942 in Manhattan) began early.  At age three she tinkered with her mother's piano, which inspired her mother to begin to teach her to play sitting on a phone book. But their minds were really blown when at age 4 she had a developed a Sense Of Relative Pitch whereby she could name a note by just hearing it.

 

Like Mozart, these are the kind of stories that lead me to wonder about reincarnation, but I digress. At Queens College she met her future husband Gerry Goffin, another aspiring songwriter, and after they married took day jobs, writing songs together at night. They got a few things recorded, like: "Oh Neil," an answer to her old boyfriend Neil Sedaka's hit: "Oh Carol." It wasn't a hit, but they got another chance with the song: "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," sung by the SHIRELLES on Florence Greenberg's SCEPTER Records label, it became a smash #1 on the Pop Chart, and the first #1 by a Girl Group in Musical History.

 

"Will You Love Me," has been covered by numerous artists and became a standard; residuals from that song alone enabled her and Gerry to quit their Day Jobs and become the go-to writers for many artists and producers like Phil Spector, who used their song: "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" for the Righteous Brothers initial #1 recording.

 

Despite the success of her songwriting, Carole King's singing career was slow to follow until 1971 when an album of Carole singing some of her hits titled: TAPESTRY exploded; driven by: "It's Too Late" (Grammy Record of the Year), and "You've Got A Friend" (Grammy Song of the Year).

 

"Tapestry" topped the album chart for 15 months in 1977, and remained on the Chart for six more years. Ms King has Four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting.

 

This is one of the stories that I wouldn't have enough room on the website for, her career is unprecedented and the list of awards could reach the moon... (hyperbole). I'm happy to present this beautiful video of Carole King on the BBC in her break-out year, not yet 30, and becoming one of the most famous and beloved artists of her time. @therealdonrocks

 

A version of this post originally appeared on The Don Rocks Facebook page. For more stories like these every day, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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