On June 9, 1959, a young Carole King made her way to RCA’s Studio B in New York City to record the songs “Short-Mort” and “Queen of the Beach.” She was 17 at the time. She co-wrote those tunes with her partner, Gerry Goffin, who was present at the session, along with publisher Al Nevins and a young “Jerry Landis,” a.k.a. Paul Simon. That’s him on guitar in the checked shirt.
A number of recordings from this era found their way onto 2012’s Legendary Demos, which also features hits like “Natural Woman” and “You’ve Got A Friend.”
This period of King’s life is captured wonderfully in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which is currently earning raves on Broadway. The Wall Street Journal called the musical “out of control amazing,” which sounds about right.
Photos courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment Archive.