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While the landmark
album earned her superstar status, singer/songwriter
had already firmly established herself as one of pop music's most gifted and successful composers, with work recorded by everyone from
on February 9, 1942, in Brooklyn, NY, she began playing piano at the age of four, and formed her first band, the vocal quartet the Co-Sines, while in high school. A devotee of the composing team of Jerry Lieber and
(the duo behind numerous hits for
Ben E. King
), she became a fixture at influential DJ
's local rock & roll shows; while attending Queens College, she fell in with budding songwriters
as well as
, with whom she forged a writing partnership.
scored a hit with "Oh! Carol," written in her honor;
cut an answer record, "Oh! Neil," but it stiffed. She and
, who eventually married, began writing under publishers Don Kirshner and Al Nevins in the famed pop songwriting house the Brill Building, where they worked alongside the likes of
, and countless others. In 1961,
scored their first hit with
' chart-topping "Will You Love Me Tomorrow"; their next effort,
's "Take Good Care of My Baby," also hit number one, as did "The Locomotion," recorded by their babysitter,
. Together, the couple wrote over 100 chart hits in a vast range of styles, including
' "One Fine Day,"
' "Pleasant Valley Sunday,"
' "Up on the Roof,"
' "Chains" (later covered by
's "(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman," and
' controversial "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)."
also continued her attempts to mount a solo career, but scored only one hit, 1962's "It Might as Well Rain Until September." In the mid-'60s she,
, and columnist Al Aronowitz founded their own short-lived label, Tomorrow Records;
, the bassist for the Tomorrow group the Myddle Class, eventually became
's second husband after her marriage to
dissolved. She and
later moved to the West Coast, where in 1968 they founded
, a trio rounded out by New York musician
recorded one LP,
Now That Everything's Been Said
, but did not tour due to
's stage fright; as a result, the album was a commercial failure, although it did feature songs later popularized by
("Wasn't Born to Follow"),
Blood, Sweat & Tears
("You've Got a Friend").
ultimately became close friends, and he encouraged her to pursue a solo career. Released in 1970,
proved a false start, but in 1971 she released
, which stayed on the charts for over six years and was the best-selling album of the era. A quiet, reflective work that proved seminal in the development of the singer/songwriter genre,
also scored a pair of hit singles, "So Far Away" and the chart-topping "It's Too Late," whose flip side, "I Feel the Earth Move," garnered major airplay as well. Issued in 1971,
also hit number one, and generated the hit "Sweet Seasons"; 1972's
Rhymes & Reasons
reached number two on the charts and 1974's
Wrap Around Joy
, which featured the hit "Jazzman," hit the number one spot.
reunited to write
, which also featured contributions from
. After 1977's
, she mounted a tour with the backing group
and married her frequent songwriting partner
, who died a year later after a heroin overdose.
, a collection of performances of songs written during her partnership with
, was released in 1980 and was her last significant hit, and
soon moved to a tiny mountain village in Idaho, where she became active in the environmental movement. After 1983's
, she took a six-year hiatus from recording before releasing
, which featured guest
. In 2001, she returned with Love Makes the World, a self-released disc on her own Rockingale label. Four years passed before her next record, The Living Room Tour, a double-disc set documenting her intimate 2004-2005 tour that found her revisiting songs from throughout her career with only her piano and acoustic guitars as accompaniment.
joined longtime friend
for a co-starring show at L.A.’s famed Troubadour venue in 2007, and the pair followed it with several more shows, resulting in the Live at the Troubadour release in 2010.
released her first ever Christmas album, A Holiday Carole, through the Hear Music/Concord Music Group on November 1, 2011.
Jason Ankeny, Rovi
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Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday
A Holiday Carole
A Christmas Carole
Live at the Troubadour
The Essential Carole King
Original Album Classics
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The Best of Carole King
The Collection [Musicmania]
The Collection: Really Rosie/Music/Tapestry
The Best is Yet To Come
Crying in the Rain [Pazzazz]
The Music of Carole King
The Living Room Tour
The Carnegie Hall Concert/Fantasy/Rhymes & Reasons
Hard Rock Cafe
Songs of Long Ago
Writer/Rhymes & Reasons
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