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Tribute in the Columbia: Carole King

Zachary Araki, A&E Editor

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Executive Director of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts Roy Blackwood looks to round up Fanfare by presenting a tribute to the songwriter Carole King.

“Tapestry: The Carole King Songbook” will take the Columbia Theatre stage on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Blackwood said, “When a person experiences a live performance, when they leave that performance, they are changed to some degree, sometimes more, sometimes less, but they are changed, and they’re a different person. I guarantee you they are going to be happy when they leave that performance unless they just got themselves in the wrong place.”

Over time, King accumulated a number of achievements including being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and being awarded the National Academy of Songwriters’ Lifetime Achievement Award, the Johnny Mercer Award and the BMI Icon Award. In 2012, King became the first woman to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. King’s solo album “Tapestry” sold more than 25 million units worldwide, making it the best-selling album by a female artist for a quarter of a century.

“Carole King was such a phenomenon,” said Blackwood. “She wrote all kinds of successful hits for other artists long before she ever started performing herself her own music. When she started performing her own music, her fame just went like wildfire.”

After seeing a King tribute performance, Blackwood knew that he wanted to bring such a performance to Hammond.

“It’s just such a fabulous story, and the music is really good too, and it’s music you would recognize,” said Blackwood. “Maybe some of it’s elevator music to you nowadays, but you would still recognize it.”

Suzanne Davis, a singer, represents King in this homage. Blackwood discussed how Davis fits the role.

“She has been a very widely accepted artist in Canada and was recording also in the United States,” said Blackwood. “She was gaining a huge following here. Because of the match of her voice and the fact that physically she resembles Carole King to a certain extent, it makes a very believable story.”

Blackwood hopes the performances will help attendees “grow and understand the broader musical world.”

“They’re gonna be happy, and they’re gonna be enriched,” said Blackwood. “Why wouldn’t a person trade a few dollars for that kind of experience? There’s lots and lots of things happening in the world that are not very pleasant. Things that people encounter on the stage of Columbia Theatre are designed to be pleasant, to be informative, to be entertaining and to be uplifting.”

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