Arts October 19, 2021

Feel the Earth Move

From the Hall of Fame to saving Idaho’s forests, Carole King’s legacy continues

On the 50th anniversary of her multi-platinum album, “Tapestry,” Carole King is not slowing down.

The singer-songwriter has been in the spotlight again lately, in the long-awaited Aretha Franklin biopic, “Respect.”

King teamed up with Jennifer Hudson, who played the legendary role of Ms. Franklin in the film, to co-write the film’s only original song, titled “Here I Am (Singing My Way Home).”

The long-time Idaho resident said in a recent interview with Variety, “I haven’t written a song for quite a while. I was a little rusty. I’m mostly focused on other things; I have a whole other life that I’ve been doing for the last 30 years. What you see in my background is the Idaho forest, and I have been working to try to protect the Northern Rockies ecosystem for so long. It’s really hard to do, because I speak for little, small grassroots groups, and there’s a whole big movement that is going in a different direction. But I’m hanging in there and doing everything I can. That’s what I’ve been focused on as my cause in my later life, more than songwriting. This forest needs my help.”

In October, King will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a performer, after previously qualifying as a songwriter in 1990. It’s such a big deal to her that she’s actually attending the ceremony.

Said King with a laugh, “Yeah, I’m leaving Idaho to attend. I’ve always been reclusive and kind of an introvert and a hermit. I don’t go many places.” So, to leave the refuge of her home in the Gem State underscores the importance of the honor.

What’s next for King? Rumor has it she’s writing a book, which will no doubt be eagerly pounced upon by her legions of fans, if her 2012 New York Times best-selling memoir, “A Natural Woman,” is any indication.

But what’s different now for King, who turns 80 next year, is instead of the mild-mannered, folksy, natural woman who graced the cover of “Tapestry,” these days her passions are more political than personal. “I got involved through advocating for the environment, and half my life became political,” said King. “People know, but they don’t know how much time I’ve spent on Capitol Hill, working with politicians and that whole world. It’s what my novel’s about. It is part of who I am.”

This article appears in the Fall 2021 Issue of Sun Valley Magazine.