A Natural Woman
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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.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
A Natural Woman
She may never have wanted to be a star, but, Carole King, who set out at 15 years of age on a Manhattan-bound subway from her native Brooklyn home, schoolbooks in hand, to get record producers to hear her songs, has wound up influencing generations of pop music fans and performers over the course of more than 50 years. She mentions having to sit on the Brooklyn telephone book when her mother first gave her piano lessons. You would need a volumne that size to list the career achievements and names of performers from Adele, Lady GaGa, to Amy Winehouse, who have named her as their idol.
Carole, wisely, does not dwell on her fame and accomplishments in her just published, now-certified NY Times best-sellter, A Natural Woman. Instead, she focuses more on her days outside of the spotlight--most notably the years after her 1971 release Tapestry made her the most famous recording artist of the earlys 70s. While the world remembers her today mostly for Tapestry, in much the same way that Fleetwood Mac, Michael Jackson, and the BeeGees are remembered for Rumours, Thriller, and Saturday Night Fever, Tapestry,has the distinction of having been the first such blockbuster album which made a mockery of demographics. Selling over 25 million copies, it just now, in April 2012, re-entered the Billboard Top Album chart. For a shy, unpretensious woman, who at the time, was a young mother of two girls, this type of superstar fame was the last thing she craved. The stories in A Natural Woman, give the public insights into why the type of commercial success she achieved in 1971 made her retreat in the ensuing years --even though her 6 post- Tapestry Ode releases were all best-sellers and could have kept her at the top of the heap for years to come had she opted to play the fame game (touring, interviews, TV exposure, etc.)
Over the years, others have tried to capitalize on Carole's life story by making movies (American Hot Wax, Grace of My Heart) or writing books (Girls Like Us) but, luckily, we now have her telling her own story.
The book, like the artist's work over the years, is, at once, direct, friendly,witty, light-hearted, and optimistic. Unlike some of her peers from the 1970s who grew bitter over the decades as the craft of songwriting counted for less in determining the commercial success of any given recording project, Carole shows very few signs of bitterness as changing musical tastes diminished the commercial rewards of her 80s/90s recordings. Rather than dwell on the negative, she went out and focused on other areas of entertainment like film scoring (Murphy's Romance) and Broadway where she starred in Blood Brothers for six months in 1994.
She also invested most of time in her environmental activism and working on behalf of several Democratic presidential candidates.
While some of Carole's more ardent fans might have wanted to read more about the recording of albums other than Tapestry, and others might think she spends too much time documenting pop cutlure trends of which they are already knowledgeable, most readers will close the book and agree that this is one person who has proven the old adage of "to thine own self be true."
Carole, in songs such as "Beautiful," "One to One," and "One Small Voice" -- all three must downloads if you are not familiar with them --dispenses the widsom by which she lives her life -- and, which coincidentally happens to be the cornerstore of all spiritual programs -- trying to help others in small ways, on a daily basis, and to make others want to become better people in turn, has practiced what she preaches. A Natural Woman presents the woman behind the legend, unlikely you'll soon forget either the music legend or the woman after closing the book.
A Natural Woman
Carole King is a good writer. She's had an interesting life with some significant challenges, but with rewards beyond her dreams. Still, she's maintained a healthy perspective and raised good kids. What's really nice, she's not all full of herself. She makes it easy to like her. Great read.
A Natural Woman
A very interesting book. Carole King provides real insights into her life and her long career as a talented songwriter and singer. A great time to read this now since she was just awarded the Library of Congress Ira Gershwin Award.