Played back to back, Carole King‘s chart entries would run about five straight hours. And those are just her hits – not to mention album tracks, B sides, and the odd flop. King’s career as a songwriter is so expansive that it dwarfs even the monster sales figures of her classic 1971 solo juggernaut, Tapestry, which currently tops 25 million and counting.
King was a musical prodigy, selling melodies to New York City publishing companies while she was still in high school. In college she met Gerry Goffin, destined to be her lover and lyricist for the next decade. Though the marriage didn’t survive, their musical partnership weathered the shifting styles of the Sixties, yielding smashes for teen idols and rock bands, big-haired girl groups and big-voiced R&B legends.
King’s hits helped make her the most successful female songwriter — and certainly among the most influential songwriters, period — of the 20th century. King turned 75 on February 9th, 2017, so in honor of that milestone, we look beyond her immortal smashes like “You’ve Got a Friend” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman” to spotlight 10 tracks you may not have known she had a hand in creating.