BY ALLISON EBNER
Last week, NewJerseyNewsroom.com's “Celebrity Magnet” Tom Murro's travels brought him to the “Bright Lights Shining Stars Gala” at NYU. The event celebrated singing, dancing, Roberta Flack and the awarding of well deserved college scholarship money.
Flack was born in Black Mountain, N.C. During her early teens, Flack was so excelled at classical piano that Howard University awarded her a full music scholarship. She entered Howard University at the age of 15, making her one of the youngest students ever to enroll there. She eventually changed her major from piano to voice, and became an assistant conductor of the university choir. She went on to graduate from Howard University at 19 and began graduate studies in music, but the sudden death of her father forced her to take a job teaching music and English for $2,800 a year in Farmville, N.C. Flack then taught school for years in Washington, DC at Browne Junior High and Rabaut Junior High. She continued teaching and performing local DC clubs until she was discovered by Les McCann who later said on the liner notes of what would be her first album "First Take," "Her voice touched, tapped, trapped, and kicked every emotion I've ever known. I laughed, cried, and screamed for more...she alone had the voice." So he very quickly arranged an audition for her with Atlantic Records.