Carole King was born in 1942. While she was still in high school she began writing songs for Don Kirschner’s company Aldon Music. By the time she was 17, she was married to her songwriting partner Gerry Goffin and commuting back and forth from Brooklyn to Manhattan to take her place in front of a piano in order to provide catchy melodies for Gerry’s lyrics. Together they wrote hits for Dusty Springfield, Little Eva, The Four Seasons, and Aretha Franklin. And that was just her first marriage!
King’s autobiography, A Natural Woman, is written in a free-flowing chatty style. You immediately feel that she is speaking directly to you. Her voice is warmer and friendlier than that of some would-be storytellers, and the reader is drawn right into Carole King’s world. As you read, you sometimes wonder at her naivete, and then marvel at her toughness. She seems to wander into relationships accidentally, and she never hesitates to share all the intimate details either. She holds nothing back about her various marriages. Her second one to musician Charles Larkey fell apart due to “disparate schedules,” but the third short-term marriage was a particularly devastating time.