Song of the Week – That Old Sweet Roll, The City; Smack Water Jack, Jo Mama; Ain’t Gonna Worry My Life Anymore, B.B. King

Carole King had two phases of mega-success.  The first was as a Brill Building songwriter with her partner and then-husband, Gerry Goffin.  The hits they penned as teens in the early ‘60s include “Up on the Roof”, “One Fine Day”, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”, and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, among others.

The second phase was as a singer-songwriter and performer.  The pinnacle of her fame during this period was the now 50-year-old album Tapestry.  It’s a classic that is in just about everyone’s record collection (if you have a record collection!).

But there was a period in between when King was doing other things.  In 1968 she was in a band called The City.  That band, which included old friend and colleague Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar (guitar), future husband Charles Larkey (bass), and Domino (as in Layla) Jim Gordon (drums).  They released one Lou Adler produced album – Now That Everything’s Been Said (1968).  One song on the record was called “That Old Sweet Roll” and was later made a hit by Blood, Sweat & Tears as renamed “Hi-De-Ho.”

By 1970, Kootch and Larkey had moved on to their next project, Jo Mama.  Their sophomore effort, J Is for Jump (1971), was a fine collection of blue-eyed-soul.  Though King didn’t play on the album, she let them release a version of “Smackwater Jack” that would also appear on Tapestry.

In 1970 King went to work for King, as in B.B. King.  Really!  B.B.’s album Indianola Mississippi Seeds was produced by Bill Szymczyk in a successful bid for crossover success from the blues market into Rock.  Carole played piano and electric piano on “Ain’t Gonna Worry My Life Anymore.”  The interplay between the two Kings sparkles.

So as you can see, King remained quite busy and prolific during her “middle” period.

Enjoy… until next week.