On Tuesday night the Kennedy Center Honors awards was aired on CBS. The awards program acknowledges the significant impact on Arts and Culture that particular individuals or groups (The Eagles were nominated this year but differed their acceptance until all their band members were in good health) have had during their careers. While all of this year’s recipients were profoundly deserving, I had to stay up until the end to see one of my favorite singers, Carole King.
I previously posted “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” which is one of my favorite songs and is also by Ms. King, and within this post I talked about her early life leading to her career. So, check that out if you are interested (see hyperlink below).
For today’s post, I chose a song which was made popular by “The Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin. But, the song was actually written by the King/Goffin team. Carole would later record her own version which she released on her album Tapestry in 1971. Aretha was not the only star that King wrote hits for. In fact, Carole King is credited for having written or co-written over 400 sings which have been recorded by more than 1,000 artists¹.
“(You Make Me Feel..) Natural Woman” was released by Atlantic Records in 1967 as a single for Aretha. The idea for the song is said to have come from producer Jerry Wexler, who was studying African-American music culture and the idea of the “natural man”. When he saw Carole after leaving the studio one day, he urged her to create a song about the “natural woman” for Aretha’s next album.
While there is no denying the power of Aretha Franklin singing “(You Make Me Feel..) Natural Woman”, it was in fact her moving performance of the song during the Kennedy Honors program which encouraged me to use it this week, I think that Carole King’s own recording does the song just as much justice.
¹”Carole King Biography.” Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 31 Dec. 2015.