Carole King was born Carole Klein to Jewish parents in Brooklyn, New York on February 9, 1942. She was a proficient pianist by the age of four, and a prolific songwriter by her early teens. As a teenager, she recorded demos, sang backup, helped arrange recording sessions, and wrote and recorded a few singles that went nowhere.
While a student at Queens College, she met her future writing partner and husband, Gerry Goffin. Kings 1960 single "Oh! Neil," which she recorded, was a riposte to her friend Neil Sedakas song "Oh! Carol." It was not a hit, but it impressed Don Kirshner, who signed the King/Goffin team to his Aldon Music Empire.
Their first success arrived in 1960, when the Shirelles recorded "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" This began a seven-year string of chart-toppers, including "Take Good Care Of My Baby" (Bobby Vee), "Up On the Roof" (The Drifters), "The Loco-Motion" (Little Eva), "One Fine Day" (The Chiffons), "Go Away Little Girl" (Steve Lawrence), "Dont Bring Me Down" (The Animals), "Im Into Something Good" (Hermans Hermits), "Pleasant Valley Sunday" (The Monkees), and "(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman" (Aretha Franklin).
During that period, King continued to attempt a recording career of her own, but only "It Might As Well Rain Until September" reached the Top 40 in 1962.
King and Goffin divorced in 1967, although they continued to occasionally musically collaborate over the years. King moved to Los Angeles, and formed the rock group the City. The City featured Danny Kortchmar on guitar and Charles Larkey (who became Kings second of four husbands) on bass. The group recorded only…