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Clay Aiken Sings Carole King

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue, an everlasting vision of the ever-changing view…Carole King

American Idol celebrated the music of Carole King last night, as the final six contestants competed performing songs written by the Grammy-winning music legend.  The show was devoted to King’s remarkable career as a songwriter and performer.

According to The Associated Press, there are some obvious front-runners.  They said:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scotty McCreery won back some friends on “American Idol.”

After receiving criticism from the show’s judges for playing it too safe last week, the deep-voiced 17-year-old country crooner of Garner, N.C., enticed the panel with his buttery rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend” on the Fox talent competition’s evening of Carole King tunes Wednesday. It was 22-year-old rocker James Durbin of Santa Cruz, Calif., who was dubbed a front-runner though.

Randy Jackson proclaimed that Durbin “just might win the whole thing” after his electric reworking of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.”

Of course, with the voting in the hands of the fans, it is impossible to accurately predict a winner.  The singer going home is announced tonight on the results show.

Carole King is a composer-performer who wrote numerous hit songs for other performers before achieving fame on her own with the album “Tapestry” in 1971.  She wrote many of her early hits by collaborating with her first husband, Gerry Goffin. Bobby Vee, Steve Lawrence, Donny Osmond, and The Monkees sang her early hit songs.  She, herself, had a top-20 hit during this period, as well, 1961’s “It Might As Well Rain Until September”.

The following are a few facts about Carole King.

  • Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990
  • Ranked #10 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
  • 2001: Co-wrote two songs, “Let You Go” and “One More Time”, with pop group Hanson. Neither of the songs has ever been released by King or Hanson.
  • She is an ex-girlfriend of Neil Sedaka.  He wrote his first hit, “Oh Carole”, for her.
  • One of music’s great songwriters, her 1971 album “Tapestry” spent more than 300 weeks on the US charts.
  • Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1997.
  • Grammy Awards for album of the year, for Tapestry, record of the year, for “It’s Too Late,” song of the year, for “You’ve Got a Friend,” and for best pop female vocalist, all 1971.

On July 8th, 2004, Clay Aiken started his Solo Tour.  It was lovingly called the “Not A Tour” because Clay said he wasn’t really going out on the road yet.

However, after 50 performances at state fairs, arenas, and casinos, Clay’s Solo Tour was, indeed, a full summer of fun. Fans recognized many of the staff from the Independent Tour, including the back-up singers, band members and even Sarge, the bus driver.

One of the highlights of this tour was the James Taylor Medley.  Angela, Jacob and Quiana joined Clay in singing five hits from Taylor.  Carole King wrote the last song in the medley.  With You’ve Got A Friend, the four singers all took a turn as the lead.  A bit of competition usually ended the song as the four musicians all tried to be the person who could hold the last note the longest.  It was great music and lots of fun.

Did any of you attend the Summer of 2004 tour?   Do you think any of this years Idols will launch a large tour like the “Not A Tour”?

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