The Carole King & James Taylor Story is another production from Night Owl Shows, and judging from the full to capacity venue and audience reactions to the show today, Night Owl have obviously chosen their subject material well.
Just where do you start for a selection of songs from these two artists, particularly in the case of Carole King, one of the most successful songwriters and recording artists of all time? The answer obviously is at the beginning and we started off with the song that really launched the songwriting career of Carole King – “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”. This song was written with her then husband (and lyricist on this one) Gerry Goffin when Carole was only 19 years old. Originally recorded by the Shirelles, it was nice to hear this song in its original slower tempo format. It is now hard to believe that this song was originally banned on many US radio stations due to its implications of non-marital sex.
Hannah Richards (Carole King) and Dan Clews (James Taylor) have a relaxed on stage relationship that perfectly suits the laid back feel of many of these songs and that is something that the audience picked up on very easily here with a little encouragement to “sing along”. Hannah Richards has a voice to suit the Carole King songs (not forgetting her keyboard skills) and the relaxed vocals and deceptively “easy looking, but not actually so” guitar style of Dan Clews also matched the music of James Taylor well, and together on stage this just all worked and time passed a little too quickly leaving you wanting one more song.
This show is simply what the promotional material claims it to be, a tribute to not only the enduring music of Carole King and James Taylor, but also to their enduring friendship, and there could only ever be one closing song to this show – “You’ve Got a Friend”.
Review by Tom King (c) 2021
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