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American Masters: Troubadours: Carole King/James Taylor & The Rise Of The Singer-Songwriter

Airs Friday, December 30, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: James Taylor and Carole King

In the wake of the turbulent 1960s, a new style of song and songwriter came to the fore – a style marked by vulnerable introspection and raw, naked emotion. Backed by little more than a lone acoustic guitar or simple piano, these exciting voices descended upon Los Angeles, the emerging epicenter of the American music scene, and the Troubadour, the famed West Hollywood club that nurtured this community of gifted young artists – and blossoming critical, commercial sensations.

Neil Young performing as part of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Balboa Stadium, San Diego, Calif., December 21, 1969.
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Above: Neil Young performing as part of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Balboa Stadium, San Diego, Calif., December 21, 1969.

Interweaving the intriguing story of the club that cemented their musical legacy, "Troubadours" is a first-hand account of the genesis of the singer-songwriter movement, centering on the historic collaboration between Carole King and James Taylor, as well as on Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, the Eagles, Elton John and many others.

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Troubadours: Carole King/James Taylor & The Rise Of The Singer-Songwriter

Watch the full episode. See more American Masters.

Above: Watch the full 90-minute documentary "Troubadours: Carole King / James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter."

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Song Montage: Carole King/James Taylor & The Rise Of The Singer-Songwriter

Above: Concert special starring Carole King and James Taylor filmed at their 2007 performances celebrating the 50th anniversary of Los Angeles' famed Troubadour nightclub 40 years after Taylor urged King to emerge as an artist from behind her piano at the very same club. King and Taylor perform 12 songs, including stunning performances of the pair's most beloved hits such as King's "So Far Away" and "It's Too Late" as well as Taylor's "Carolina in My Mind" and "Fire and Rain" to name just a few.