The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has undoubtedly whiffed on so many musical legends over the year. The Hall’s ignorance of Carole King all these years stands as one of their worst missteps. On October 30th 2021, sixty three years after she first began writing songs at the Brill Building, the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame finally gave Carole King the recognition they should have gave her over twenty years ago as a solo performer. In fact there were probably millions of music fans that were shocked to find out that she wasn’t already in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame as an artist, including many of us here at ClassicRockHistory.com. Granted there are so many more that we feel the same about. Can anyone say Pat Benatar , Emerson Lake & Palmer, Judas Priest and countless others. Nonetheless, how could they leave Carole King out after all these years. They waited until she is almost 80s years old to celebrate her legacy and that is so sad. Let’s take a look at the career of Carole King and why it was so ridiculous for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to ignore her all these years.
Carole King was inducted onto the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2021 in the performer category. She had already been inducted as a songwriter with her former husband and songwriting partner Gerry Goffin. At least the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame got that right years ago in 1990. Yet, when you look back at when she first started having success as a solo artist and performer it goes all the way back to 1971 and her second album Tapestry. On that one album alone Carole King should have been inducted years ago.
One of the rating factors the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame utilizes in gaging whether an artist should be eligible for nomination into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is an artist’s musical influence on other artists. How could they not recognize years ago how influential that Tapestry album was for thousands of singer songwriters trying to write music just like Carole King wrote and recored for the Tapestry album.
Carole King’s Tapestry album was not just a monster influential album for musical artists, it was for a time the biggest and most successful album of the 1970s before Peter Frampton, The Bee Gees and the Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham version of Fleetwood Mac came along breaking all sales records that had been previously held by Tapestry. One of the other categories for recognition is body of work, well hello, can anyone say Tapestry” Carole King’s Tapestry album was released in February of 1971. The album would eventually win four Grammy Awards including the big one for Album Of The Year. Over time the album would go on to sell almost fourteen million copies making it one of the biggest selling albums of all time.
Tapestry stayed on the Billboard Albums Charts for six straight years. It doesn’t matter what type of music you liked in the 70s, if you were a record collector in the 7os or even 80s, chances are you had a copy of Tapestry in your home. Even if you weren’t a record collector, chances are there was a copy of Tapestry in your home. If you want to talk about an all time mega influential and successful album, look no further than Tapestry. On that album alone which came out fifty years ago, Carole King should have been inducted twenty five years ago. Yet it didn’t end at Tapestry.
Carole King’s follow up album to Tapestry entitled Music was released later in the same year that Tapestry was released in 1971. Carole King’s Music album would go straight to number one and also go platinum in sales. It featured the big hits “It’s Going to Take Some Time” and Sweet Seasons. The following year in 1972, Carole King released the album Rhymes & Reasons which went all the way to number two on the Billboard Album charts while also going Gold in sales. In 1973, Carole King released a wonderful album entitled Fantasy which has been a fan favorite for many years and also was a top 10 hit going Gold in sales. Her consistency from 1971 in releasing fabulous albums all breaking the top 10, all going at least Gold in sales with two going platinum should have made her a shoe in for the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame years ago, yet we are not done yet in arguing our case
In 1974, Carole King released the album entitled Wrap Around Joy. The album would put Carole King right back on top of the music charts as Wrap Around Joy hit number one on the Billboard Top 200 Album charts giving Carole King her third number one album in three years. The album also spawned the phenomenal hit single “Jazzman,” that went all the way to number two on the Billboard Hot 100. That song has aways stood as one of our favorite Carole King songs of all time. The magical song “Nightingale” was also a superb single released from the album.
Carole King would continue to release albums into the 1970s and beyond. Since her debut solo album that was released in 1970 entitled Writer, Carole King has released seventeen solo studio albums. Through the years, Carole King has also released our live albums and many compilations and box sets. One can’t also fail to mention. the successful Broadway Show Beautiful: The Carole King Musical that ran on Broadway for years and also went on the road all around the world.
Countless organizations over the years have paid tribute to the amazing contributions Carole King has made to the world through her music. From the Kennedy Center Honors to the Library of Congress, to the Songwriters Hall Of Fame to Grammy Awards bestowed upon her for lifetime achievements she she been recognized for all that she has done. Finally….. the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame took notice.
Carole King Finally Inducted Into Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021