The songwriting duo of Carole King and Gerry Goffin wrote many of the 1960s biggest hits including; ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’, ‘Take Good Care of My Baby’, and ‘The Loco-Motion’, and their songs have been recorded by legendary artists such as Aretha Franklin, James Taylor and the Beatles
Meeting in college, Carole King and Gerry Goffin began collaborating as songwriters, with King writing the music and Goffin the lyrics. Their friendship blossomed into a relationship, and when King became pregnant and they married in August 1959. Goffin wrote the lyrics for Carole King’s 1959 single “Oh Neil”, an answer song to her friend Neil Sedaka’s “Oh! Carol”. The single’s B-side, “A Very Special Boy”, was a Goffin-King composition – although the record was not a hit, the couple both secured songwriting contracts at Don Kirshner’s Aldon Music Publishing company in Manhattan.
Goffin and King established themselves as a brilliant and successful writing team, with their breakthrough hit “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” The song was recorded by The Shirelles and went to number one on the Billboard Hot-100 in January 1961. Goffin and King formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the period, with hit songs including “Take Good Care of My Baby” (a hit for Bobby Vee), “Halfway to Paradise” (Tony Orlando, Billy Fury), “The Loco-Motion” (Little Eva, and later Grand Funk Railroad and Kylie Minogue), “Go Away Little Girl” (Steve Lawrence, and later Donny Osmond), “It Might as Well Rain Until September” (Carole King), “One Fine Day” (The Chiffons), “Up on the Roof” (The Drifters), “I’m into Something Good” (Herman’s Hermits, but recorded first by Earl-Jean McCrea under the name Earl-Jean), “Don’t Bring Me Down” (The Animals), “Oh No Not My Baby” (Maxine Brown, and later Rod Stewart), “Goin’ Back” (Dusty Springfield, The Byrds), “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (Aretha Franklin), and “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (The Monkees). Goffin and King also wrote several songs jointly with record producer Phil Spector. In 1963, John Lennon was quoted as saying that he wanted Paul McCartney and himself to become “the Goffin-King of England”.
When I was younger, I was kind of fearless. I think it takes more courage to do things when you know more. I was completely naive, and I was like, why can't I do anything I want to do? You know, go for it.
That's one of the things I love about being a songwriter first, last and always, because whether I do it or not, if someone does a great job on it, my work is done.
Sometimes I get a lyric, and the lyric, you know, comes off the page, and goes into my brain and comes out with a melody. Other times, I may create a melody first.
One of the things that I try to be conscious about in crafting a song is the concept of bringing it home. I like to bring it somewhere familiar, someplace that people feel it's resolved, it's settled.
I'm a songwriter first.
I only wanted to be a songwriter. I never wanted to be a singer. And I never wanted to be famous.
I had trouble making a commitment to songwriting until I was thirty-two, even after I'd won fifteen or twenty BMI awards.
But, you know, to be fair, I was so young. I was barely a woman. When we met, I was 16. When we married, I was 17. By the time I was 20, we had already had two children. And so, I was really young and didn't have the ability, A, to identify my feelings or where my feelings fit into a marriage, and I couldn't have communicated them to him.