You Say It's Your Birthday: Carole King

Legendary singer/songwriter Carole King is celebrating her 58th birthday

today. Perhaps best-known for her classic 1971 album, Tapestry, King

also co-wrote some of the biggest Brill Building hits in the '60s,

including "The Loco-Motion," "Will You Still Love Me

Tomorrow?" and "Up on the Roof," among others.

King was born Carole Klein in Brooklyn, N.Y., and began playing the piano at

age 4. Inspired by Alan Freed's rock concerts at Brooklyn's Paramount

theater in the late 1950s, she started her first band while still in high

school, the Co-sines. As a teen, King would take the train into Manhattan

and beat on the doors of the record industry, demanding to be heard. By

the age of 16, she had a few singles to her name, but it would not be until

she met future husband and fellow songwriter Gerry Goffin in 1958 that she

would begin her true walk toward rock stardom. Goffin and King scored

their first hit when the Shirelles hit #1 with "Will You Still Love Me

Tomorrow?," a song that was originally

turned down by Columbia Records. The songwriting duo quickly took up

residence with the songwriters in the Brill Building, writing hits for such

groups as the Byrds ("Wasn't Born to Follow"), the Animals ("Don't Bring Me

Down"), Herman's Hermits ("I'm into Something Good") and the Chiffons ("One

Fine Day"), among countless others.

In the late '60s, King, Goffin and writer Al Aronowitz tried to form their

own label but never quite got it off the ground. The only band on the

label, Myddle Class, featured a bass player named Charles Larkey, a man who

would eventually become King's second husband. In 1968, King formed a group

called the City but never toured due to extreme stage fright. Although

their one album was hardly a success, songs on it were covered years later by Blood,

Sweat and Tears ("Hi-De-Ho") and James Taylor ("You've Got a Friend") to

resounding success. With the encouragement of Taylor, King

wrote and recorded her first solo album. Released in 1970, Carole King:

Writer was merely a warm-up to the massive success that would come in

the form of 1971's Tapestry. Packed with wonderfully crafted pop

songs that were filled with heartfelt emotions, the album went #1, spawned two hit singles

("It's Too Late" and "So Far Away") and stayed on the charts for almost six

years. Kings next few albums were also successes, but none came near the

massive sales of Tapestry. 1975 saw King writing the music for

the children's television program "Really Rosie." King's albums have

continued to sell modestly through the '80s and '90s, and she continues to

tour. In 1990, she and Goffin were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of

Fame as songwriters.

Other birthdays: Major Harris (Delfonics), 51, and Joe Ely, 51.