It’s Throwback Tuesday y’all – give it up for all the Jukeboxes and LP Players that made our lives beautiful back in the day!
Today we give a much-deserved shout-out to one of the most endearing and stellar songs of all time, fished straight out of the Grammy Hall Of Fame.
4-time Grammy Award winning American Soul Icon Roberta Flack’s ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song‘ is a prolific, soothing, simple and gentle ballad that has withstood the test of time – and needs no formal introduction at this point (but obviously).
Did y’all know that Flack’s version was actually a cover? Ta dah!
Originally written for folk singer Lori Leiberman in 1971 by Academy Award-winning songwriter Norman Gimbel and composed by Charles Fox – the song went on to become a # 1 smash for Flack back in 1973, spending a total of 5 non-consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100. The song simultaneously topped the UK Top 40 Official Singles Chart, ARIA Charts in Australia, as well as the Eurochart Hot 100 – as the parent album ‘Killing Me Softly‘ went on to become Flack’s biggest selling album of all time.
Eventually, ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song‘ went on to win 2 Grammys – including the coveted Record Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance (Female) – at the 1974 Grammy Awards. Flack thus remains the only artist apart from U2 to win the Record Of The Year nod twice in a row. (She nabbed the same award in 1973 for another stellar ballad ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face‘).
In 1999, Flack’s version of ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song‘ was inducted in the Grammy Hall Of Fame.
‘Killing Me Softly With His Song‘ is one of those songs that I slip in my lounge playlist or easy-listening playlist. I love the subtle sophistication of Flack’s vocal delivery of the song, especially when she manages to sound gorgeous and resigned at the same time.
Flack easily owns the song, irrespective of not being the first to record it – and the song crafts itself through her vocals as a straightforward, unpretentious declaration of love. Her voice is like a gentle caress as she longingly croons –
‘Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song…‘
Slip it in on your playlist – especially during these long lazy evenings – and let the magic blissfully work its way through to your soul. Major goose-bump inducer here y’all!
Irrespective of being covered by everybody from legends like Carly Simon and Carole King, vocal goddesses like Celine Dion and Toni Braxton, Nu-Soul/Rap divas Alicia Keys and Lauryn Hill – Roberta Flack’s version remains unrivaled.
Check out Roberta Flack’s eternal smash ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song‘ right here :