Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book Review: Carole King "A Natural Woman, A Memoir"

I have been a big fan of Carole King ever since I first heard her "Tapestry" album. Over the past years I have learned bits and pieces of her musical and personal life so I was delighted when Carole wrote her memoir, "A Natural Woman".  Carole King, unlike most musicians, wrote her autobiography entirely on her own. Her writing is excellent in both construction and style and has produced a book that tells a very beautiful and personal story laying out the major influences in her life and painting a clear picture of what made her one of the greatest singer/songwriters of modern times. I especially liked the stories she recalls about the relationships with fellow musicians who helped her develop into the singing/songwriting genius that she has become. She was a major creator and participant of the music of the sixties and has continued to have an impact on the music scene.

In my mind, as an artist, Carole will also always be musically linked to James Taylor. They share the same feel for melody and lyric and perform as if they were born as musical twins. Carole relates stories of how she performed as a sideman for Taylor in their musical beginnings at the Troubadour.  Carole also gives us the complete story of how she was literally pushed out on the stage by Taylor , an event she credits for starting her solo career.

For anyone coming of age during the sixties, this book and the music of Carole King will touch many emotional buttons and is a must-read. Her "Tapestry" album holds the record for the longest time for an album by a female to remain on the charts and the longest time for an album by a female to hold the #1 position. She has won four Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She has recorded over twenty-five albums and is still touring the country today.

I have attached two "YouTube" videos for your listening pleasure. The first is a duet with Carole and James Taylor singing "Up On The Roof" a song written by Carole and Gerry Goffin.  The second is Carole alone singing her classic song, "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman".

                                                         BOOK REVIEW
                                       The Music Man awards this book  "4 Quarter Notes"

                                             4 Quarter Notes= Excellent, Must Read
                                             3 Quarter Notes= Good Read
                                             2 Quarter Notes= Somewhat Interesting
                                             1 Quarter Note = Save Your Time and Money

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