Friday, May 21, 2010

James Taylor and Carole King

Memories of James Taylor:
 Taking guitar lessons in the park when I was 10 (1973!), and one of the first songs the teacher gave us was "Fire and Rain"--not exactly the easiest song for beginning guitarists to play!

Purchasing all of his albums and tapes over the years as a guitar player-songwriter-singer wannabe!

Making a "mix tape" for Mike in Japan because he'd never heard of James Taylor

Attending his concert at the Civic Stadium in 1996--while Chris was in the NICU and his nurses pushed us out the door to attend the concert, told us it would be good for us to have a date...and then he had a horrible night...

Memories of Carole King:

"You've Got a Friend"
"Up on the Roof"
"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"
"You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman" (and that amazing scene on Murphy Brown, when she sings that to her newborn baby boy)
A Tapestry tribute CD, which Mike gave me as a gift years ago

As you can see, I have far more connections to JT than Carole King. In early May, Mike and I attended their "Troubador Reunion" concert, and it was great fun. The most amazing thing is that Taylor is 62, and King is 68!

What I hadn't really realized is that Carole King is a highly prolific songwriter and has cowritten 118 songs that reached the Billboard Top 100. I also wasn't aware that she cowrote the dance fave "Locomotion" until I looked her up on wikipedia during intermission.
 Although we truly enjoyed the concert and were amazed by King's energy, spunk, and creativity, I still vastly prefer James Taylor's style and smooth vocals. This clip, of King's song "Up on the Roof," which Taylor made famous, is a perfect comparison of their voices and styles:




Their Portland appearance was their first concert on the U.S. portion of the tour, and it was clear that they appreciated us as an audience! They did two encores and played for over 3 hours. James Taylor had certainly aged in the 13 years since we'd last seen/heard him, but I could listen to him all day and never get tired of his voice.

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