Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Up on the Roof

I have always loved the song, "Up on the Roof".  James Taylor's version.  Beautiful, and such a sweet, sweet sentiment.

And I always knew Carole King wrote it.

I'm currently listening to her audiobook, A Natural Woman, and now I realize she co-wrote it-- The lyrics were actually written by her first husband, Gerry Goffin.

Carole and Gerry wrote it for the Drifters, which I also didn't know.

But the best new information I just learned is about James Taylor, who I just adore.  So much in fact, that whenever Carole (yep, I feel like I'm on a first name basis with her now...) starts talking about James, I just tear up.  It's evident what a long and sweet friendship they have had and everything she says about him is just so endearing.

Anyway, she played in James' band on one of his early, early tours.  She was a songwriter, but not really a performer.  She was James' pianist and background vocalist- or as she refers to herself, she was his sideman.

As Carole tells it, one night, just before James was about to walk out on stage he said, "Carole, will you sing the lead on Up on the Roof tonight?"  She really didn't want to, because she was just scared.  But James asked her to do it, gave her a great introduction, and voila-- Carole King had her first public appearance as the lead performer of one of her songs.  That story alone is worth listening to the whole book!

Here's a version of them singing that song, much more recently than the performance she refers to in the book-


Melissa Sarno said...

Oh, I love this. I saw them perform together last year in New York City. Actually, this may have been the concert! Have you read 'Girls Like Us'? It is about Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon. I really learned a lot about their lives through the book. And James Taylor is an important thread in all three stories!

Valerie said...

That's a great story, and I loved the video. It's funny--I didn't know James Taylor had a version of the song--I only know The Drifter's version. Learn something new every day! :o)