You’ve Got A Friend

June 5th Celebrates You’ve Got A Friend

On June 5th 1971, James Taylor’s song called, “You’ve Got a Friend” was released. The song was written by Carole King. It was first recorded by King, and included in her album called, Tapestry.

On June 5th 1971, James Taylor’s song called, “You’ve Got a Friend” was released. The song was written by Carole King. It was first recorded by King, and included in her album called, Tapestry.

Taylor’s version was released as a single, and reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. The James Taylor version also spent one week at the top of the Easy Listening charts, it was also the number one song in 1971.

James Taylor and Carole King performed “You’ve Got a Friend” together in 2010 during their Troubadour Reunion Tour.

Today’s YouTube video clip brought to you by user name, Kanaal Van Kipvanzjl of James Taylor singing it live at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 2009, “You’ve Got A Friend.”

How did James Taylor meet Carole King?

Taylor and King had known each other for a long time. One of James’s boyhood friends was a musician named Danny Kortchmar who performed in a group called “The City” along with Carole. Kortchmar introduced the two. In 1971, Taylor did a 27-city tour of the United States and King was his opening act.

In a quirk of timing, Taylor and King were recording in Los Angeles down the street from one another at the same time. Carole was working on her album called, “Tapestry” and James on his album called, “Sweet Baby James”.

James even wrote the liner notes for Carole’s album, so he knew the type of music Carole King wrote, as well.

They happened to run into one another one afternoon, and Taylor told King that he liked “You’ve Got a Friend” very much. Carole’s response was more than gracious; she suggested that he record his own version of the song.

Taylor did not just record King’s song verbatim; he made just the slightest change in the lyrics. Carole’s version begins with “when you’re down and troubled and you need some loving care”, but Taylor changed it to “when you’re down and troubled and you need a helping hand”.

Rumor has it that Carole was upset with changing her lyrics, but, when she heard James’s version; she told him “James, I have no problem at all with your version of my song. Those lyric changes don’t bother me one bit.”

Over the years, King’s song was recorded by many other artists as well, including Dusty Springfield, Barry Manilow, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Alanis Morissette, Petula Clark, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ella Fitzgerald, Roberta Flack, Al Green, Tom Jones, Johnny Mathis, and Barbra Streisand. It even appeared on American Idol when Scotty McCrerry performed it.

But the song is still most closely associated with James Taylor and Carole King. It was good to them, too, earning Carole the Grammy for Song of the Year and James for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

In lieu of today’s story, hope this song resonates a spark in you, in someone in your life that reminds you, “You Got a Friend,” have a wonderful weekend.

Written and Designed by JD Mitchell

J.D Mitchell Design Studio

jdmitchelldesigns@gmail.com

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