Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Roberta Flack Week

More Roberta Flack… The first song I heard after my first real kiss. I was 17.


Killing Me Softly

Early career

Before becoming a professional singer-songwriter, Flack taught school in Washington, D.C. at Browne Junior High and Rabaut Junior High. She also taught private piano lessons out of her home on Euclid St. NW. During this period, her music career began to take shape on evenings and weekends in Washington, D.C. area night spots. At the Tivoli Club, she accompanied opera singers at the piano. During intermissions, she would sing blues, folk, and pop standards in a back room, accompanying herself on the piano. Later, she performed several nights a week at the 1520 Club, again providing her own piano accompaniment.

Around this time, her voice teacher, Frederick “Wilkie” Wilkerson, told her that he saw a brighter future for her in pop music than in the classics. She modified her repertoire accordingly and her reputation spread.[citation needed] Flack began singing professionally after being hired to perform regularly at Mr. Henry’s Restaurant, in Capitol Hill, Washington, DC in 1968.[6][7]


Les McCann discovered Flack singing and playing jazz in a Washington nightclub.[2] He later said on the liner notes of what would be her first album “First Take” noted below, “Her voice touched, tapped, trapped, and kicked every emotion I’ve ever known. I laughed, cried, and screamed for more…she alone had the voice.” Very quickly, he arranged an audition for her with Atlantic Records, during which she played 42 songs in 3 hours for producer Joel Dorn. In November 1968, she recorded 39 song demos in less than 10 hours. Three months later, Atlantic reportedly recorded Roberta’s debut album, First Take, in a mere 10 hours.[4] Flack later spoke of those studio sessions as a “very naive and beautiful approach… I was comfortable with the music because I had worked on all these songs for all the years I had worked at Mr. Henry’s.”

Flack’s cover version of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” hit number seventy-six on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. Her Atlantic recordings did not sell particularly well, until actor/director Clint Eastwood chose a song from First Take, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, for the sound track of his directorial debut Play Misty for Me; it became the biggest hit of the year for 1972 – spending six consecutive weeks at #1 and earning Flack a million-selling Gold disc.

The First Take album also went to #1 and eventually sold 1.9 million copies in the United States. Eastwood, who paid $2,000 for the use of the song in the film,has remained an admirer and friend of Flack’s ever since. It was awarded the Grammy Award for Record Of The Year in 1973. In 1983, she recorded the end music to the Dirty Harry film Sudden Impact at Eastwood’s request.

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23 Responses to Serendipity SOUL | Tuesday Open Thread | Roberta Flack Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Shadow And Act @shadowandact

    Watch Lynn Whitfield & Vivica Fox in Trailer for Nigerian-Produced ’30 Days in Atlanta’

  2. rikyrah says:

    Chicago News Now @chicagonewsnow

    Jackie Robinson West Beats Texas 6-1, Remains Alive In Little League World Series #chicago
    9:07 PM – 19 Aug 2014

  3. Ametia says:

    Swim Club Racial Bias Settlement Benefits 6 Nonprofits
    By Alison Burdo
    Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014 • Updated at 6:06 PM EDT

    Six organizations serving minority children will split $65,000 from the settlement of a July 2009 racial discrimination complaint filed against a Montgomery County swim club

    Read more:
    Follow us: @nbcphiladelphia on Twitter | nbcphiladelphia on Facebook

  4. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    I am praying so hard, so hard that U.S. intelligence will find the ISIS video tape NOT to be authentic. My insides are sick and numb. *tears and more tears*

    Video shows ISIS beheading U.S. journalist James Foley”
    By Chelsea J. Carter, CNN
    updated 7:28 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      My heart is in a prayful, vigil mode. Please let the video NOT be genuine.

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:


      Diane Foley has issued a statement:

      A message from Jim’s mom, Diane Foley:

      We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.

      We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.

      We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. Please respect our privacy in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim.

      Maddow App @MaddowApp
      Foley family statement … #Maddow

      I send my love, prayers, and heartfelt condolences to the Foley family. May God enfold you in his loving arms and surround you with his comforting presence always.

    • yahtzeebutterfly says:

      James Foley on his motivation in BBC interview (video)

  5. rikyrah says:

    Branstad makes judge job at-will
    Clark Kauffman, 6:20 a.m. CDT
    August 7, 2014

    Gov. Terry Branstad’s administration has changed a high-ranking administrative law judge’s position to “at-will” status — a move that effectively strips the job of protection from political influence.

    It comes at a time when his administration already is facing criticism and one lawsuit alleging an improper or illegal effort to move state jobs from merit status to at-will. Workers with merit status can only be fired for job performance issues, while at-will workers are treated the same as political appointees and can be terminated for almost any reason, without showing just cause.

    “This sets a really dangerous precedent,” said Rep. Bruce Hunter, a Des Moines Democrat on the House Labor Committee. “When you turn this job into an at-will position, the judge is serving at the whim and desires of the governor rather than deciding cases on their merit.”

    Senate President Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque, said that by making the chief administrative law judge at the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals an at-will employee, Branstad is exposing the judge to the “political whims of whoever happens to be governor,” both now and in the future.

    “To me, this is not a good idea,” Jochum said. “This undermines a judge’s ability to be unbiased and to make a good decision based on the facts, without having to deal with pressure from politicians in making that decision.”

    The position of chief administrative law judge is currently vacant, with John Priester filling in on an “acting” basis. The current job listing makes note of the position’s new status as “at-will.”

    Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers said the change is intended to help “ensure employees are properly classified in accordance with Iowa law,” but did not elaborate.

    Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Iowa Council 61, which represents many state employees, said most state workers — and judges in particular — should be protected from political pressure.

    “When any job loses merit protection and becomes at-will, that means there could be — or would be — some sort of political pressure applied to that job if that person isn’t doing what the powers-to-be want done,” he said. “We shouldn’t turn this state back into a patronage system. That’s what the merit system was created for. It was so we would not have state employees appointed by whichever party controlled the governor’s office.”

  6. TyrenM says:

    Good Morning 3Chics,
    Love me some Roberta Flack. Thanks for this.

    Ametia, Have you witnessed DHS “exercises?” Friday, they commandeered a floor of our office. Last night low flying helicopters patrolled the Twin Cities. This morning an Army vehicle filled with soldiers rolled up my block. I’m 10 miles from DT Minneapolis. I’m guessing they aren’t rolling through predominately white neighborhoods at 7am.
    I’ll guess this was planned before Ferguson, but 2 weeks after police beat up Al Flowers???
    Too early for my tinfoil hat but um, I am not amused. #Staywoke.

    • Ametia says:

      Hi Tyren. SMGDH I heard about this on the news this morning. Not slick! They’re ready to deplore the Ferguson tactics, they’d better think twice.

      FYI for folks who aren’t familiar with

  7. Ametia says:

    rikyrah, lookie here

    A car crash in Argentina killed three members of Pope Francis’ family today.

    Police say two of the Pope’s grand-nephews and the boys’ mother died in the crash that left the pontiff’s nephew, Emanuel Horacio Bergoglio, in critical condition.

    A truck struck the car the nephew was driving on a highway in Cordoba, a police spokeswoman says.

    Killed were Bergoglio’s sons – 8-month-old Jose and 2-year-old Antonio — and his wife, Valeria Carmona, 36.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Bobfr @Our4thEstate
    WHITES lamenting #PBO not reaching out after they formed their 20Jan09 cabal to DESTROY HIM is only matched by the whining of BLACK pundits.
    9:52 PM – 18 Aug 2014

  9. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

  10. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! : -)

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