Carole King’s Songwriting Has Been Comforting You For Decades

Carole King.

With Highest Distinction

In the lineup of tributes of her greatest hits were Janelle Monae, Sara Bareilles, and James Taylor. But to many watching, the biggest surprise of the night came when Aretha Franklin graced the stage:

Aretha Franklin performs “Natural Woman”, a song co-written by Carole King.

Touch The Sky

After graduating, Carole moved to attend Queens College where she formed a writing partnership with Gerry Goffin. The two eventually became romantically involved, wed, and had their first child together. Shortly after becoming new parents, Carole and Gerry dropped out of College and took days jobs but continued to write in their remaining free time. Throughout the 1960s, Carole and Gerry worked launched and sustained their reputation for writing hit songs for a number of artists across a range of genres:

Carole’s babysitter, Little Eva, performing her hit “Loco-Motion”, 1962.
The first King/Goffin written hit “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” performed by The Shirelles, 1960.
A Carole King/Mariah Carey collaboration “If It’s Over” from Carey’s second album, Emotions, 1992.

And these are only a few examples of what King has demonstrated. To date, King has had a hand in writing over 400 songs covered by more than 1,000 artists across a 50-year period.

As we got later into the 1960s, the success of Gerry and Carole fell to marital strain. After a series of dealing with Goffin’s multiple extra-marital affairs and mental health issues, the two separated in 1968. By no means did this slow Carole down. She focused on her solo career continuing to release albums (17 solo albums in total) as well as maintain her songwriting and collaborative relationships.

Carole King’s solo hit “I Feel The Earth Move” from her second album, Tapestry, 1971.

Rhymes & Reasons

There’s something quite unique about the hidden influence of songwriting. For some, its an opportunity to hone their craft through the voices of emerging or established artists. For others, it's a chance to dodge the often overbearing consumption of fame. For Carole King, it was a way to go beyond the range and limits of genre and time. It’s difficult to describe just how infectious Carole King’s writing has been across half a century.

“I just sort of try to be a good person; try to write music that lifts people and makes me feel good to sing”
— Carole King

A lifetime has influenced countless musicians in both their technique and approach to songwriting that make a genuine connection with listeners. It is a musical library that has aged beautifully and no matter which voice is singing the lyrics, the emotion carries through. It’s intentional, careful and deeply appreciated.

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