the landmark album Tapestry earned her superstar status,
singer/songwriter Carole King had already firmly established
herself as one of pop music's most gifted and successful
composers, with work recorded by everyone from the Beatles
to Aretha Franklin. Born Carole Klein on February 9, 1942
in Brooklyn, New York, she began playing piano at the
age of four, and formed her first band, the vocal quartet
the Co-Sines, while in high school. A devotee of the composing
team of Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller (the duo behind
numerous hits for Elvis Presley, the Coasters and Ben
E. King), she became a fixture at influential DJ Alan
Freed's local Rock 'N' Roll shows; while attending Queens
College, she fell in with budding songwriters Paul Simon
and Neil Sedaka as well as Gerry Goffin, with whom she
forged a writing partnership.
1959, Sedaka scored a hit with "Oh! Carol,"
written in her honor; King cut an answer record, "Oh!
Neil," but it stiffed. She and Goffin, who eventually
married, began writing under publishers Don Kirshner and
Al Nevins in the famed pop songwriting house the Brill
Building, where they worked alongside the likes of Doc
Pomus, Mort Shuman, Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and countless
others. In 1961, Goffin and King scored their first hit
with the Shirelles' chart-topping "Will You Love
Me Tomorrow; " their next effort, Bobby Vee's "Take
Good Care of My Baby," also hit Number One, as did
"The Locomotion," recorded by their baby-sitter,
Little Eva. Together, the couple wrote over 100 chart
hits in a vast range of styles, including the Chiffons'
"One Fine Day," the Monkees' "Pleasant
Valley Sunday," the Drifters' "Up on the Roof,"
the Cookies' "Chains" (later covered by the
Beatles), Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel) Like
a Natural Woman" and the Crystals' controversial
"He Hit Me (and It Felt like a Kiss)."
also continued her attempts to mount a solo career, but
scored only one hit, 1962's "It Might as Well Rain
Until September." In the mid-1960s she, Goffin and
columnist Al Aronowitz founded their own short-lived label,
Tomorrow Records; Charles Larkey, the bassist for the
Tomorrow group the Myddle Class, eventually became King's
second husband after her marriage to Goffin dissolved.
She and Larkey later moved to the West Coast, where in
1968 they founded the City, a trio rounded out by New
York musician Danny Kortchmar. The City recorded one LP,
Now That Everything's Been Said, but did not tour due
to King's stage fright; as a result, the album was a commercial
failure, although it did feature songs later popularized
the Byrds' ("Wasn't Born to Follow"), Blood,
Sweat and Tears ("Hi-De-Ho") and James Taylor
("You've Got a Friend").
and King ultimately became close friends, and he encouraged
her to pursue a solo career. 1970's Writer proved a false
start, but in 1971, she released Tapestry, which stayed
on the charts for over six years and was the best-selling
album of the era. A quiet, reflective work which proved
seminal in the development of the singer/songwriter genre,
Tapestry also scored a pair of hit singles, "So Far
Away" and the chart-topping "It's Too Late,"
whose flip-side, "I Feel the Earth Move," garnered
major airplay as well. 1971's Music also hit Number One,
and generated the hit "Sweet Seasons; " 1972's
Rhymes and Reasons reached Number Two on the charts, and
1974's Wrap Around Joy, which featured the hit "Jazzman,"
hit the Number One spot.
1975, King and Goffin reunited to write Thoroughbred,
which also featured contributions from James Taylor, David
Crosby and Graham Nash. After 1977's Simple Things, she
mounted a tour with the backing group Navarro, and married
her frequent songwriting partner Rick Evers, who died
a year later after a heroin overdose. 1980's Pearls, a
collection of performances of songs written during her
partnership with Goffin, was her last significant hit,
and King soon moved to a tiny mountain village in Idaho,
where she became active in the environmental movement.
After 1983's Speeding Time, she took a six-year hiatus
from recording before releasing City Streets, which featured
guest Eric Clapton. 1993's Colour of Your Dreams included
a cameo from Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash; a year later,
King made her Broadway debut in the drama Bloodbrothers.
Kings Latest Album
Love Makes The World