Another King: “She Used To Pound Down”

Carole King rules. Songs I forgot she wrote but probably you guys all know:

  • I’m Into Something Good (Herman’s Hermits)
  • Chains (Beatles)
  • The Loco-Motion (Grand Funk Railroad)
  • The Porpoise Song (Theme from “Head” The Monkees Movie)
  • Up On The Roof (The Drifters)

I included the above because I enjoy the Scottish punk versions of things, and go Monkees of course. In describing Up On The Roof:

Appropriately enough, the song was born among the rat-race noise of a crowded city street. “Carole came up with the melody in the car – an a cappella melody,” …

A peaceful moment above the fray would have seemed like heaven to King – a young woman with two children and a demanding full-time job in a hit factory. The sophisticated arrangement was overseen in the studio by King herself, who was barely 20 years old at the time. “Carole used to hang in there with us tough,” Drifters member Charlie Thomas told Emerson. “She used to pound down. She wasn’t no hard woman – a girl, at her age. But she played the piano and it was amazing the songs she gave us.

6 Replies to “Another King: “She Used To Pound Down””

  1. Yes, she was a master. I didn’t know she wrote “I’m Into Someting Good,” but I was aware of the others. There were many more. Interesting that you don’t hear much about her album Tapestry anymore. It was one of the dominant albums of the early 70’s, no small feat during that time. It was everywhere. Everyone owned it or was familiar with it. It was so ubiquitous that you tended to overlook how good it was.

    The second rock concert I ever attended was Herman’s Hermits supported by The Animals. Eric Burdon was the most memorable performer. At the climax of songs, he’d do the James Brown routine of throwing off his jacket, followed by a helper walking on stage to drape it back over his shoulder and pat his back to calm him down. Rock and roll theater at its primitive finest.

  2. Carole King wrote the Animals song “Don’t Bring Me Down.”

    Burdon claimed that for years he had no idea who was responsible for writing “Don’t Bring Me Down,” which cracked the Top 20 in the spring of 1966. “I didn’t realize that it was a Goffin-King song until I was in a doctor’s office in Beverly Hills and Ms. King came in and sat next to me,” Burdon told Songfacts in 2010. “I didn’t know it was her, I was just reading a magazine and she turned to me and said, ‘You know, I hated what you did to my song.’ I didn’t know what to say, so all I said was, ‘Well, sorry.’ And then as she got up to go into the doctor’s office, she turned around and said, ‘But I got used to it.'”

  3. Wow, I didn’t know she wrote that too. That was one of the songs where he’d throw off his jacket during the chorus.

    Fun fact: Eric Burdon is the eggman of “I Am the Walrus.” Allegedly he was fond of breaking raw eggs on groupies.

  4. Tapestry was omnipresent into the 90’s. Like Dark Side of the Moon, completely understandable that it was on the charts for a billion weeks straight.

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