Philly Pops take on Carole King’s tapestry of hits

Philly Pops take on Carole King’s tapestry of hits

Carole King’s iconic album “Tapestry” gave us the hits “I Feel the Earth Move,” “It’s Too Late” and “So Far Away.”

But she also co-wrote the Little Eva early ‘60s pop hit, “The Loco-Motion.”

Suffice to say, if you’re not deep into the works of King, you’ll be in for a few pleasant surprises at the Philly Pops presentation of “The Carole King Songbook,” Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Kimmel Center.

“We do a lot of songs people have no idea she wrote,” says featured vocalist and Tony nominee Liz Callaway. “They sent me a list of the songs and as I went through them, I said ‘That looks familiar; I had no idea she wrote that.’ It’s interesting to see the audiences as well. They know the words to every single song.”

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King started out in the music biz as a teenage Brill Building songwriter whose partner was her husband, Gerry Goffin. The hits from this period include “Up on the Roof” for the Drifters, “Pleasant Valley Sunday” for the Monkees, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” for Aretha Franklin and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” for the Shirelles. By 1970, she had split with Goffin and moved to LA, where she recorded “Tapestry.”

“As a kid [“Tapestry”] resonated with me, and as I listened to it through the years, each time I appreciate it on another level,” CalIaway says.

This is a season of King. “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” played to raves on Broadway in 2014 (and is coming to Philly in March), and last month King, at age 73, received Kennedy Center Honors for her lifetime of artistic achievement.

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“The Carole King Songbook” will feature the 65-piece Pops orchestra backing guest vocalists Allison Blackwell, a Philadelphia-area native currently in “The Lion King,” Bryce Ryness, recently in Philly with “Matilda the Musical,” and Callaway, who was nominated for a Tony for her role in “Baby.”

“She’s one of the top American songwriters,” says Philly Pops music director Michael Krajewski of King. “Put her up there with Gershwin, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin — she’s kept that tradition going.”

If you go:
“The Carole King Songbook” with the Philly Pops

Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Kimmel Center
300 S. Broad St.
$35 to $125, 215-670-2300