A journey of surprise and nostalgia
"If we only played the hits the show would be too predictable. The hits are the old friends, the rarities are the new gems.”
Carole King is one of the most successful female songwriters, with 118 hits that she has written featuring on the Billboard Hot 100. While she has written hundreds of songs for other musicians, she has also released 25 solo albums, including Tapestry, which held the record for the most weeks at number one by a female artist for more than 20 years. She has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, won four Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – once as a songwriter and once as a performer. She was also the first woman to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and is a 2015 Kennedy Centre Honouree.
So there’s no doubt about it. King has certainly made her mark on the music world.
But what about all the songs that didn’t make it to number one? Or didn’t even chart at all? What about the rare finds that King wrote or performed, that never really saw the light of day?
A new production by FOJAM is bringing those to the fore.
“Carole King is one of the greatest living songwriters and has had a huge impact on contemporary music,” FOJAM artistic director Lior Albeck-Ripka told The AJN. “She [also] happens to be a Jewish woman – making her a perfect fit for FOJAM to celebrate. Because Carole started out writing songs for other singers, there are some incredible songs in her catalogue that people wouldn’t necessarily associate as being Carole songs and it’s always fun to introduce new things to our audiences, whether that be a new artist they haven’t heard of or a new version of a song that they thought they knew.”
Carole King Hits & Rarities features an all-star cast of incredible and dynamic performers including Emily Lubitz who said the show is diverse and exciting.
“[King] is one of the greatest songwriters of all time. She’s brilliant and humble and comes across as a daggy Jewish grandma – she’s the coolest.”
“If we only played the hits the show would be too predictable. The hits are the old friends, the rarities are the new gems.” Emily Lubitz
While Lubitz grew up in Caulfield, she now lives in the Byron hinterland with her family. While they have taken their Jewish traditions with them, Lubitz said FOJAM represents a “kind of inclusive and artistic Jewishness that hasn’t always been easy to find for me” which is why she’s so excited to perform alongside the amazing cast
“We have the most amazing backing band led by local musical legend Jonathan Zion on bass, Luke Howard, local Jewish contemporary composer and pianist, Fran Swinn on guitar and Andrew Sylvio on drums,” Albeck-Ripka explained. “The dynamic line-up of singers are a wonderful cross section of emerging to established contemporary touring performers and the show will be pure magic.”
For Lubitz, while the well-known songs are fun to perform, it’s the ‘rarities’ that she’s thrilled to be bringing to the stage.
“It’s important to highlight the more obscure songs. Sometimes they are no less deserving of attention, it’s just that they went under the radar when they were released for one reason or another,” she said. “Carole’s songs are so iconic, if we only played the hits the show would be too predictable. The hits are the old friends, the rarities are the new gems.”
Carole King Hits & Rarities is at Memo Music Hall on March 22 and 23. For tickets, visit fojam.com