I just saw, “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” in San Francisco. It is a fun event that traces the beginnings of some of our favorite early 1960s songs composed by singer/songwriter Carole King. And I learned some great trivia about another familiar singer/songwriter. Remember this one?
Turns out that Neil Sedaka knew Carole Klein (now King) at Abraham Lincoln High in Brooklyn, New York. After “Oh Carol” became a hit, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, her husband at the time and lyricist, wrote a response called, “Oh Neil.” Here it is:
Of course, Carole King was not from Tennessee. But she and her husband wrote songs for some our beloved 1960s stars. Their first hit was for the Shirelles. Here it is:
This was the first Billboard number one hit for an African-American girl group. King and Goffin went on to write more than two dozen songs for performers like the Drifters (“Up on the Roof”) and Aretha Franklin (“You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman”) among others. Most of these compositions are now considered 1960s standards.
Turns out that King never thought she could sing her own material. In 1971, she was convinced to try and her album, “Tapestry,” spent 15 weeks on top of the Billboard chart and remained on the chart for the next six years.
King has been recognized as the most successful female songwriter of 1955–99 because she wrote or co-wrote 118 pop hits on the “Billboard Hot 100.” In 2015, she became a Kennedy Center Honoree. Here is her Web site.
This shows Carole King visiting the cast of, “Beautiful: The Carole King the Musical.”
And here is how you find out more about it: