Monday, October 05, 2015

Music Monday ~ Carole King & My Cousin

This Music Monday I'm featuring Carole King - for a reason. My late cousin, Stephen, died a year ago this month, just two weeks after his 65th birthday. By a string of strange coincidence I find myself in contact with a longtime friend of his, in London UK. This friend has told me that one of Steve's dearest wishes was to see the show Beautiful - The Carole King Musical. Sadly, he died before being able to do so.

"Before she was Carole King, superstar—she was Carole King, teenage songwriter. Her music would become the soundtrack to a generation.
She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice.

BEAUTIFUL tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than BEAUTIFUL music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.
(See HERE)

I intend writing a post on what I've learned about my cousin next Monday, 12 October, anniversary of his birthday, but for today just a song or two and a couple of notes of what I've written about Carole King in past posts. It's not necessary to repeat detail of her full biography here - that is available in numerous websites and blogs already.

In a post about a song co-written by Carole King, Pleasant Valley Sunday , I wrote:
The song was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, both have Sun in Aquarius. Carol King born 9 February 1942, Gerry Goffin 11 February 1939, both in New York. They married as teenagers, but divorced after about 10 years. Sun and Mercury in Aquarius is their main similarity, but her Moon in Sagittarius is conjunct his Mars. Surprisingly, Carole King has no planets in Water signs, she has three planets each in Aquarius and Taurus, squaring each other. According to Astrotheme she has a Libra ascendant. Gerry Goffin supplies the Watery element with Scorpio Moon, Jupiter in Pisces and Pluto (just) in Cancer, this helps supply emotional pull in their songs, no doubt. Together, this couple wrote over 100 chart hits.

Pleasant Valley Sunday does have an Aquarian flavour. Dislike of status symbol mentality is typical of Water Bearers - I can vouch for that!

Snip from Pleasant Valley Sunday lyrics:

See Mrs. Gray she's proud today
Because her roses are in bloom
And Mr. Green he's so serene
He's got a TV in every room

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don't understand

Creature comfort goals they only numb my soul
And make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray to places far away
I need a change of scenery...........

And, while featuring Eric Burdon and The Animals in a post - this:
Regarding Don't Bring Me Down, written by Carol King and Gerry Goffin, in an interview Burdon surprisingly admitted:
"I didn't realize that it was a Goffin, King song until I was in a doctor's office in Beverly Hills and Ms. King came in and sat next to me. I didn't know it was her, I was just reading a magazine and she turned to me and said, "You know, I hated what you did to my song." I didn't know what to say, so all I said was, "well, sorry." and then as she got up to go into the doctor's office, she turned around and said, "but I got used to it."
How a performer can possibly sing a song in public without finding out who wrote it seems very odd to me!

I cannot honestly hold my hand up to ever having been a fan of Carole King as a performer, though who could ever dislike King/Goffin songs? I prefer a little more emotional "umph" in performances. This duet, Carole King with kd lang (who could sing the phone book and make it emotional) fills my bill very well. The opening lines of this song, An Uncommon Love, are oddly appropriate too, because my cousin had had hardly any contact with his close, or wider, family over a period of some 40 years. The song begins:

Why do we isolate each other?
All the walls we build between us
Make it so hard to be together...

Here's Gloria Estefan singing It's Too Late. Carole King composed the music, and Toni Stern wrote the lyrics. This performance, at The White House in 2013, shows Carole seated next to President Obama.


mike said...

A fascinating and talented woman with so many primordial connections to other future talents. She dated Neil Sedaka in high school and Paul Simon was an early friend, and Little Eva was her baby sitter! She and her husband just happened to write and compose in their spare time in Don Kirschner's office. The quinkydinks of her associations were uncanny. I don't think many people realize the diversity of songs King and her first husband produced for so many singers, with so many of their works being the break-through, hit song for that singer, and they did it over and over for so many performers.

I'll assume that your cousin has been able to watch and listen to "Beautiful" to his heart's content, now that he's in the ethers.

mike (again) said...

The girl has an interesting natal chart! Her final dispositors are Venus in Aquarius in mutual reception with Saturn and Uranus in Taurus. Too many aspects to discuss, but certainly conducive to some heart-felt tunes! All of her aspects are tied into other aspects, which encompass the entirety...a bit rare. I've noticed so many times that Pluto (the collective) on the midheaven can offer enormous public fame. With her aspects inter-related and Pluto on the MC, the real Carole King is on display through her music.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Yes, she's one of what seems to have been an especially musically talented generation. While she, and others of her time, were writing and composing in the USA the Beatles and other UK talents were doing similar across the pond. Uranus in Taurus perhaps? (I have it - it didn't make me very musical though.) ;-)

Thank you for the astrological detail. Looking at her chart as (,_Carole), what stood out for me was the trine from Venus to Jupiter.

Interesting about Pluto MC - it kind of gives the lie to Pluto's dark, scary reputation.

mike (again) said...

Re - King's Venus trine Jupiter...yes, and look at how that aspect is tempered by all of the other aspects to Venus and isn't just a simple trine between Venus-Jupiter, but instead is heavily nuanced.

Off topic - I watched "Philomena" and "Melancholia" on Netflix over the weekend. You have no posts about those two movies. Have you seen either? "Philomena" was overtly very good I thought and essentially a true story, making it more engrossing for me. "Melancholia" was quite different, subterfuge art house-ish, and I'd recommend reading the Wiki prior to viewing to fully embrace the wherewithal, should you indulge...LOL.

Any recent Netflix movie recommendations?

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I see what you mean about her Venus/Jupiter - it's like a terminus or kicking off point for several other aspects.

I have seen "Philomena" - thought I'd don a post about it but it seems not - I probably drafted one then decided against it, or maybe it came up in comment somewhere. Anyway, I thought it a good film - Dame Judi never let's us down! Brilliant actor she is!
We saw her again just the other night in "Iris" - it's a depressing tale, but so well done - story of Iris Murdoch - another true story. Haven't seen "Melancholia", not sure I'd like it if it's too arty farty art-house. Will investigate.

Last night we did a two feature trek through "Batman Begins" and "Boogie Nights",both new to Netflix this month. I'm no fan of Batman movies, have seen only the old Michael Keaton one at the insistence of anyjazz - an MK fan. "Batman Begins" wasn't too bad, a bit too much slash-bang for my taste, but interesting take on how the whole Batman story began.

"Boogie Nights"? What can I say? Just awful! It had a 92% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, so I must be be in the minority - and distinctly uncool, as usual, I guess.

I haven't seen anything that really set my heart a-beating faster for ages. I think I'm in need of a Matthew McConaughey/David Strathairn/Paul Giamatti/Sam Elliott fix!