Photo credits: Rhino Records
In the early 1970s, singer, songwriter, and music producer Roberta Flack could arguably be declared one of the most bankable musicians of her time – if not the most bankable.
Though her career had not yet spanned a full decade at the time yet, Flack’s personal story on the road to superstardom got its shot to be “made for TV.” On June 19, 1973, “Roberta Flack: The First Time Ever” (a one-time television special) made its ABC-distributed debut on the small screen, according to the Music History Calendar.
The show was directed by John Moffit. Bill Lee and Hank Saroyan produced the show for ABC Entertainment.
Dick Clark served as the show’s executive producer. In addition to Flack (who hosted the show), other famed musicians of the time were cast in the television special as well (The Lockers, The Blossoms, Seals & Crofts, etc.). The show was filmed in Los Angeles, California’s Griffith Park. Additional scenes were filmed in Malibu Beach.
Flack’s one-hour television special came following a previous year (1972) where the singer had immense success with “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” – the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed single of the year. Her 1972 collaborative effort also garnered the highest marks of musical achievement.
The song “Where is the Love?” (a duet with Donnie Hathaway) won Flack a Grammy Award.