Classics: Roberta Flack – Killing Me Softly With His Song (Atlantic)
“Killing Me Softly With His Song…” Its title pretty much sayin’ it all as a matter of fact… And more specifically for the countless couples who danced to it at the time. Besides, considering the fact that Norman Gimbel wrote the lyrics, I suppose one can say “his song”. Although it’s not totally true, as he did it in collaboration with Lori Lieberman who performed the original recording back in 1971. Meaning we could say they sort of killed Roberta Flack with… their song from the very first time she heard it on an airline. Then that Flack sort of killed Marvin Gaye with… her song when she first performed it live in Spetember 1972. With the latter advising her to record it asap…
The opening cut to her ‘Killing Me Softly’ album, it saw the light as a single in January 1973. Flack slightly rearranging it though. Almost givin’ it like a slow Bossa Nova feel. Meanwhile sharing the duties with Hugh McCracken (guitar), Ron Carter (bass) and Ray Lucas (drums)…
The success happened to be immediate. With ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song’ allowing her to be the first (and only solo) artist to win the Grammy Award for Record Of The year’ two consecutive times. This in 1973 and 1974…
– One of the greatest songstresses of our time, Grammy Award winning Roberta Flack remains unparalleled in her ability to tell a story through her music. Her songs bringing insight into our lives, loves, culture and politics. This, while effortlessly traversing a broad musical landscape from Pop to Soul, Folk and Jazz.
Classically trained on the piano from an early age, Ms. Flack received a music scholarship at age 15 to attend Howard University. Discovered while singing at the Washington, DC nightclub Mr. Henry’s by Jazz musician Les McCann, she was promptly signed to Atlantic. There, she delivered an impressive string of hits. From ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ and ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song’. To ‘Feel Like Makin’ Love’ and ‘The Closer I Get to You’. But also ‘Tonight I Celebrate My Love’ and ‘Set The Night To Music’. This, in addition to ‘Where Is the Love’ and ‘Back Together Again’ which she recorded with former Howard University classmate Donny Hathaway.
In 1999, she aptly received a Star on Hollywood’s legendary Walk Of Fame.
Roberta Flack regularly plays to appreciative audiences around the world. She had the pleasure of appearing with the National Symphony Orchestra in WDC under the direction of Marvin Hamlisch. In February 2009, she performed with critically acclaimed orchestras. This bringing her in Australia. From Melbourne, to Queensland and Adelaide, among other places.
Ms. Flack is also very active as a humanitarian and mentor. She founded the Roberta Flack School of Music at the Hyde Leadership Charter School in the Bronx. Therefore providing an innovative and inspiring music education program to underprivileged students free of charge.