Berklee Pays Tribute to the 50th Anniversary of Carole King’s Tapestry

Featuring an all-star cast of Berklee singers and instrumentalists, the virtual concert will be streamed live on YouTube on Sunday, March 7.

February 24, 2021
Carole King

Cover art for Carole King's Tapestry

Berklee’s 2021 Signature Series continues with a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Carole King's historic album Tapestry. The virtual concert will feature some of Berklee’s most outstanding performers and arrangers, along with a very special guest appearance. The Great American Songbook: Carole King—The 50th Anniversary of Tapestry will be broadcast on Berklee’s YouTube channel on Sunday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. ET. 

Produced by Maureen McMullan ’09, the show will feature Berklee vocalists, a full rhythm section with strings and horns, dancers, track producers, and engineers. Celebrating the diversity and global nature of the cast, some of King's iconic songs have been converted into vocal duets and trios with passages translated into Spanish and Portuguese.

Released in 1971, Tapestry is King's second studio album. A universally beloved commercial and critical success, it is the eighty-first best-selling album of all time, with over 25 million copies sold. The album won four Grammy Awards: Album of the Year, Song of the Year (“You’ve Got a Friend”), Record of the Year (“It’s Too Late”), and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. In 2020, Rolling Stone ranked Tapestry as the twenty-fifth greatest album of all time. 

“It has been such a joy to work on this project with our students and to hear them infuse these timeless songs with their own artistry and unique voices.”

—Maureen McMullan ’09

One of the most successful songwriters of the latter half of the 20th century, King has written or cowritten 118 songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100. Prior to the release of Tapestry, King rose to prominence during the famed Brill Building era alongside her former husband, Gerry Goffin. At 28 years old, she wrote or cowrote every song on Tapestry, several of which had previously been hits for other artists, such as the Shirelles’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow," Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” and James Taylor’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” Half a century later, Tapestry stands as a masterpiece album, with its sincere and intimate lyrical expressions of love, interconnectedness, affirmation, yearning, and hope. 

"Carole King’s songs have endured and outlasted nearly every other trend in contemporary music and continue to carry forward from generation to generation,” said McMullan. “Her lyrics inspire others to create emotional intimacy and speak from personal experience while evoking a universal story everyone can connect with. It has been such a joy to work on this project with our students and to hear them infuse these timeless songs with their own artistry and unique voices."

Watch the concert on Sunday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. ET: 

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