On this day in music history: July 31, 1971 - “You’ve Got A Friend” by James Taylor hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written by Carole King, it is the biggest hit for the Boston, MA born singer, songwriter and musician. After the major breakthrough success James Taylor has with his second studio album “Sweet Baby James” in 1970, he and producer Peter Asher (Peter & Gordon) return to the studio in January of 1971 to begin recording the follow up. While working on his third album, Taylor contributes background vocals and guitar to his friend Carole King’s album “Tapestry”, which she is working on at the same time. King records the song “You’ve Got A Friend” on her album first, and after hearing it, James asks if he can record it for his album and King says “yes”. Issued as the first single from Taylor’s third album “Mud Slide Slim And The Blue Horizon” in May of 1971, it quickly becomes an instant classic and a mainstay on top 40 pop radio. Entering the Hot 100 at #80 on June 5, 1971, it reaches the top of the chart eight weeks later. “You’ve Got A Friend” also wins Taylor his first Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, as well as winning songwriter Carole King the Grammy Award for Song Of The Year in 1972. “You’ve Got A Friend” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
thanks as ever to Jeff Harris at his wondrous Behind The Grooves