My daughter in Atlanta surprised me again with a matinee treat to see "Beautiful" - The Carole King Musical - playing at the famous Fox Theatre seating 4,665.
It was so packed; at Intermission there actually was a Traffic Cop in the Ladies Bathroom giving seat availability signals. I can't speak for the Men's Room - maybe I'll sneak in some day to find out their tricks!
A couple of years ago; we saw the musical "Dirty Dancing" at the Fox & it certainly was. It also was my 1st time seeing this 1929 magical theatre of Moorish design filled with dark passageways, velvet curtains & gilded al frescos. I dated him once; but that's another article.
You may or may not know the name Carole King; but I'm sure you've heard the singer-songwriter's music: "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", "I Feel The Earth Move", "It's Too Late", "Loco-Motion", "You've Got A Friend", "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman" & so many more.
The only trouble is - it's been 5 days & I can't get "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" out of my head!
I hear the only antidote is to see a completely different show within 24 hours or it may be permanent - like hiccups!
I didn't & am now seeing a leading Exorcist & he said to write about it & that's what this is all about!
Sing along with me:
"Tonight you're mine completely,
you gave your love so sweetly.
Tonight, the light of love is in your eyes..
but, will you love me tomorrow"?
The Actress/Singer-Musician, Abby Mueller who played the part of Carole King in this musical was superb & had a voice that mimics the original with all its rich, earthy honesty. Her sister, Jessie Mueller played the same part on Broadway; winning a Tony as Best Lead Actress in 2014.
Going back to 1958 in Brooklyn; Carole's story starts with her teenage years where she met her lyric songwriting partner, Gerry Goffin at Queens College & married; she at 17, he at 20.
He asked her to help write a musical; while she was interested in Rock & Roll - but together; ended up writing the hits of the 60's & 70's.
Carole once said, "His words expressed what so many people were feeling but didn't know how to say".
They toiled a few steps away from the Brill Building at 1650 Broadway in NYC where Pop Music of the 50's & 60's were nurtured & then released. A "Song Plugger" could find a publisher, cut a demo, promote the record & cut a deal with radio promoters all within this one iconic building.
Built in 1931, it was depicted lovingly & nostalgically in many older movies & shows including "Jersey Boys" & is a Shorthand term for Tin Pan Alley.
Gerry, the 1st of her 4 husbands; on his own - wrote other favs of mine, "Mahogany" (Do you know where you're going to) sung by Diana Ross & "Go Away Little Girl" sung by Steve Lawrence.
Which, by the way - was never a concern of mine - as I was a late bloomer & waited until the Geezer Period to have that turned around on me! ha ha
Carole sang these at her piano - but also gave them to others making them hits - "Natural Woman" - Aretha Franklin, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" - The Shirelles, "Pleasant Valley Sunday" for The Monkees, "Some Kind of Wonderful" - for The Drifters & Little Eva - who really was their Babysitter; who sang "Loco-Motion".
And, whenever I watch "One Fine Day", a favorite old rom-com movie, starring Michelle Pfiffer & George Clooney - I'm instantly energized by the joyful melody & reminded once again of this songwriting team & the lighthearted period in which it was written.
On her own; Carole's 1971 solo album "Tapestry" was one of the best-selling albums of all time with over 25 million copies sold worldwide. Folk Rock, Pop & Soft Rock; it won 4 Grammy Awards, Album of the Year & 5 weeks at #1.
James Taylor who encouraged her to sing her own songs & played on "Tapestry", also played together in 2010 on their Troubadour Reunion Tour.
Intertwined with Carole's life with Goffin; are husband & wife fellow songwriters - Cynthia Weil & Barry Mann who wrote "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" with Phil Spector, "Somewhere Out There", "Sometimes When We Touch", "I Love How You Love Me", "Make Your Own Kind of Music" sung by Mama Cass Elliot & "Who Put the Bomp" - which parodied the doo-wop genre & too many more to mention.
The Early Years
Left to Right: Gerry Goffin (died 2014) Carole King, Cynthia Weil, Barry Mann
Between the 4 of them - they made the world Dance, Sing & Love...like nobody was watching!