This young married couple, still in their teens, shared an instinct for classic pop song construction, but it was Carole's lifelong desire for a career in music that convinced Gerry to give it a try. High school friend Neil Sedaka got them an audition with Don Kirshner, and the rest was history.
Their songs were always impeccably structured. Their music was for teens and dealt with themes of love, rejection, and jealously and teenagers dealing with them on their own terms. Carole's heart tugging melodies and Gerry's lyrics captured the tone and the vernacular of their audience's inner experiences with uncanny accuracy.
Carole had a gift for arrangement, knowing how to build a song to the hook through subtle chord manipulation and instrumental counterpoint. To help sell her songs, she began low cost demos to demonstrate her ideas to the producers . These demos were so good that often the producer only had to copy them with the proper instrumentation to have a hit record.
Kirshner soon realizing that he had began increasing King's production jobs in addition to first chance at every hit to be written. With Sedaka busy with his singing career, Goffin & King were Aldon Music's only bankable asset until Mann & Weil came along in late 1961. A few months later Don Kirshner, head of Aldon Music, rewarded King with the release of "It Might as Well Rain Until September" under her name, instead of it being given to Bobby Vee as planned. "It Might as Well Rain Until September" reached #22 on the charts.
Kirshner decided that Goffin & King were capable of running a record label and put the in charge of Dimension Records. For over a year it had a more consistent track record than any of its competition, including Phil Spector's Philles Records. The label was sold in mid-63 as part of Kirshner's deal with Screen Gems and continued for another few years.. Goffin & King were assigned to bolster the careers of Screen Gems mediocre rooster while taking care of Kirshner's clients. By 1964 they had come up with another twenty three hits, but their best work was behind them and the British Invasion had begun.
However Goffin & King were heroes to these English groups. The Beatles recorded "Chains" and McCartney was quoted as saying he wished he could write as well. On their first U.S. tour meeting them was a priority. The Beatles were not the only British band that felt that way.
They with Phil Spector wrote for the Righteous Brothers, and while continuing to write for other artists, with an increasing amount of the songs being rhythm and blues or soul. By 1965, their talents were becoming less important as groups like the Byrds, The Young Rascals, and the Beach Boys, set the tone for other upcoming artists who wrote their own material.
Kirshner responded to the changing times with a renewed faith in simple music, now targeted the new generation to young to be smoking pot and protesting on campus. The Monkees were an instant sensation and Kirshner turned to Goffin & King who gave him "Pleasant Valley Sunday." By 1967 Goffin & Kings marriage was crumbling due to creative disenchantment, internal pressures, and the times. They were divorced with King moving to California where she started a group called The City and came into her own as a performer on Lou Adler's Ode label. Though they since had written together, when King found her solo niche, the Goffin & King team had ended.
Carole King and Gerry Goffin were inducted into the Rock and Hall
of Fame in 1990