Friday, April 29, 2011

God Save The King

Carole King, from Tapestry

Sorry in advance for all the videos. No, no apologies! I LOVE this woman!

I was ecstatic to discover Carole King’s songs were being featured on American Idol. Carole King is one of my most favorite singer-songwriters. Her songs have accompanied the important experiences in my life, from swooning over the first boy I dated in high school to trying to come to terms with losing my job just a couple months ago. What would I have done if my mom had never introduced me to Tapestry? Would it have found me anyway? 

 (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

I Feel the Earth Move

Through the vehicle of American Idol, a new audience has had the opportunity to discover Carole King. I will admit American Idol is the only tv series I specifically watch every episode of. Like my dad, who can’t carry a tune in a bucket, I enjoy singing along as talented young things belt out their dreams under the spotlight in real time. And I NEVER vote, because, well, I just can’t decide who should leave. I get attached to all the contestants. This year, in particular, I love everyone. I am a bad critic. So sue me!

Will You Love Me Tomorrow?

Up On the Roof
But back to the great CK - 

Now and Forever

Without Carole King, “The Loco-Motion” would have had an entirely different sound. “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” would not exist. James Taylor never would have sung “You’ve Got A Friend.” Carole King has written and/or co-written 118 hit songs in her long career. During the early years she wrote with her then husband Gerry Goffin. I read somewhere (maybe in the liner notes of The Beatles Anthology? Or maybe I heard it on a documentary of some kind?) that John Lennon and Paul McCartney aspired to be like Goffin and King. McCartney was quoted as saying he wished he could write as well as they did. Goffin and King’s first hit was “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?,” written in 1961 when Carole King was just 18. Tapestry, her chart topping album from 1971, is an incomparable contribution to music. It is also my go to mood lifter. 

The Reason

Carole King’s songs are breathtaking and full of feeling and soul and meaning. They soothe wounds and incite to action. If you don’t know (you know) her music, go check her out! If you already love her, what's YOUR favorite song or album? I would love to know!

Bitter with the Sweet

God Save The King!!



  1. I saw a bit of this last night, I have to say I was impressed how well the songs held up to the Idol treatment. That is to say, it wasn't ghastly. However the couple doing Up On the Roof did their best to ruin one of my favourite songs. I wonder if you ever heard Laura Nyro doing Up On the Roof?

  2. Oh, Laurence, does this mean you are a Laura Nyro fan!? When I said Carole King was one of my favorite singer-songwriters, I had Laura Nyro in mind as another. I LOVE her, too. I considered posting either her version or Carole King and James Taylor's version of Up On the Roof, but I wanted to post two American Idol songs. Since it's one my favorites (and one that is probably familiar to most), I chose Lauren and Scotty's version, instead of something else. To be honest, there are so many good videos on YouTube of Carole King singing live, that it was very difficult to stop adding videos!! What are your favorite Laura Nyro songs, by the way? Any other favorite Carole King songs?

  3. EEK! I wanted to post every song from Tapestry, to be honest!

  4. I have her classic albums, but to be honest she could have done with reigning it in a bit, if you know what i mean, my god she had some range with that voice. Some great songs though. Stoned Soul Picnic was the first I heard, although I don't care for the rest of that first album so much. I prefer Christmas and Tendaberry - Captain, Save the Country, Gibsom, Blackpatch, Freeport, Beads, they are very late night albums though. Haven't played them in a while. I liked the cover versions people like 3 Dog Night, Blood, Sweat and Tears did. So talented, shame the hippies hated her. However, I know we have a mutual friend though who does not care for Laura, so I can't say too much!

    Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow is a brilliant song, way out of step with anything else at the time. She was 18 when she wrote it. Kind of sickening really.

  5. Okay, this is late, but I am on our mutual friend's dad's side. He is a Laura Nyro aficionado. Eli and the Thirteenth Confession is a go-to album for me. I first knew LN's music through 3 Dog Night and The Fifth Dimension, without realizing I knew her. I know exactly what you mean about reigning in her voice, but the freedom with which she sings is part of what I adore about her! Thanks for all your thoughts!