Welcome to the Summer Jazz Season where we revisit some of the amazing artists featured at the beginning of the music column back in 2015. William Price King will be taking a break from July 5th until September, but we don’t want you to miss out on the music.
This week is the last post in the Roberta Flack story with William Price King but it is definitely not the end of the story as this wonderful artist continues to perform occasionally.
I will hand over to William who has selected some of Roberta Flack’s quotes about life and music and we feature some of her live performances through the years of well loved songs.
‘Remember: Always walk in the light. And if you feel like you’re not walking in it, go find it. Love the light’
The first of the live performances is a track that was originally released on Roberta Flack’s ninth album Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway performed here with another favourite collaborator Peabo Bryson You Are My Heaven written by Stevie Wonder and Eric Mercury.
Having become established in the business and achieved recognition from fellow artists and also her legion of fans, Roberta Flack was able to take advantage of her increasing global fame. She moved into a new home in the famous Dakota apartment building in New York City which was also home to some of the biggest names in entertainment including Judy Garland and Leonard Bernstein.
This next live performance is Bridge Over Troubled Water written by Simon & Garfunkel for their 1970 studio album of the same name. The song won five awards at the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971 and has been covered many times by the top names in the music business.
‘As musicians, and as people who sell material for people to hear and absorb, it’s important that we use that voice wisely’
Roberta found herself living next door to John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono. She said that on one occasion she heard him playing Imagine through the wall of the apartment. Although not in the building on the day of his murder in 1980 she later said this of their relationship.
“I was very upset — and still am — by his untimely murder.”. “John and I were buddies. It was hard not to recognize him because he was so profound.”
She continues to live in the building to this day.
‘My hope is that out of all the anger and seeming hostility that we hear in some of today’s music will come some sort of coalition that will become politically involved’.
The song Oasis written by Marcus Miller and Mark Stephens was from Roberta’s 1982 solo album of newly recorded songs I’m The One.
The album releases in the 90s included Stop The World 1992, Roberta 1994 and The Christmas Album in 1997
Further acclaim for her music came in the form of recognition on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999. The same year Roberta toured South Africa, performing for President Nelson Mandela.
1999 also saw the release of her album Friends: Roberta Flack sings Mariko Takahashi a Japanese singer/songwriter and musician.
In 2003 there was a second Christmas album titled Holiday
After a recording gap of 8 years Roberta paid tribute to John Lennon and the Beatles with her album Let It Be Roberta
Here is Roberta with an acoustic version of Let it Be written by Paul McCartney. It was released in 1970 and was the final single by The Beatles before Paul left the group.
‘So see every opportunity as golden, and keep your eyes on the prize – yours, not anybody else’s’.
And finally Why don’t You Move In With Me written by Gene McDaniels was from Roberta’s sixth album Blue Lights In The Basement released in late 1977. The album would reach No 8 in the Billboard 200 and No 5 in the R&B Albums chart.
‘One of the primary qualities of a good performance is honesty’.
Buy Roberta Flack’s music: http://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Flack/e/B000APXOJE
About William Price King
William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.
His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.
While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.
His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.
In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.
William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION – https://williampriceking.tumblr.com
Connect with William
Website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – https://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-column/
and all the previous posts on jazz, classical and contemporary artists here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-contemporary-classical-and-legends/
Thank you for tuning in today and I hope you will join us again next Tuesday for the next series when we follow the career of Diana Krall – Thanks Sally and William.