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Against The Grain by: Andy Sullivan

Thursday the 21st, I went to SKYPAC to see Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.  Each actor was superb in their respective roles.  I also learned things I didn’t know,  Carole King wrote a lot of songs that, when you hear them, you’re response is “she wrote THAT song”?

The 1962 classic “Loco-Motion sung by Little Eva and later by Grand Funk Railroad *’70’s) and Kyle Minogue(‘80’s) was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King.  The Monkees’ 1967 hit “Pleasant Valley Sunday” was written by Goffin and King.  As you can see, she was an established writer long before her 1971 album Tapestry.  Bobby Vee’s 1961 hit “Take Good Care of My Baby”? Carole and Gerry wrote it.  The song reached #1 in September 1961. 

Originally written for the group The Cookies, the King/Goffin penned “Chains” became a popular cover song for Liverpool bands.  It was an early track in the Beatles’ live sets in ’63.  They recorded a version for their debut album LP Please Please Me.  This was the first time fans heard George Harrison(who took lead vocals) sing on a commercially released song.

1963…The Chiffons’ “One Fine Day” was written by King and Goffin.  The song was inspired by the title of the aria “Un bel di Vedremo” from the Puccini opera Madame Butterfly.  Carole King scored a hit with the song herself in 1980.  The Carpenters, Cliff Richard and Bette Midler are just a few to record the song. 

The Drifters’ 1962 hit “Up On The Roof”, Herman’s Hermits “Into Something Good”, Shirelles “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” Everly Brothers’ “Crying In The Rain”, “Some Kind Of Wonderful” and Carole’s (and James Taylor’s) classic “You’ve Got a Friend” are just a few more of the monster hits that Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote. 

This was a good show.  It helps that you’re already a fan of what you’re going to see.  The couple we went with I think were surprised that I knew all of those songs.  For all you younger kids whose parents listen to ‘60’s and 70’s (mostly ‘60’s) music while you’re in the car, it pays off.  You will know, learn and appreciate things that others simply don’t. 

Funny story before I go. A cousin of ours went to see ths show at skypac as well.  She told us later that she was singing along to her Carole King CD at the top of her lungs on their way home-much to the chagrin of her husband!

I love going to shows at the SKYPAC! I’m already wondering what the next good show they’ll have that I want to see. 


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