Photo of the interior of the New Stage Theater, the audience is full, the stage lights are on, lighting up the red main curtain.
Photo of the interior of the New Stage Theater, the audience is full, the stage lights are on, lighting up the red main curtain.

Carole King’s Melody

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LEGENDARY MUSICIAN

 

Regards from Broadway Rose

Summer 2024

Photo of Carole King in 2002. She is smiling for the crowd of fans gathered to see her.

Carole King in 2002. Photo by John Matthew Smith.

“My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue, an everlasting vision of the ever changing view.” – Carole King

An unforgettable artist and iconic musician, Carole King has created an impressive tapestry of her own making. With a renowned and celebrated discography, King has weaved her life experiences and heartfelt songwriting together to contribute a truly beautiful collection of music performed by herself and several of the world’s most prominent artists.

Carole King was born Carol Joan Klein in 1942 in New York City, and spent her childhood in Brooklyn. Carole began to learn piano at age four and recorded her first singles at age 15. At age 17, King had her first No. 1 hit – but it wasn’t recorded by her. The 1960 best-selling single “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” was co-written by King and her former husband Gerry Goffin for The Shirelles, the first major female vocal group of the rock era. King and Goffin went on to write some of the most iconic golden oldies such as “The Locomotion,” “Up on the Roof,” “One Fine Day,” and “Take Good Care of My Baby.” One of the most well-known songs in the songwriting team’s career was the ballad “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” recorded by Aretha Franklin. More than 400 of King’s compositions have been recorded by over 1,000 artists, with 100 resulting in hit singles.

King’s first marriage ended in 1968 and she moved to Los Angeles with her two daughters where she would release her 1971 album, Tapestry, which stayed at No.1 on the Billboard charts for 15 weeks and continued to stay on the charts for six years. Many of the songs featured in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical come from the same groundbreaking album, which earned her four GRAMMY® Awards – a first for a female artist – and remained a best-selling album for 25 years.

King’s albums between 1971 and 1973 earned her a platinum record and two gold records, peaking her fame in 1973. The same year King performed live in front of 100,000 people for a free concert in New York’s Central Park and the following year she released the album Wrap Around Joy, which would become the bestselling album in the United States.

Photo of Don Kirshner, Carole King, and Gerry Goffin in 1967.

From left: Don Kirshner, Carole King, and Gerry Goffin in 1967

After her second divorce Carole made her permanent home on a ranch in Idaho with her children and became active in environmental causes. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, King continued recording songs and also contributed to many film soundtracks and in 1987 was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In 2010 King toured with James Taylor for sold-out shows, and later released her autobiography, A Natural Woman in 2012. The premiere musical Beautiful was produced on Broadway in 2013 and won a GRAMMY® Award and two Tony® Awards, which is still wowing audiences in local theatres today.

In 2021, Carole King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for a second time, making her the first person to be inducted separately as a performing artist and songwriter.

Carole has received the Kennedy Center Honors, a GRAMMY® Award for Lifetime Achievement, and also became the first female songwriter to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, which was presented by President Barack Obama.

King resides in Idaho, continues to make music, and is involved in environmental organizations as well as wilderness preservation.

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