21 october 1968 & roberta flack benefit concert @arena stage for sclc
#OTD 21 October 1968, Roberta Flack performed a benefit concert for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at Arena Stage (6th & M Sts, SW).
It was a clear and cool Monday night, with a low temperature of 48 degrees. The 200 lucky audience members arrived for the 8:30pm start time. They milled in the lobby and purchased some refreshments before filing in the main amphitheater to hear Flack, who, according to the white Evening Star critic John Segraves, “currently wears the small and mythical tiara of the best vocalist in town.”
Flack tickled the ivories and belt out songs for two hours. Accompanied by bassist Marshall Hawkins and percussionist Bernard Sweetney, she sang:
“Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen
“Afro Blue” by Oscar Brown, Jr
“Forbidden Fruit” by Oscar Brown, Jr
“On a Clear Day” by Burton Lane & Alan Jay Lerner from On A Clear Day
“Somewhere” from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein &
Your comments are welcome below. Did you, a family member or neighbor attend the concert? Do you have a concert program? Did you take photographs? What was your favorite song? Was this the first time you heard Roberta Flack sing? Were you a regular at Mr. Henry’s on Capitol Hill or Georgetown or the Tivoli Theater? Did you live near Roberta Flack? Did you take piano lessons in her home at 1615 Euclid St NW? Do you have photographs? You may comment privately here.
Photo source: Courtesy of DC Public Library, Evening Star Newspaper Photo collection, c1968. Photographer unknown.
“Music Programs for the Week,” Evening Star 20 October 1968.