Carole King Back In The Spotlight

Carole King headshot, musician, photo CBS

For millions of Americans, Carole King's songs are woven, like a tapestry, you might say, through the very fabric of their own lives.

As CBS Correspondent Russ Mitchell reports, the good news for Carole King fans is she is still at it. The pop icon is writing and performing and touring again, singing her heart out on what she calls the "Living Room Tour."

"I'm having so much fun, " King told Mitchell. "All I have to do is be myself and sing the songs and they love it."

As Carole King is happy to tell you, she's 63 -- and proud of it. And she has no problem listing some of the nicest compliments she's received over the years.

"'I love your song' or 'Your song really touched me' or 'Your song got me through my divorce' or 'We sang your song at our wedding'... 'My son and I became closer because of your song'," said the legendary artist.

For Carole King, serious song writing started early at Queens College, in New York. That's where she hung out with a couple of other aspiring young songwriters --Neil Sedaka and Paul Simon. And that's also where she met Gerry Goffin who would become her husband and her first collaborator.

Carole King recalls the first song they wrote together was "Will You Love Me Tomorrow." Carole was 18 and her husband was 21.

"That was the one that allowed Gerry to quit his day job," she said.

"Will You Love Me Tomorrow" was a hit for the Shirelles in 1961. After that, it was just one hit after another. Carole King and Gerry Goffin were two full-time song writers -- with two little girls -- and dozens of hits.

King told Mitchell that generally she would write the melody and her husband would write the lyrics.

"Often I would write the melody first -- like up on the roof -- and he filled in the blanks," she said.

King estimates that she and Coffin have written 500 songs together -- including one for their babysitter.

"She actually could sing and we knew that when she came to work for us as our babysitter," said King. "We just got her to sing on the demo which we might've even written for someone else and that demo didn't get to anybody else."

The demo was for the song "Locomotion" and the babysitter, Eva Boyd, became Little Eva.

"We lost a babysitter... Guess who got all the work?" King joked. "I was writing songs and cleaning house and taking care of the kids, but oh well, that's the life of a woman."
  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com

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