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Carole King (born Carol Klein on February 9, 1942) is an American Singer/Songwriter and Pianist. King and her former husband Gerry Goffin penned dozens of chart hits for various artists in the 1960s. In 1971 her grammy winning album Tapestry, was #1 on the Billboard 200 for 15 consecutive weeks and remained on the charts for more than six years! King attended Queens College in New York, where she was a classmate (and girlfriend) of Neil Sedaka and inspired Sedaka's first hit, "Oh! Carol." She responded in song with "Oh! Neil" (audio below)Goffin and King formed a songwriting team for Aldon Music in New York. Their first success was "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", recorded by The Shirelles. It topped the American charts in 1961, becoming the first No. 1 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, Bryan Ferry, Dave Mason, Dionne Warwick, and Melanie Safka as well as by King herself, and Amy Winehouse. Goffin and King married in September 1960 and had two daughters, Louise Goffin and Sherry Goffin. Both are musicians.
An interview with Carole King can be viewed or downloaded here
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 (1976) was the last studio album she made under the Ode label. In addition to enlisting her long-time friends such as David Crosby, Graham Nash, James Taylor and Waddy Wachtel, King reunited with Gerry Goffin to write four songs for the album. Their partnership continued intermittently. King also did a promotional tour for the album in 1976.
In 1977, King collaborated with another songwriter Rick Evers on Simple Things, the first release with a new label distributed by Capitol Records. Shortly after that King and Evers were married; he died of a heroin overdose one year later. Simple Things was her first album that failed to reach the top 10 on the Billboard since Tapestry, and it was 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, which was a reunion with Tapestry-era producer Lou Adler. In 1983, she played piano in "Chains and Things" on the B.B. King album Why I Sing The Blues. After a well-received concert tour in 1984, journalist Catherine Foster of the Christian Science Monitor dubbed King as "a Queen of Rock." She also called King's performing as "all spunk and exuberance."
In 1985, she wrote and performed "Care-A-Lot," theme to The Care Bears Movie. Also in 1985, she scored and performed (with David Sanborn) the soundtrack to the Martin Ritt-directed movie Murphy's Romance. The soundtrack, again produced by Adler, included the songs "Running Lonely" and "Love For The Last Time (Theme from 'Murphy's Romance')," although a soundtrack album was apparently never officially released. King made a cameo appearance in the film as Tillie, a town hall employee.
In 1989, she returned to Capitol Records and recorded City Streets, with Eric Clapton on two tracks and Branford Marsalis on one, followed by Color of Your Dreams (1993), with an appearance by Slash of Guns N' Roses. Her song, "Now and Forever," was in the opening credits to the 1992 movie 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. 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. In 1996, she wrote "Wall Of Smiles / Torre De Marfil" with Soraya for her 1997 album of the same title.
In 1997, King wrote and recorded backing vocals on "The Reason" for Celine Dion on her album Let's Talk About Love. The song sold worldwide, including one million in France. It went to number 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 November 2007, King toured Japan with Mary J. Blige and Fergie from The Black Eyed Peas. Japanese record labels Sony and Victor reissued most of King's albums, including the works from the late 1970s previously unavailable on compact disc. King recorded a duet of the Goffin/King composition "Time Don't Run Out on Me" with Anne Murray on Murray's 2007 album Anne Murray Duets: Friends and Legends. The song had previously been recorded by Murray for her 1984 album Heart Over Mind.
In 2010, King and James Taylor staged their Troubadour Reunion Tour together, recalling the first time they played at The Troubadour in Los Angeles in 1970. The pair had reunited two and a half years earlier with the band they used in 1970 to mark the club's 50th anniversary. They enjoyed it so much that they decided to take the band on the road. The touring band featured players from that original band: Russ Kunkel, Leland Sklar, and Danny Kortchmar. Also present was King's son-in-law, Robbie Kondor. King played piano and Taylor guitar on each others' songs, and they sang together some of the numbers they were both associated with. The tour began in Australia in March, returning to the United States in May. It was a major commercial success, with King playing to some of the largest audiences of her career. Total ticket sales exceeded 700,000 and the tour grossed over 59 million dollars, making it one of the most successful tours of the year.
During their Troubadour Reunion Tour, Carole King released two albums, one with James Taylor. The first, released on April 27, 2010, The Essential Carole King, is a two-disc compilation album. The first disc features many songs Carole King has recorded, mostly her hit singles. The second disc features recordings by other artists of songs that King wrote, most of which made the top 40, and many of which reached #1. The second album was released on May 4, 2010 and is a collaboration of King and James Taylor called Live at the Troubadour, which debuted at No.4 in the United States with sales of 78,000 copies. Live at the Troubadour has since received a gold record from the RIAA for shipments of over 500,000 copies in the US and has remained on the charts for 34 weeks, currently charting at No.170 on the Billboard 200.
On December 22, 2010, Carole King's mother, Eugenia Gingold, died in the Hospice Care unit at Delray Medical Center in Delray Beach, Florida at the age of 94. King stated that the cause of death was congestive heart failure. Gingold's passing was reported by the Miami Herald on January 1, 2011.
In the fall of 2011 she released A Holiday Carole, which includes holiday standards and new songs written by her daughter Louise Goffin who also is producer for the album.
2009 Interview with Carole King
U.S. Billboard Top 10 Albums
1971 – Tapestry (#1)
1971 – Carole King: Music (#1)
1972 – Rhymes and Reasons (#2)
1973 – Fantasy (#6)
1974 – Wrap Around Joy (#1)
1976 – Thoroughbred (#3)
2010 – Live at the Troubadour (with James Taylor) (#4)
U.S. Billboard Top 10 'Pop' Singles
1971 – "I Feel the Earth Move" (#1)
1971 – "It's Too Late" (#1)
1971 – "Sweet Seasons" (#9)
1974 – "Jazzman" (#2)
1974 – "Nightingale" (#9)
Some of the songs written or co-written by Carole King:
Been to Canaan
Chains (Little Eva, Beatles)
Child of Mine
Crying in the Rain
Don't Bring Me Down (The Animals song)
Don't Ever Change
Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby)-(The Cookies)
Go Away Little Girl (Steve Lawrence)
Halfway to Paradise
He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)
Hey Girl (Freddie Scott song)
Hi De Ho (Blood Sweat & Tears)
I Can't Hear You No More
I Feel the Earth Move (Tapestry)
I'm into Something Good (Herman's Hermits)
If It's Over (Mariah Carey)
Is This What I Get For Loving You?
It Might As Well Rain Until September
It's Going to Take Some Time
It's Too Late (Carole King song)
Jazzman (Carole King song)
Just Once in My Life
Keep Your Hands Off My Baby
The Loco-Motion (Little Eva)
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Aretha Frankklin)
Now and Forever (Carole King song)
Oh No Not My Baby (Maxine Brown)
On this Side of Goodbye
One Fine Day (Chiffons)
Only Love Is Real
Pleasant Valley Sunday (Monkees)
Porpoise Song (Monkees Theme from Head)
The Reason (Celine Dion song)
So Far Away (Carole King song)
So Much Love
Some Kind of Wonderful (Marvin Gaye)
Sweet Young Thing
Take a Giant Step (The Monkees song)
Take Good Care of My Baby (Bobby Vee)
Time Don't Run Out on Me
Up on the Roof (Drifters, James Taylor)
Welcome to My Living Room
Where You Lead
Will You Love Me Tomorrow (Shirelles)
You Light Up My Life (Debbie Boone)
You've Got a Friend (Carole King, James Taylor)