The following are some of the hit songs of the duo and the stories behind them.
Jin wrote “You Have a Friend”, and she said it was a song that was written quickly. When Taylor heard it the next day, he knew it would be a huge hit.
“As soon as I heard it, I was like, man, that’s it. That was a great song,” Tyler recalled.
At the time, King was recording her own album, but she allowed Taylor to get ahead, and he released the song as a single in his album.
“It’s extraordinary,” Taylor said of King’s generous friendship.
“hearing [Taylor’s] Performing it for the first time, it’s like god. It’s perfect,” Kim said.
Taylor recorded the song and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Singer in 1971. This song is number one on the Billboard 100 chart.
In the 2010 Troubadour Reunion Tour, Taylor and King played the song together. King played the piano and Taylor played the guitar.
“After I played’You Have a Friend’, tears shed on their faces, and then in those 5 minutes and 12 seconds, everyone got along well,” Jin said.
“Carolina in My Mind”
When traveling to a small island off the coast of Spain, Taylor missed his hometown of North Carolina. At the time, Taylor was recording his first album at Apple Records, the record company of the Beatles in London.
Taylor wrote tunes about southern sunshine, moonlight, and old friends. He also mentioned a woman named Karen who traveled with him to Formentera, Spain.
After the song is written, the challenge is to record the song.
Taylor knew at that moment that the “Carolina in My Heart” would be very popular.
“I know this is extraordinary,” Taylor said. This song appeared on his 1968 album “James Taylor”.
“(You make me feel like) a natural woman”
What is a “born woman”? The song was written as a grateful woman thanking her lover, but Aretha turned it into a broader statement about the power of a confident woman who is in peace with herself. The song says: “Before I met you, life was so cold. But your love is the key to my inner peace.”
Kim made this song her own by creating her own rendition for her solo album “Tapestry”. Her lite version has a slower rhythm and a more prominent piano composition.
This was also the inspiration for the title of her memoir “Carol King: A Natural Woman” published in 2012.
“Fire and Rain”
Taylor wrote “Fire and Rain” in 1968, telling about his experience coping with drug addiction and the death of his childhood friend Suzanne Schnerr, who committed suicide. He was 20 years old at the time.
Although this song dealt with a heavy theme, it was quick and simple to write for Taylor. He said that it was almost therapeutic to make the song.
“This song relieves a lot of tension. There are things I need to get rid of, or at least get rid of me, or appear in front of me, or at least have some other relationships, instead of feeling them in my heart, or tell others otherwise, or just take them as A form is presented in front of me so that I can say, “They are there,” you know, externalize it in some way. That part is difficult, and there is a feeling that needs to be expressed in this way. But this It’s actually a relief, like laughing or sighing,” Taylor told NPR.
The song says: “I have seen fire, I have seen rain. I have seen sunny days, and I think they will never end. I have seen lonely times when I can’t find friends. But I always think I’m meeting again Up.”
The phrase “cannot find a friend” really stood out to Jin. She said, “You have a friend” is a response to “Fire and Rain”. According to Rolling Stone magazine, Kim told him after writing a song about friendship, “This is your friend.”
The personal and emotional lyrics are connected with the audience, becoming Taylor’s first hit song when it is released / rising to No. 3 on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart.
“I like to play it for people. Almost always, when I play that song, I will go back to that place, back to how I felt when I wrote it. This is very rare, after playing it 1,500 times,” Taylor told American songwriter.
“Beautiful” is a cheerful soft rock song that conveys a simple message: love yourself and show your love to the world.
Jin said that the song came from her spontaneously. While riding on the New York subway, she realized that the way she sees others reflects her own feelings.
The choir said, “You have to get up every morning/with a smile on your face/show the world all the love in your heart/then people will treat you better/you will find, yes, you will/you think you are beautiful .”
“I didn’t know the professional details of this song until a fellow composer pointed it out: there is no rhyme in the chorus-unless you extend “will” to “weel” as the wrong rhyme of “feel”.
She added: “I still believe that everyone is beautiful in some ways. By seeing the beauty of others, we make ourselves more beautiful.”
This song is the inspiration for the name of the Broadway musical, titled “Beauty: Carol King Musical”, which was performed on Broadway from 2014 to 2019. It records Jin’s beginnings as a singer-songwriter and her professional and personal partnership with Gao Fen.
The show received seven Tony nominations and won two.