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Roberta Flack

Classy, urbane, reserved, smooth, and sophisticated -- all of these terms have been used to describe the music of Roberta Flack, particularly her string of romantic, light jazz ballad hits in the 1970s, which continue to enjoy popularity on MOR-oriented adult contemporary stations. Flack was the daughter of a church organist and started playing piano early enough to get a music scholarship and eventually, a degree from Howard University. After a period of student teaching, Flack was discovered singing at a club by jazz musician Les McCann and signed to Atlantic.

Her first two albums -- 1969's First Take and 1970's Chapter Two -- were well received but produced no hit singles; however, that all changed when a version of Ewan MacColl's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," from her first LP, was included in the soundtrack of the 1971 film Play Misty for Me. The single zoomed to number one in 1972 and remained there for six weeks, becoming that year's biggest hit. Flack followed it with the first of several duets with Howard classmate Donny Hathaway, "Where Is the Love." "Killing Me Softly with His Song" became Flack's second number one hit (five weeks) in 1973, and after topping the charts again in 1974 with "Feel Like Makin' Love," Flack took a break from performing to concentrate on recording and charitable causes.

She charted several more times over the next few years, as she did with the Top Ten 1977 album Blue Lights in the Basement -- featuring "The Closer I Get to You," a number two ballad with Hathaway. A major blow was struck in 1979 when her duet partner, one of the most creative voices in soul music, committed suicide. Devastated, Flack eventually found another creative partner in Peabo Bryson, with whom she toured in 1980. The two recorded together in 1983, scoring a hit duet with "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love."

Flack spent the remainder of the '80s touring and performing, often with orchestras, and also several times with Miles Davis. She returned to the Top Ten once more in 1991 with "Set the Night to Music," a duet with Maxi Priest that appeared that year on the album of the same name. Her Roberta full-length, featuring interpretations of jazz and popular standards, followed in 1994. As she continued into the 21st century, Flack recorded infrequently but released albums like 2012's Let It Be Roberta: Roberta Flack Sings the Beatles, which showed that her poise and balanced singing had aged well. Varese Sarabande released a lovingly remixed version of Flack's fine 1997 holiday album Christmas Songs (it had originally appeared from Capitol Records under the title The Christmas Album) that same year, adding in an additional track, "Cherry Tree Carol." ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Let It Be Roberta - Roberta Flack Sings The Beatles

1. In My Life

2. Hey Jude

3. We Can Work It Out

4. Let It Be

5. Oh Darling

6. I Should Have Known Better

7. The Long & Winding Road

8. Come Together

9. Isn't It A Pity

10. If I Fell

11. And I Love Him

12. Here, There, And Everywhere

x

Track List: Roberta

1. Let's Stay Together

2. Sweet Georgia Brown

3. Thrill Is Gone

4. It Might Be You

5. In A Sentimental Mood

6. Looking For Another Pure Love

7. I Don't Care Who Knows (Baby, I'm Yours)

8. Prelude To A Kiss - Intro

9. Prelude To A Kiss

10. Angel Eyes

11. Tenderly

12. Cottage For Sale

13. Isn't It Romantic?

14. My Romance

15. You'll Never Know ('Til You Let Go)

x

Track List: Oasis

1. Oasis

2. All Caught Up In Love

3. Uh-Uh Ooh-Ooh Look Out (Here It Comes)

4. Shock To My System

5. You Who Brought Me Love

6. Something Magic

7. And So It Goes

8. You Know What It's Like

9. And So It Goes (Reprise)

10. My Someone To Love

11. (His Name) Brazil

x

Track List: I'm The One

1. I'm The One

2. 'Til The Morning Comes

3. Love And Let Love

4. Never Loved Before

5. In The Name Of Love

6. Ordinary Man

7. Making Love

8. Happiness

9. My Love For You

x

Track List: Quiet Fire

1. Go Up Moses

2. Bridge Over Troubled Water

3. Sunday and Sister Jones

4. See You Then

5. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

6. To Love Somebody

7. Let Them Talk

8. Sweet Bitter Love

x

Track List: First Take

1. Compared To What

2. Angelitos Negros

3. Our Ages Or Our Hearts

4. I Told Jesus

5. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye

6. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

7. Tryin' Times

8. Ballad Of The Sad Young Men

x

Track List: Chapter Two

1. Reverend Lee

2. Do What You Gotta Do

3. Just Like A Woman

4. Let It Be Me

5. Gone Away

6. Until It's Time For You To Go

7. The Impossible Dream

8. Business Goes On As Usual

x

Track List: Feel Like Makin' Love

1. Feelin' That Glow

2. I Wanted It Too

3. I Can See The Sun In Late December

4. Some Gospel According To Matthew

5. Feel Like Makin' Love

6. Mr. Magic

7. Early Ev'ry Midnight

8. Old Heartbreak Top Ten

9. She's Not Blind

Comments

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Love these two together, they knew each other, with kindred souls, they sound soooo good together.
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T Y
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lisag43110
@ lostmountain 2015 . Yes, she did
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Love
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K
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Did Roberta write & record Killing Me Softly?
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Love it , lyrics touch my heart...
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chahanib
Immio
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This song always make my day
(When we were young)
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She's the BEST ever..

Big O
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Hello is really mean.
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This is an amazing song.
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Making Love .......
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Very relaxing music. I enjoy it when she performed.
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The Closer I Get To You! Was the cut. Donny and Roberta did a great job on this "CUT"! Chicago-Donn y H. We have our hand in a lot of great things. Roberta - sharp sister- .......
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That was a joke I love you
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I don't know how you are so I am so much better than you
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frankwiener
This song, Killing Me Softly, truly sends me back to 1973. Roberta Flack sang live at a certain club on Capitol Hill in DC, the neighborhood where I lived at the time. When I hear this song, I am instantly transported to that place at that time. It is a great song by a very special performer. Thank you.
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I love your songs I want to be just like you����!
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I'm tore up from the floor up! What a powerful love song!
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classic love song
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So in love with this song
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jfabulous85
yaassss
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Your are awesome
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Your AMAZING
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This song is okay
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I love this song reminds me of my girl Rhonda rip
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Kiss your hand 5 times and say your crushes name put this on another channel and your crush will ask you out
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Love here music
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Nice song
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AMAZING!
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See you at unsung Roberta flack...
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The song bring back good memories and "slow dancing" at the basement parties. Real "cut"!
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There should be a double thumbs up to click on...
.
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I miss my wife...I loved her so....
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Their's no better song than...Makin g Love! RQ/rlh
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Damn, Chicago/ Donny H. Does it again with a beautiful Queen. Miss Flack. Wow. Real music, classy and the world loves it. Thanks Original People of the Earth. ������������
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Still a wonderful song in 2015 as it was when I was first dating my wife.
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dumadagdj
Classic!!!
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capiyoni
I've rediscovered her! What a voice; love her tone and control. Seems effortless. We should have much more from her but, what we have is treasure.
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Love her...she is great with this song..♡
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pettorinikey s
The first time I ever saw my wife, I told the person with whom I was with that I was going to marry to marry that person, and I did. We're still married after 48 years. This song has special meaning to me.
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I
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Smooth
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Great
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I love this song wow
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Love this song!!
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A sophisticate d golden voice that blends so well with her magical piano playing.....
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Roberta, can make all your love come down with her voice and words. jUST brings out the best in me! Closer I Get To You! RQ/rlh
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