Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Carole King Moment

I am having a Carole King moment. I have started reading her book "A Natural Woman: A Memoir" where she chronicled her remarkable journey from young mother to a much-awarded musical icon with far-reaching influence to more generations to come.

Her songs had transcended the passage of time by weaving beautiful rich hues in the tapestry of life. Her songs are timeless and powerful often speaking to simple yet deep emotions. With passion and chutzpah. Vulnerable and strong.

This November, her musical “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" opens in Broadway. This is a much-awaited musical of a passionate Brooklyn girl who followed her dreams into securing legendary status in music history.

She is one-of-a-kind, a prolific singer-songwriter who had given the world countless musical hits. She had been revered as the most successful female songwriter in pop history. A Songwriters Hall of Fame awardee and Lifetime Grammy awardee, she is also slated to receive the MusiCares 2014 Person of the Year in January in recognition of her amazing body of work as well as her charitable works here and abroad.

My favorite Carole King songs: A Natural Woman, I Feel the Earth Move, Now and Forever, You’ve Got a Friend, Tapestry, and of course Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.

Carole King was honored at the White House as the recipient of the 2013 Gershwin Prize for Popular song. King is the first woman to receive the award, which was created in 2007 by the Library of Congress to recognize "the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world’s culture". http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/07/02/honoring-carole-king-white-house

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

Carole and Gerry Goffin (her first husband) penned a song that became a no. 1 song for the Shirelles. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow was covered by several artists. Here are my favorites:

Carole King (with James Taylor)

Carole King (with Willie Nelson)


Lorrie Morgan

Amy Winehouse

Leslie Grace- a native New Yorker born of Dominican parents had a bilingual, bachata cover which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Radio Airplay,

Gloria Estefan, Trisha Yearwood, and Emile Sande at the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize show

Jocelyne, a French singer recorded this version- Reviendra-t-il encore?

Lil Malmkvist recorded a Swedish version called "Hur blir det i morgon" in 1961.


Neil Sedaka went to Highschool with Carol who he claimed to be as his girlfriend. Years later, he wrote this song for her.

Carol’s then-husband Gerry Goffin wrote a humorous answer.

Now and Forever


My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the ever changing view
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold

And I started to sing her songs again. Which would be a disservice to her. But I have a feeling she wouldn't mind at all. :)

Addendum: June 16, 2014. Carole King's first husband, Gerry Goffin, passed away this week. It is a testament to his greatness as a lyricist that music lovers still vividly recall the words to the songs of that bygone era. His partnership with Carole King had produced countless hits that had survived the test of time. He was indeed the poet laureate of teenage pop.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Learning the "Cup Game"

There I sat in front of my computer completely mesmerized by the repetitive rhythm of hand clapping and plastic cup banging on the table. The video tutorial looked easy until you have to contend with uncooperative plastic cups with minds of their own.

My son was impressed when he heard me use the word “twerking” after the Miley Cyrus debacle on the VMA awards show. This time, I was trying to raise my 'hip factor' status in my son's eyes, just to dazzle him more that I can learn new tricks that I can show off at the next party. But it seems easier to teach our dog Boomer to stop being psychotic when he sees other dogs in the street.

My hand-eye coordination had been used up with the Tetris games of my youth. With too much neurons that I have to conserve for my real work, I cannot seem to match the singing and hand routine in sync.

Singing the “When I’m Gone” song while performing the Cups routine is proving to be a major challenge for me. Ugh. I know it has something to do with muscle memory but it's difficult to concentrate when I'm still struggling with a perfect pitch. It’s something similar to knowing the next Gangnam style dance step by heart without looking like I’m flailing like a mad woman.

My childhood game of Penpen de sarapen should have prepared me for the dexterity needed for this Cup game. But it’s not working for me so far. I am hesitant to admit that the Cup routine is maybe two generations too late for me. Fail.

“Cups/ When I’m Gone" is a radio-friendly remix of the song that Anna Kendrick performs in Pitch Perfect. The title takes its name from Kendrick's percussion instrument: a plastic cup, which she shuffles around like a person playing the Cup Game.


Performed by 600 Irish choir kids-

Accapella cover

Just a hint of nostalgia...

Pen pen de sarapen,
de kutsilyo de almasen
Haw, haw de carabao batutin

Sipit namimilipit ginto't pilak
Namumulaklak sa tabi ng dagat.

Sayang pula tatlong pera
Sayang puti tatlong salapi