Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? - Carole King
The whole female singer/songwriter thing of the sixties and seventies began with the success of the husband and wife songwriting partnerships that came out of the Brill building in New York at the beginning of the decade. These were Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil ("You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling", We've got to get out of this Place", "I Just Can't Help Believing", "Uptown" etc), Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich ("Da Doo Ron Ron", "Be My Baby", "River Deep, Mountain High" and "Chapel of Love" etc) and Gerry Goffin and Carole King, the first of the three teams that effectively opened the door for the others.
In the early 1960's the Brill Building in New York was the go-to place if you were a recording artist or record label and were looking for potential hits. Scores of song publishing companies had their offices in the building, each with its own upright piano for the painstaking fashioning of new tunes. .
Carole King's musical pedigree was established before she even arrived there: high school classmate Neil Sedaka penned hit "Oh Carol" in praise of her charms and she dated Paul Simon. She then went to Queens College New York where she met Gerry Goffin and they too dated and began to write songs together. In 1959, at the age of 17, Carole became pregnant necessitating the couple's premature departure from Queens to find work, and a hasty marriage. A year later, they were able to quit their day jobs when the Shirelles hit the number one spot in the US charts with their composition "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" (see post December 17, 2017), to take up songwriting full time, King writing the tunes, Goffin the lyrics.
After a string of hits including "Take Good Care of My Baby", "Up On the Roof", "the Loco-Motion", "One Fine Day", "Oh No Not My Baby", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "Don't Bring Me Down" to name but a few, the pair divorced in 1968. King moved to Laurel Canyon in LA, then fast becoming the country suburb of choice for new age and West Coast music stars, and home of the likes of Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt. In 1970 she recorded her first solo album "Writer", comprising mostly Goffin/King compositions, but it was her next record "Tapestry", with nine of the songs written post the Goffin partnership, that became one of the best selling LP's of all time.
Here is Carole's rendering of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" from "Tapestry", taking on new depths of meaning when you remember that this was the song that set things rolling and that the cause of their break-up was Goffin's serial infidelities. The fact that he wrote the words, lends a bitter sense of foreboding to King's vocal, ten years and a million miles from the the touching, hopeful innocence of the Shirelles' original.