January 12, 2014

Carole King: Beautiful

Tonight is the Broadway opening of Beautiful, the musical devoted to the life and songs of Carole King (and once-husband and lyricist Gerry Goffin). Without getting into the merits of the show, which I saw last night, let's just say it makes a strong case for Carole King's brilliance as both a writer and singer.

While searching on YouTube for a video of Maxine Brown's superb performance of "Oh No Not My Baby," I stumbled onto this tantalizing clip of King teaching the song to Merry Clayton, one of the vocalists featured in "20 Feet from Stardom":

And given the death of the great Phil Everly, I wanted to share another classic song she wrote with Howard Greenfield, "Crying in the Rain":

But listen to Carole King's demo of the song, never meant to be released to the public. It' just as moving:

And while we're at it, let's listen to Maxine Brown: