The Songs Of Carole King

Artist: Various Artists
Format: 3CD
Bar-code: 5060143490927
Cat No: NOT3CD092


By common consent, Carole King’s best-selling ‘Tapestry’ album, issued in 1971, ushered in the Seventies singer-songwriter era. Yet despite its immense historical significance, the 22-million seller and four-time Grammy winner that stayed five full years on the US chart tells only part of the story.

The songs King wrote with then husband Gerry Goffin a decade and more earlier, when both worked for New York’s famed Brill Building hit factory, brought fame and fortune to a generation of Sixties stars. This unique compilation reflects her songwriting output from the years 1958-62, including not only her own recordings but also the songs she wrote for other artists.

Born Carole Klein in New York’s Brooklyn district in 1942, King graduated from a musical diet of jazz, swing and ballads to taking an interest in the black R&B scene. This, combined with her piano-playing skills – she took lessons from her mother from the age of six – and her formation of a vocal group, the Co-Sines, while still at school set her up to be a songwriter.

She met husband Gerry Goffin, who worked in a local pharmacy, and they married in August 1959 when he was 20 and she 17. They then joined the pack of Brill Building songwriters, turning out hits by the yard for the pop stars of the day. Their catalogue of songs was a treasure trove of riches by anyone’s standards, and despite the presence of such talented co-workers as Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond and Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, they quickly established themselves as front-runners.

Our collection is headed by ‘It Might As Well Rain Until September’, Carole’s first major hit under her own name. Brill Building boss Don Kirshner, whose Aldon Music publishing concern bankrolled the operation, formed the Dimension label in 1962 specifically to release Goffin and King compositions after hearing this demo of a song intended for Bobby Vee. It reached Number 22 in the Billboard chart and Number 3 in Britain (on the London label); Carole, who never again approached this level of success in the Sixties, was destined to be a one-hit wonder as an artist until ‘Tapestry’ changed the picture.

The previous year had seen Goffin and King-penned US chart-toppers in the shape of ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ by the Shirelles and ‘Take Good Care of My Baby’ by Bobby Vee. ‘Up On the Roof’ also went Top 10 for R&B vocal group legends the Drifters. As Carole’s own debut hit scaled the chart, Goffin and King’s babysitter Eva Boyd, better known as Little Eva, was sitting pretty at the top with their ‘The Loco-Motion’; this was also released on the Dimension label.

The next chart-topper the pair registered was ‘Go Away Little Girl’, sung by Steve Lawrence – unusually recording without his wife and partner Eydie Gormé, who also appears solo on disc three. The song would return to the top in the US in 1971 in the hands of a new generation’s teen idol, Donny Osmond. But hit covers were already happening back in the Sixties: ‘Halfway To Paradise’ was a US success for future Dawn frontman Tony Orlando, while Billy Fury registered in the UK.

Not everything penned by Goffin and King hit paydirt, however. Phil Spector protégées the Crystals recorded ‘He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)’ as a follow-up to their 1962 charttopper ‘He’s A Rebel’, written by Gene Pitney, but it proved controversial and was withdrawn. And while, as already stated, Carole King’s own recording career failed to set the charts alight, the charming ‘Queen Of The Beach’, ‘The Right Girl’, ‘School Bells Are Ringing’ and the clumsily titled hit follow-up ‘I Didn’t Have Any Summer Romance’ are still very much redolent of the era.

The Beatles were notable Goffin-King fans. The Cookies’ 1962 recording of ‘Chains’ (included here) inspired a version that appeared on their first album a year later. They also covered ‘Don’t Ever Change’ (originally by the Crickets) and Little Eva’s ‘Keep Your Hands Off My Baby’, though these were only released in 1994 as part of a radio sessions package. It wasn’t long, of course, before the Fab Four concentrated on recording their own songs, and in She’s A Rebel: The History Of Women In Rock&Roll, author Gerri Hershey suggested that Lennon and McCartney aspired to be the new Goffin and King.

The pair divorced in 1968 but continued to work together for several years thereafter. The Goffin-King songwriting team was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. ‘The Loco-Motion’ had recently been a worldwide hit for soap star Kylie Minogue, further proof of just how timeless these songs were.

Gerry Goffin and Carole King were and remain peerless pop songwriters; enjoy the cream of their early work here, and file this album next to ‘Tapestry’ for the bigger picture.

Sleeve notes by Michael Heatley

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1. It Might As Well Rain Until September –
Carole King
2. Up On The Roof – The Drifters
3. The Loco-Motion – Little Eva
4. Take Good Care Of My Baby – Bobby Vee
5. Chains – The Cookies
6. Go Away Little Girl – Steve Lawrence
7. Halfway To Paradise – Billy Fury
8. Heaven Is Being With You – Jackie DeShannon
9. Show Me The Way – Ben E. King
10. No One Ever Tells You – The Crystals
11. Every Breath I Take – Gene Pitney
12. Nobody’s Perfect – Carole King
13. Keep Your Love Locked (Deep In Your Heart –
Paul Petersen
14. Why’d You Wanna – Connie Stevens
15. What A Sweet Thing That Was – The Shirelles
16. Just Another Fool – Curtis Lee
17. Dreamin’ About You – Annette
18. How Many Tears – Bobby Vee
19. Follow That Girl – Vinnie Monte
20. Happy Times (Are Here To Stay) – Tony Orlando
21. Help Me (Find The Way Back To Your Heart) –
Andy Williams
22. I Was Only Kidding – Ann Margret
23. I’d Never Find Another You – Billy Fury
24. When My Little Girl Is Smiling – Craig Douglas
25. Under The Stars- Carole King


1. Will You Love Me Tomorrow – The Shirelles
2. Point Of No Return – Gene McDaniels
3. Crying In The Rain – The Everly Brothers
4. Walkin’ With My Angel – Bobby Vee
5. I Didn’t Have Any Summer Romance – Carole King
6. Echoes – Teddy Randazzo
7. Where Do I Go? – Little Eva
8. Some Kind of Wonderful – The Drifters
9. Funny Face – Shelley Fabares
10. School Bells Are Ringing – Carole King
11. When My Little Girl Is Smiling – Jimmy Justice
12. He Knows I Love Him Too Much –
The Paris Sisters
13. I Could Have Loved You So Well – Ray Peterson
14. Love Eyes – Bertell Dache
15. I Couldn’t Say No – Connie Stevens
16. Her Royal Majesty – James Darren
17. The Right Girl – Carole King
18. Up On The Roof – Kenny Lynch
19. Bobby, Bobby, Bobby – Jo Ann Campbell
20. Sharing You – Bobby Vee
21. Good Buddies – The Crawford Brothers
22. Goin’ Wild – Carole King
23. Halfway To Paradise – Tony Orlando
24. Go Away Little Girl – Mark Wynter
25. He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss) – The Crystals


1. When My Little Girl Is Smiling –
The Drifters
2. Stranger In My Arms – The Cookies
3. Queen Of The Beach – Carole King
4. I’d Never Find Another You – Tony Orlando
5. Dear Buddy – Barbara Lyons
6. I’ve Got Bonnie – Bobby Rydell
7. He Knows I Love Him Too Much –
Arlene Smith
8. How Can I Meet Her? – The Everly Brothers
9. Baby Sittin’- Carole King
10. My Golden Chance – Bobby Vee
11. Keep Your Hands Off My Baby – Little Eva
12. Not Just Tomorrow But Always –
Bertell Dache
13. Don’t Ever Change – The Crickets
14. Short Mort – Carole King
15. Dear Mr. D.J. Play It Again – Tina Robin
16. The Light In Your Window – Kenny Karen
17. In My Baby’s Eyes – Bobby Vee
18. The Kid Brother – Mickey And Kitty
19. The Slide – Freddie Scott
20. Billy’s Ridin’ – Ernie Sheldon
21. Am I The Guy? – Tony Orlando
22. The Dance Is Over – Eydie Gorme
23. A Very Special Boy – Carole King
24. I Can’t Say Goodbye – Bobby Vee