On this day in music history: February 24, 1973 - “Killing Me Softly With His Song” by Roberta Flack hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks, also peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox, it is the second chart topping single for the North Carolina born singer, songwriter and musician. Originally recorded by singer Lori Leiberman, the song is inspired by a poem she writes after seeing singer Don McLean (“American Pie”) perform at The Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood. Flack sees a picture of Leiberman in a magazine article about her and the song while flying from LA to New York. After hearing Leiberman’s version, Flack decides that she wants to record it herself. Her belief in the songs hit potential is confirmed when she performs it live for the first time. In September of 1972 while appearing as Marvin Gaye’s opening act at the Greek Theater, she performs “Killing Me Softly” during her encore and crowds reaction is wildly enthusiastic. After her set, Gaye tells her not to perform the song again live until after she records it. Once in the studio, Flack spends nearly three months fine tuning the song before feeling that it’s ready for release. Released as a single in January of 1973, it is an instant smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #54 on January 27, 1973, it rockets to the top of the chart four weeks later. “Killing Me Softly With His Song” wins three Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female and her second consecutive win for Record Of The Year. Gimbel And Fox also win the award for Song Of The Year. In 1996, The Fugees revive “Killing Me Softly”, reaching #2 (for 3 weeks) on the Billboard Airplay Chart on June 22, 1996, and winning two Grammy Awards for their album “The Score”. Flack’s version of “Killing Me Softly With His Song” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
On this day in music history: February 24, 1992 - Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love are married on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, HI, a few days after Nirvana completes a tour of the Pacific Rim. The bride wears a vintage satin and lace dress once owned by actress Frances Farmer, and the groom wears green pajamas. At the time of the wedding, the couple is also expecting their first and only child, a girl named Frances Bean who is born on August 18, 1992.
On this day in music history: February 24, 1992 - The US Postal Service begin a voting poll to select a design for a commemorative stamp honoring rock & roll icon Elvis Presley. Initially, the post office commission eight artists to design the image, which is narrowed down to two different versions of the stamp. The first one depicts the 50’s era “Young Elvis” painted by artist Mark Stutzman, with the other being the 70’s era “Mature Elvis” painted by artist John Berkey. The USPS offer ballots to the public on which one they prefer. Voters overwhelmingly choose the “Young Elvis” stamp by a margin of three to one when the results are revealed in the April 13, 1992 issue of People Magazine. The stamps are officially issued on January 8, 1993 in a dedication ceremony at Graceland in Memphis, TN, on what would have been Elvis’ 58th Birthday.