Thursday, February 9, 2012
One Fine Day
As my friend Rob Sheffield has been pointing out on every form of social media known to man, today is Carole King's 70th birthday. There's another important pop-music anniversary today as well: On February 9th, 1964, the Beatles made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Carole King was no doubt watching, along with every other rock & roll fan in America; it was her 22nd birthday.
Carole King was arguably at that point the most important songwriter in pop music. She had already co-written four Number One hits - "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," by the Shirelles, "Take Good Care of My Baby," by Bobby Vee, ""Go Away Little Girl," by Steve Lawrence, and "The Loco-Motion," by Little Eva. She had done all that by the age of 21.
It's common to think of the Carole King/Brill Building revolution giving way on the radio to the Beatles revolution, but if Carole was watching CBS on that February evening, she was looking at two musicians who were older than she was - John and Ringo were both 23. Paul McCartney was (and still is) four months younger than Carole. There aren't many people who get to change the world before they turn 22, but Carole King sure did.