You’ve Got a Friend….A Natural Woman…Will You Love Me Tomorrow…The Loco-Motion…
These songs are a big part of the soundtrack of my childhood. And they were written (or co-written) by Carole King.
I was a little girl when the “Tapestry” album came out…what a HUGE record it was and still IS. Not only was the music fantastic, but it was a WOMAN songwriter, singing her own songs. And…playing the piano.
I found a resonance with her music. Her style of playing, the warmth of her voice, the melodies and real-life lyrics (which meant more to me later…after I hit adolescence!) Her voice is raw and real; so expressive and emotive. Her chord choices are like a warm blanket on a chilly winter day. I don’t know how else to describe them…they just feel so perfect and comforting.
I started to say that I like her style of playing because it’s similar to mine. But who am I kidding?? I like her style of playing because I’ve been trying to emulate it all these years. It suits me and feels authentic to who I am probably because I’ve listened to her so much!
Some of the songs she wrote were very bold for their time. Like “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”. It was banned from radio for a time because of the suggestion of a sexual encounter in the lyrics. Wow…how times have changed.
And, she was 17 when she wrote that song (OK Gerry Goffin wrote the lyrics, but come on! a 17 year old wrote that music!!). Lemme just say…Carole King is Queen!
Would someone just give her a crown, please?? She IS the queen of women songwriters/performers to me. I have lots of others I admire, but she is at the top of the list.
I want to be like her… I want to write great songs that move people. I want little girls (and women) to hear themselves in my lyrics and be inspired by seeing me perform now that I’m not a spring chicken. I want my music to still be moving people long after I’m gone.
So this week I’m going to spend a little time studying her songs again. And maybe I’ll write one that is a tribute to her. Long live the Queen!
Check out this Rolling Stone article: “10 songs you didn’t know Carole King wrote”