Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Carole King, singer-songwriter

I heard today a public radio special on Carole King and her Tapestry album hosted by Rita Houston, who is affiliated with WFUV in New York (I heard the program on Louisiana's KRVS). That was an album I had bought, living in the country in southern Louisiana, when I was very young, through a Columbia House/TV Guide sale (you could get a bunch of albums for about a $1). I loved the album; and recall playing it for my sister and some nearby cousins (I liked "So Far Away," "Where You Lead," and "I Feel the Earth Move" and we all liked the story-song "Smackwater Jack"). I listened to the album Tapestry in New York, too. It was great to hear songs from it again. (I'm still impressed by the sincerity in Carole King's voice and her piano playing.) I spent a good part of the program with tears in my eyes (truth to tell: there were more tears rolling down my cheeks than lying still in my eyes); and I recall that I had a similar response recently to hearing an old Rickie Lee Jones song. It is hard to say why. Maybe just the fact that the songs are good and have been with me for so long. Carole King deserves tribute, but, like too many women artists, her work has not received the consistent attention it warrants; and this program, which discussed her career and the making of the album, was wonderful to hear.