Carole King Overview
Carole King (born February 9, 1942) is an American United States singer, songwriter, and pianist. She and her husband Gerry Goffin wrote more than two dozen hits during the 1960s, of which many have become standards; as a singer, her album Tapestry topped the U.S. album chart for 15 weeks in 1971 and remained on the charts for more than six years.
King's was most successful as a performer in the first half of the 1970s, although she was a successful songwriter long before and long after that. She wrote her first number 1 at 17 in 1959 with Gerry Goffin, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow." In 1997 she wrote "The Reason The Reason (Celine Dion song) " for Celine Dion.
In 2000 Joel Whitburn, a Billboard Magazine pop music researcher, named her the most successful female songwriter of 1955-99 because she wrote or co-wrote 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100.
King has made 25 solo albums, the most successful being Tapestry Tapestry (album) . Her most recent album is The Living Room Tour, which reached high on the charts in its first week after being in Starbucks television advertisements.
She has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting, along with Gerry Goffin. She holds the record for the longest time for an album by a female to remain on the charts and the longest time for an album by a female to hold the #1 position, both for Tapestry Tapestry (album) ./news/chart-beat-christopher-cross-paul-mccartney-1003933441.story
Born 'Carol Klein' (she added the "e" to her first name) in 1942 to a Jewish household in Manhattan, New York, King grew up in Brooklyn and started out playing piano and moved on to singing, forming a vocal quartet called the Co-Sines at James Madison High School James Madison High School (New York) . As a teenager dreaming of having a successful entertainment career, she decided to give herself a new last name, stumbling upon "King" in the telephone book. She attended Queens College Queens College, New York , where she was a classmate of Neil Sedaka and inspired Sedaka's first hit, "Oh! Carol." She wrote "Oh! Neil" in return. At Queens College, she befriended Paul Simon and Gerry Goffin.
Partnership with Gerry Goffin
Goffin and King formed a songwriting partnership for Aldon Music in the Brill Building. Their partnership's first success was "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", recorded by The Shirelles. It topped the American charts in 1961, the first hit by a girl group. It was later recorded by Linda Ronstadt, Ben E King, Dusty Springfield, Laura Branigan, Little Eva, Roberta Flack, The Four Seasons The Four Seasons (group) , Bryan Ferry and Dionne Warwick as well as King herself.
Goffin and King married in September 1960 and had two daughters, Louise Goffin and Sherry Goffin Kondor, both also musicians.
In 1965, Goffin and King wrote a theme song for Sidney Sheldon's television series, I Dream of Jeannie, but an instrumental by Hugo Montenegro was used instead. Goffin and King's 1967 song, "Pleasant Valley Sunday", a number 3 for The Monkees, was inspired by their move to suburban West Orange, New Jersey. Goffin and King also wrote for Head Head (film) , the Monkees' film.
Goffin and King divorced in 1968 but Carole consulted Goffin on music she was writing. King lost touch with Goffin because of his declining mental health and the effect it had on their children.
Hits by Goffin and King
In 1967 King had a hit "Windy Day" with The Executives. In 1968, she was hired with Toni Stern to write for Strawberry Alarm Clock - "Lady of the Lake" and "Blues for a Young Girl Gone" - which appeared on the album, The World in a Seashell.
King sang backup vocals on the demo of Little Eva's "The Loco-Motion". She had had a modest hit in 1962 singing one of her own songs, "It Might As Well Rain Until September" (22 in the US and top 10 in the UK, later a hit in Canada for Gary and Dave), but after "He's a Bad Boy" made 94 in 1963, it took King eight years to reach the Hot 100 singles chart again as a performer.
As the '60s waned, King helped start Tomorrow Records, divorced Goffin and married Charles Larkey (of the Myddle Class), whom she had two children (Molly and Levi) with. Moving to the West Coast, Larkey, King and Danny Kortchmar formed The City The City (group) , which made one album, Now That Everything's Been Said, a commercial failure. King made Writer Writer (album) (1970),also a commercial failure.
Tapestry and beyond
King followed Writer in 1971 with Tapestry Tapestry (album) , featuring new folk-flavored compositions, as well as reinterpretations of two of her "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."
Tapestry was an instant success. With numerous hit singles, including a #1 hit, (or two #1 hits if "I Feel the Earth Move" is included), Tapestry held the #1 spot for 15 consecutive weeks, remained on the charts for nearly six years, sold 10 million copies in the United States, and 25 million worldwide. The album garnered four Grammy Awards including Album of the Year; Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female; Record of the Year ("It's Too Late", lyrics by Toni Stern); and Song of the Year ("You've Got a Friend"). The album signalled the era of platinum albums, though it was issued prior to the invention of the platinum certification by the RIAA. It would eventually be certified Diamond.
Tapestry was the top-selling solo album until Michael Jackson's Thriller in 1982. The album was later placed at 36 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list. In addition, "It's Too Late" was placed at #469 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Carole King: Music
Carole King: Music Music (Carole King album) was released in December 1971, certified gold on 9 December 1971. It entered the top ten at 8, becoming the first of many weeks Tapestry and Carole King: Music would occupy the top 10 simultaneously. The following week it rose to 3, and finally #1 on January 1, 1972, staying there for three weeks. The album also spawned a top 10 hit, "Sweet Seasons" (US #9 and AC #2). Music stayed on the Billboard pop album charts for 44 weeks.
Carole King: Music was eventually certified platinum.
Rhymes and Reasons and Fantasy
Rhymes and Reasons (1972), and Fantasy Fantasy (Carole King album) (1973) followed, each earning gold certifications. Rhymes and Reasons produced another hit, "Been to Canaan" (US #24 and AC #1), and Fantasy produced two hits, "Believe in Humanity" (US #28) and "Corazon" (US #37 and AC #5), as well as another song that charted on the Hot 100, "You Light Up My Life" (US #68 and AC #6).
In 1973, King performed a free concert in New York City's Central Park with 100,000 attending.
Wrap Around Joy
In mid-July 1974, King released her album Wrap Around Joy which was certified gold on 16 October 1974 and entered the top ten at 7 on 19 October 1974. Two weeks later it reached 1 and stayed there one week. She toured to promote the album .. Wrap Around Joy spawned two hits. Jazzman was a single and reached 2 on 9 November but fell out of the top ten the next week. Nightingale Nightingale (song) , a single on 17 December 17, went to #9 on 1 March 1975.
Beyond Wrap Around Joy
In 1975, King scored songs for the animated TV production of Maurice Sendak's Really Rosie, released as an album by the same name, with lyrics by Sendak.
Thoroughbred Thoroughbred (Carole King album) (1976) was the last studio album she made under the Ode label. for the album in 1976.
In 1977, King collaborated with another songwriter Rick Evers on Simple Things Simple Things (Carole King album) , the first release with a new label distributed by Capitol Records. King married Evers shortly after; he died of a heroin overdose drug overdose one year later. Simple Things became her first album which failed to reach the top 10 on the Billboard since Tapestry, and it was be her last Gold-certified record by the RIAA, except for a compilation entitled Her Greatest Hits the following year. Neither Welcome Home (1978), her debut as a co-producer on an album, nor Touch the Sky (1979), reached the top 100.
Pearls - The Songs of Goffin and King (1980) yielded a hit single, an updated version of "One Fine Day". Pearls marked the end of King's career as a hitmaker and a performer, no subsequent single reaching the top 40.
King moved to Atlantic Records for One to One (1982), and Speeding Time in 1983. In 1983 she played piano in "Chains and Things" on the B.B. King album Why I Sing The Blues. In 1985, she wrote and performed "Care-A-Lot", theme to The Care Bears Movie. In 1989 she recorded City Streets City Streets (album) with Eric Clapton on two tracks, followed by Color of Your Dreams (1993), with an appearance by Slash Slash (musician) of Guns N' Roses. Her song, "Now and Forever", was in the opening credits to the 1992 movie motion picture A League of Their Own, and was nominated for a Grammy Award.
In 1988 she starred in the off-Broadway production A Minor Incident, and in 1994 she played Mrs Johnstone on Broadway in Blood Brothers Blood Brothers (musical) . In 1996, she appeared in Brighton Beach Memoirs in Ireland, directed by Peter Sheridan.In 1991, she wrote with Mariah Carey the song "If It's Over", for Carey's second album Emotions Emotions (album) . In 1996 she wrote "Wall Of Smiles / Torre De Marfil" with Soraya Soraya (musician) for her 1997 album of the same title.
In 1997, King wrote and recorded backing vocals on "The Reason The Reason (Celine Dion song) " for Celine Dion on her album "Let's Talk About Love." The song sold worldwide, including 1,000,000 in France. It went to 1 in France, 11 in the UK, and 13 in Ireland. The pair performed a duet on the first VH1 Divas Live benefit concert. King also performed her "You've Got A Friend" with Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan and Shania Twain as well as "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" with Aretha Franklin and others, including Mariah Carey. In 1998, King wrote "Anyone at All," and performed it in You've Got Mail, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
In 2001, King appeared in a television ad for the Gap Gap (clothing retailer) , with her daughter, Louise Goffin. She performed a new song, "Love Makes the World", which became a title track for her studio album in autumn 2001 on her own label, Rockingale, distributed by Koch Records. The album includes songs she wrote for other artists during the mid-1990s and features Celine Dion, Steven Tyler, Babyface Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds and k.d. lang. Love Makes the World went to 158 in the US and #86 in the UK. It also debuted on Billboard's Top Independent Albums chart and Top Internet Albums chart at #20.Deluxe Edition . It contains a bonus disc with five additional tracks, including a remake of "Where You Lead" (subtitled "I Will Follow") co-written with Toni Stern.An all-star roster of artists paid tribute to King on the 1995 album Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King. From the album, Rod Stewart's version of "So Far Away So Far Away (Carole King song) " and Celine Dion's cover of "A Natural Woman" were both Adult Contemporary chart hits. Other artists who appeared on the album included Amy Grant ("It's Too Late"), Richard Marx ("Beautiful"), Aretha Franklin ("You've Got a Friend"), Faith Hill ("Where You Lead"), and the Bee Gees ("Will You Love Me Tomorrow?").
In addition to the numerous hit versions of her songs with Gerry Goffin and Tapestry Revisited, many other cover versions of King's work have appeared over the years. Most notably, "You've Got a Friend" was a smash #1 hit for James Taylor in 1971 and a top 40 hit for Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway that same year. Barbra Streisand had a top 40 hit in 1972 with "Where You Lead" twice — by itself and as part of a live medley with "Sweet Inspiration." Barbra also covered "No Easy Way Down" in 1971, "Beautiful" and "You've Got A Friend" in 1972, and "Being At War With Each Other" in 1974. The Carpenters recorded King's "It's Going to Take Some Time" in 1972 and reached number 12 on the Billboard charts. Richard Carpenter produced a version of "You've Got A Friend" with then teen singer/actor Scott Grimes in 1989. Martika had a number 25 hit in 1989 with her version of I Feel the Earth Move, and "It's Too Late" reappeared on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1995 by Gloria Estefan. Linda Ronstadt recorded a new version of "Oh No Not My Baby" in 1993. Celine Dion also recorded King's song "The Reason" on her 1997 album Let's Talk About Love with Carole King singing backup and it became a million-seller and was certified Diamond in France. Jonathan Rayson recorded a new version of "Beautiful" in his 2006 release Shiny And New.
"Where You Lead" (lyrics by Toni Stern) became the title song of TV show Gilmore Girls.
In 1996 a film very loosely based on her life, Grace of My Heart, was released. In the film an aspiring singer sacrifices her own singing career to write hit songs that launch the careers of other singers. Mirroring King's life, the film follows her from her first break, through the pain of rejection from the recording industry and a bad marriage, to her final triumph in realizing her dream to record her own hit album.* In 1987, Goffin and King were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
* In 1988, Goffin and King received the National Academy of Songwriters Lifetime Achievement Award.
* In 1990, King was inducted, along with Goffin, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the non-performer category for her songwriting achievements.
* In 2002, King was given the "Johnny Mercer Award" by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
* In 2004, Goffin and King were awarded the Grammy Trustees Award.
* King was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007.
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