OK, so I’ve mentioned that my wife is my best friend once or twice previously. But Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” belongs on the blog for reasons beyond that (and beyond the fact that we’ve sung along with it innumerable times).
For one thing, the song was a #1 hit for James Taylor, one of Joanna’s favorite performers (his version here). Also, we’re big fans of King’s singing, and we once lived not far from her in Idaho (keeping in mind that “not far” in the West means something entirely different than it does “back East”). You can see some photos of her in Idaho on her website.
Finally, King is an amazing songwriter, producing a range of songs that most people have no idea were hers. Besides Taylor, others who had hits with King songs included the Beatles, Aretha Franklin, the Shirelles, the Everly Brothers, Dusty Springfield, the Chiffons, Bobby Vee, Little Eva, Steve Lawrence, the Drifters, Herman’s Hermits, the Byrds, the Monkees and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Her songs have been part of two great movies: “Wasn’t Born to Follow” in “Easy Rider” (1969) and “Now and Forever” in “A League of Their Own,” 23 years later. No wonder she’s in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
There are some nice versions of “You’ve Got a Friend” in which King is joined by others. She and Taylor have performed it together many times. And years ago, a televised version featured King with Céline Dion, Gloria Estefan and Shania Twain.
Lyrics here, with nice live Carole King video below.