“My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue, an everlasting vision of the ever changing view.” Carole King
Artist/songwriter Carole King mainly earned commercial and critical success with her sophomore solo album Tapestry (1971, earned four Grammy Awards), which widely introduced the Grammy-winning “You’ve Got a Friend,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” and “It’s Too Late” (also received a Grammy Award for the album). She is also known for her long-lasting partnership with songwriter Gerry Goffin that gave rise to numerous hits, including “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “Up on the Roof,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “The Loco-Motion,” and other songs from her albums. King, who in 2001 co-wrote 2 unreleased songs with the pop group Hanson, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with Gerry Goffin, in 1990.
Apart from her steady musical career, the artist also made some periodic appearances on the small and big screen. Starting out with voice work for the titular character in the animated Really Rosie (1975, TV), King has since taken minor roles in such films as Murphy’s Romance (1985), Hider in the House (1989) and “Gilmore Girls” (2002, 2005).
The 10th artist on VH1’s “100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll” is an active supporter of the Democratic Party. She supported the campaign of presidential candidate John Kerry, and in July 2004, she made a short speech and performed at the Democratic National Convention.
On a more private note, King has had three marriages. She was married to longtime partner Gerry Goffin (1960-1968), Charles Larkey (1968-1976) and Rick Evers (1974-his death in 1978). She is the mother of a son and 3 daughters.
Childhood and Family:
Carole Klein, later famous as Carole King, was born on February 9, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York. Already playing piano and singing as a child, Carole formed a vocal quartet called the Co-Sines while studying at Abraham Lincoln High School. While at Queens College, she met Gerry Goffin, her future real-life and professional partner.
After graduating from college, Carole married Gerry Goffin in 1960. The couple has two daughters who are now singers, Louise Goffin and Sherry Goffin Condor. In 1968, they separated and Carole wed Charles Larkey, bassist of Myddle Class. She and Charles have 2 children (son Levi and daughter Molly). Sadly, the 8-year marriage (1968-1976) also ended in divorce. Carole then had a one-year marriage with composer Rick Evers, which came to an end in 1978, after Rick died of an overdose.
Feel Like A Natural Woman
After graduation, Carole King and Gerry Goffin soon created the chart-topping song “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (1961), which originally was sung by The Shirelles. King and Goffin continued their professional partnership with numerous sensational hits, including Bobby Vee’s “Take Good Care of My Baby,” Little Eva’s “The Loco-Motion,” The Chiffons’ “One Fine Day,” The Drifters’ “Up on the Roof,” and Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
In 1962, King sang the self-composed “It Might As Well Rain Until September,” which only became a modest hit. The founder of Tomorrow Records, King eventually formed a band named The City, with second husband Charles Larkey and guitarist Danny Kortchmar. With the group, she released Now That Everything’s Been Said, an album that failed. Her misfortune continued when she launched a first solo album titled Writer (1970). Still working with Larkey and Kortchmar, King compiled songs primarily co-written by her and Goffin, such as “Child Of Mine,” “Up On The Roof” and “I Can’t Hear You No More,” and faced another commercial flop.
Success arrived with the landmark sophomore recording Tapestry (1971), which churned out a number of hit singles. Putting together her previous hits and some new material, the No.1 album on Billboard charts featured her old songs “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” as well as the new tracks “I Feel the Earth Move,” “It’s Too Late,” the title song and the legendary “You’ve Got a Friend.” Soon, the album won four Grammys: one for Album of the Year, one for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, one for Song of the Year (for “You’ve Got a Friend”), and one for Record of the Year (for “It’s Too Late”).
Following the chartbuster album, King quickly released the No.1 US album Music (1971), spawning “It’s Going To Take Some Time” (later covered by The Carpenters), “Sweet Seasons,” “Brother Brother” and the title track. Next, she issued the albums Rhymes and Reasons (1972) and Wrap Around Joy (1974), before conducting a record-breaking free concert in New York City’s Central Park, which was attended by over 100,000 people. It was ensued with her next album, Thoroughbred (1975), for which she reunited with Goffin to write the songs.
King appeared on screen, where she lent her voice to Rosie in the made-for-TV animated Really Rosie (1975). Two years later, she had a role in the sci-fi movie Bionic Boy (1977). Meanwhile, the prolific artist/songwriter continued stunning her listeners with such albums as Simple Things (1977), Welcome Home (1978), Touch the Sky (1979), Pearls: Songs of Goffin and King (1980), One to One (1982) and Speeding Time (1983). After releasing her 1983 album, King took a little break from her music career.
King, who in 1978 appeared in Dynamite Johnson (Bionic Boy’s sequel), was cast as a mother in an episode of “Faerie Tale Theatre” (1984). She then took a small part as Tillie in the romantic comedy Murphy’s Romance (1985) and had the supporting role of Mrs. Kovac in the drama Russkies (1987). In 1989, King contributed her vocals for the thriller Hider in the House, starring Mimi Rogers and Gary Busey, as well as guest starred as a Shopaholics Anonymous member in “The Tracey Ullman Show.”
1989 also marked King’s comeback to music with the release of the album City Streets. It was followed with Color of Your Dreams (1993), which featured a guest appearance of Slash from Guns N’ Roses, as well as Time Gone By (1994), Time Heals All Wounds (1997), Goin’ Back (1998), the greatest hits collection Super Hits (2000) and the studio album Love Makes the World (2001), her first album under the Rockingale Records label.
Meanwhile, King also proved to be a talented songwriter for motion pictures. In 1993, she earned a Grammy nomination for her composition in “Now and Forever” for the comedy drama A League of Their Own (1992). She then co-wrote, with Carole Bayer Sager, the song “Anyone At All,” a soundtrack for the romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail (1998) and received a Golden Satellite nomination. Two years later, she was nominated for an Emmy for the track “Song of Freedom,” from the TV drama Freedom Song (2000).
King, who was seen as a guest performer in “The Trials of Rosie O’Neill” (1991) and “ABC Afterschool Specials” (1991), resurfaced on TV with the recurring role of Sophie Bloom, the owner of the Stars Hollow music store, in the family series “Gilmore Girls” (2002 & 2005, 3 episodes). For the latter series, she also provided “Where You Lead I Will Follow” as the theme song.
Also in 2005, King launched the album The Living Room Tour, which was the live recording from her performances in the Illinois, California and Massachusetts staging of her Living Room Tour, in 2004. The 2005 extension of the tour started on July 3, 2005, in Ontario, Canada.
- Grammy: Album of the Year, Tapestry, 1971
- Grammy: Best Pop Vocal Performance – Female, Tapestry, 1971
- Grammy: Record of the Year, “It’s Too Late,” 1971
- Grammy: Song of the Year, “You’ve Got a Friend,” 1971