A Natural Woman: A Memoir

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Grand Central Publishing, Apr 10, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 496 pages
61 Reviews
The life that inspired Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway.

Carole King takes us from her early beginnings in Brooklyn, to her remarkable success as one of the world's most acclaimed songwriting and performing talents of all time. A NATURAL WOMAN chronicles King's extraordinary life, drawing readers into her musical world, including her phenomenally successful #1 album Tapestry, and into her journey as a performer, mother, wife and present-day activist. Deeply personal, King's long-awaited memoir offers readers a front-row seat to the woman behind the legend.

The book includes dozens of photos from King's childhood, her own family, and behind-the-scenes images from her performances.

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Reviewed by Alice D. for Readers Favorite
Highly acclaimed singer-songwriter Carole King reads her own life's story, beginning in New York City as a young Jewish girl whose mother was into music of
all kinds and whose father was a humanitarian. As a youngster, born in 1942, Carole was highly influenced by rhythm and blues music but she was disturbed when "black" songs were redone by whites and only then went high on the "pop charts.” Carole saw a brief stint at Performing Arts High School in New York City ending it quite too soon. She went back to her regular high school, Madison, in Brooklyn, at a time when Neil Sedaka attended rival Lincoln High School. Carole loved writing music on the piano and teaching people to sing her songs. Married at 18 to gifted songwriter Jerry Gotham, Carole worked as a secretary while Jerry worked as a chemist to bring in money while at night he wrote lyrics and Carole the songs on her piano. Inspired by Neil Sedaka, they signed a three year, $6000 contract with Alden Publishing which served as a "boot camp for songwriters" as Carole recalls. "A Natural Woman" tells of Carole's deep involvement in the world of music and the birth of her children, Louise, Sherry, Molly and Levi, but more than that, this is Carole King telling her own story about her personal relationships, her climb to the top in the world of music and her performances with Bob Dylan and James Taylor and her writing of songs for the Monkees and The Carpenters.
"A Natural Woman" is a treasure of a CD collection as it features Carole King reading the account of her life and success. The author/songwriter clears up some misconceptions. For instance, she explains that Little Eva, who sang King's famous "Locomotion", was her babysitter, not someone who cleaned offices. The last CD contains Carole King music and a photo album but the first eleven CD's have greater value as they feature a famous songwriter/singer telling of her life and its great ups and downs. "A Natural Woman" in CD format will be treasured by readers, listeners and music lovers everywhere.

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About the author (2012)

Carole King had her first No. 1 hit in 1961, at age 18, with "Will You Love Me Tomorrow". Collaborating with former husband Gerry Goffin, the team went on to write more than two dozen chart-toppers, including "One Fine Day", "The Loco-Motion", "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", and "(You Me Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman." Her 1971 solo-album, Tapesty, won 4 Grammys, and earned her the record for longest time an album by a female artist has remained on the Billboard Charts (6 years), as well as the longest time holding the #1 position (15 consecutive weeks).

King, in addition to writing more than 100 top-selling songs has recorded 25 solo albums. In 2007 she and longtime collaborator James Taylor reunited and recorded Live at the Troubadour. Released in 2010 the album debuted at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and The Troubadour Reunion Tour became the second highest grossing Tour of that year. She has won numerous lifetime achievement honors and has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, "Hit Parade" Hall of Fame, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Carole King continues to entertain audiences the world over. She released her most recent album in December, 2011, Carole King: A Holiday Carole, to rave reviews.

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