1. MIke says

    She’s always been a class act. “Tapestry” was a phenomena, and later Rolling Stone wrote a particularly nasty review of one of her albums and she just wrote a letter to the editor that stated “It was unnecessarily hurtful.” The next issue was flooded with “Bravo, Carole!”

  2. Dback says

    Jack, there are roughly 5 women from 1960-1980 that you need to know, from whence most pop music sung by women flows. They are: Joan Baez, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and Carole King. (You could also throw Linda Ronstadt in there, along with Janis Joplin, Bette Midler and Joni Mitchell, and I wouldn’t complain.) Then the 80’s came and brought us Debbie Harry (well, late 70’s, but never mind), Annie Lennox, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna, then new soul divas Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey (early 90’s). Oh, and lurking around never far from the surface but only recently gotten her long-overdue respect: Cher. Everyone else builds or spins off of the originals.

  3. says


    I’d expand your list, at the very least to add Carly Simon and Dolly Parton — both amazing songwriters whose songs (and singing) inspired many many others.

    As for Carole King, the woman is extraordinary in every way.

  4. Dback says

    Oh yes, Sparks, I love me some Carly–but I’d say she’s definitely in the King-Ronstadt-Mitchell tradition (though her smokey alto is in a class by itself). The only reason I didn’t mention Dolly is because country has its own pantheon of goddesses (Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Patsy Cline, etc.). And I also overlooked Dionne Warwick and Dusty Springfield and Tina Turner (though she really exploded in her 80’s “comeback.”) Straight men who think that 60’s and 70’s music was nothing but all-male bands really need to do some homework!

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