Honoring Carole King

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th, we would like to pay tribute here to one of our favorite female singer-songwriters – Carole King, (born Carol Joan Klein, February 9, 1942).

Carol had an insatiable curiosity about music in general from the time she was about three years old, so her mother began teaching her some very basic piano skills but did not give Carol actual lessons. When Carol was four years old, her parents discovered she had developed a sense of absolute pitch, which enabled her to often name a note correctly by just hearing it. Sidney Klein enjoyed showing off his daughter's skill to visiting friends: "My dad's smile was so broad that it encompassed the lower half of his face. I enjoyed making my father happy and getting the notes right."

Carol's mother began giving her real music lessons when Carol was four years old. Carol would climb up on the stool and be raised even higher by sitting on a phone book. With her mother sitting alongside her, Carol was taught music theory and elementary piano technique, including how to read notation and execute proper note timing. Carol wanted to learn as much as possible: "My mother never forced me to practice. She didn't have to. I wanted so much to master the popular songs that poured out of the radio."

Carole King has been professionally active since 1958, initially as one of the staff songwriters at the Brill Building and later as a solo artist. She is the most successful female songwriter of the latter half of the 20th century in the US, having written or co-written 118 pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1958 and 1999.

King has made 25 solo albums, the most successful being Tapestry, which held the record for most weeks at No. 1 by a female artist for more than 20 years. Her record sales were estimated at more than 75 million copies worldwide. She has won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting. She is the recipient of the 2013 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the first woman to be so honored.

Aside from her amazing songs, singer-songwriter-musician Carole King is deeply involved in environmental issues. Since 1990, she has been working with the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and other groups towards passage of the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act.

On January 21, 2017, Carole marched in the 2017 Women's March in Stanley, Idaho, carrying a sign that said, "One Small Voice." She said she carried that message because "I’ve never stopped believing that one small voice plus millions of other small voices is exactly how we change the world."

We couldn’t agree more.

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