Thursday, September 10, 2009

FSOTD #18/The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (1969)

For those of you who remember Roberta Flack's #1 hit "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and think 1969 seems a little early - I am one of those people - read on; it's an interesting story.

"First Time..." was released on Flack's debut album First Take in 1969. Nothing happened. Enter Clint Eastwood (yes, that Clint Eastwood). In 1971, Eastwood makes his directorial debut in the near-classic "Play Misty For Me." One of the songs Eastwood chooses for the film (in which he plays a radio DJ) was "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," and by 1972, the song hits #1 on both the Hot 100 and AC charts (#4 R&B).

Flack went on to have a string of hits over the next five years, which proved to be the pinnacle stretch of her career. Very few artists ever get to the top; far fewer get back. "First Time..." was the 1973 Grammy Record of the Year. She won the award again the next year with "Killing Me Softly." She and U2 are the only acts ever to go back-to-back.

Roberta Flack is a little older than I thought. I say that with admiration. Born Feb. 10, 1937, she is currently 72 years old. She was just 19 when she graduated Howard University. In 1999, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. Her story is fascinating. You go, Roberta!

As always, FSOTD thanks Wikipedia.

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