Sherry Kondor On Mother & Client Carole King’s Rock Hall Induction: ‘It Means A Hell Of A Lot To Her’

Way over Yonder:
Dave Hogan / Getty Images
– Way over Yonder:
Carole King plays the Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park on July 3, 2016, in London.
Carole King has received many accolades over the years – four Grammy Awards; induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a songwriter; the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song and named a Kennedy Center Honoree – but her daughter/manager Sherry Kondor, of Good Noize / CK Productions, explains that there’s something extra special about being inducted into the Rock Hall as a performer. 
The legendary singer/songwriter will be inducted by Taylor Swift, with performances by Swift and Jennifer Hudson.  
Pollstar: What was it like growing up with Carole King as a mom?    
Sherry Kondor: Growing up with her and my dad as parents … watching songwriters do their thing seemed really natural to me. It seemed strange to me that moms would just stay home and cook dinner and dads would go to work back then, like the neighbors that lived near us in New Jersey. … It was fun, too, for me because I learned a lot about what makes a good song, and they would actually ask me for my opinion. 
I don’t think I realized that my parents were respected in their field until my mom became a star. … When I was 9 years old in 1971 one day I went to school and somebody said, “Your mom woke me up on my clock radio this morning.” I looked at them like, “What are you talking about?” And then I realized that she was all over the radio.
Carole King
Brian Rasic / Getty Images
– Carole King
headlines British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park on July 3, 2016, in London.
And what about managing her career? 
I never imagined myself her manager in a million years. I found my way into management through Jesse McCartney. … And then my mother in 2011 said to me, “Do you think you could manage me?” It took me by surprise. I thought “Will it get in the way of our relationship?” And she says, “I don’t think it will.” And sure enough, it worked so well. She knows that I’m looking out for her as a person first and that I respect whatever she wants to do. And for me, it’s nice knowing I can speak my mind … nobody understands where I’m coming from better than my mother, and I think no one understands where she’s coming from better than me. 
I [came] along at that part of her career where she really didn’t want to write more songs or do many more shows – however, I totally respect that. … Because I’m her daughter, she’s more open when I do suggest things that she should do, for instance, the Broadway musical. I think if it was anyone else, she would have felt trapped or that they were trying to convince her of something for their own interests. 
What does it mean to Carole to be recognized in the Rock Hall as a performer?
I think it means a hell of a lot to her. There are a lot of accolades that are important to her, but this one was something that she really, really wanted for a number of years. She had expressed to me, “Gosh, I really want to win that as an artist.” When we got the news she was just pretty ecstatic – more than I’d seen for other things. And the fact that she’s going to the awards is pretty remarkable in itself because she spends most of her time in Idaho.

What makes her such a great performer?
It comes from her open heart. When she’s on stage she’s giving her real self. She puts it all out there and she just goes out there unfiltered as her loving-hearted, natural self. … You can feel there’s a heart-to-heart connection between her and the audience.  
Carole King
Photo by Samir Hussein/Redferns
– Carole King
Carole King basks in the adulation of her fans at Hyde Park in London.

It brought them back to a time when they were young and innocent. … Her music has the power to do that forever. Taylor Swift’s generation – a lot of people in that generation connect the music with their relationships with their parents. And so, it also brings them back to a simpler time.  …
It was overwhelming to see 65,000 people amassed in front of her just singing along and crying in the London sunset. It was a high point in my life and probably hers.  
You bring up Taylor Swift and you can’t listen to Taylor without thinking of Carole King and her influence. 
There’s definitely a direct thread from Carole to Taylor.  
What’s next for Carole King? 
She has been mostly working on writing a novel, which I think she’s enjoying learning how to write a novel as much as she’s enjoying writing the novel.  
She wrote a song this year with Jennifer Hudson and Jamie Hartman for the movie “Respect.” That was fun for her to do. She hadn’t written a song with anybody in so many years. But of course, nobody knows how to write for assignment like Carole. And she and Jennifer really hit it off. … they found a real connection, and hopefully [the song] gets nominated for an Academy Award.  
And then there’s going to be a Troubadour reunion tour film [“Carole King & James Taylor: Just Call Out My Name”]. And that will be airing on CNN. It’s produced and directed by Frank Marshall, who did that wonderful Bee Gees movie.
Anything you wanted to add? 
What people think about Carole King as an earthy, kind, warm person is exactly who she is. There is no making it look that way. She is really, truly that natural woman.