"Killing Me Softly With His Song" is a song that was written by Norman Gimbel and composed by Charles Fox.
It was initially recorded in 1971, by Lori Lieberman and later on, in 73', by Roberta Flack, who managed to top the charts with it.
She came in contact with the song while on a flight to New York City, where it was played as part of the in-flight audio program.
She recalls that she started to sing it for hours and called Quincy Jones to ask him for Charles Fox's phone number. After they were in contact, the two started rehearsing the song at the Tuff Gong Studios, from Kingston Jamaica. However, the track was not recorded.
Later in 1972, Roberta Flack was performing live at the Greek Theater, for Marvin Gaye, when she was asked to perform one more song besides her usual program. As she decided to offer a live performance of "Killing Me Softly With His Song", which led to great enthusiasm from the audience.
Two months later, on September 17th, 1972, she recorded it with the help of producer Joel Dorn. It had a duration of 4:46 minutes and it belonged to the soul genre.
Flack released it on January 21st, 1973 as part of the Atlantic label. Its B-Side was the song "Just Like A Woman" and she launched it as 7" single.
The composer, Charles Fox, stated that her version is much better successful than Lori Lieberman's mostly because of the strong backbeat and because it was faster.
Roberta Flack's version of "Killing Me Softly With His Song" was, indeed, a huge success, and it spent five non-consecutive weeks as number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was also named the third best single of that year, by Billboard magazine. It topped the charts in Canada, number six on the UK Singles Chart, number three in Netherlands and number four in Norway.
The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame, in 1999 and at the time of its release, it gained Roberta Flack two Grammy Awards: one for "Best Pop Vocal Performance" and one for "Record Of The Year". Also, Charles Fox and Norman Gimbel won the Grammy for "Song Of The Year".
Another successful cover of "Killing Me Softly With His Song" was made by The Fugees, in 1996, as part of their album, "The Score". It was produced by the hip hop band along A Tribe Called Quest. This led to a remix of Flack's version, in the same year. The remix was number one on the Hot Dance Club Play chart.
"Killing Me Softly With His Song" is one of the most enduring hits of the past century and it was named the 25th Greatest Hip Hop Song, by VH1 and it was number 44 on their list of "100 Greatest Songs Of The 90's".
Below, you can find the free piano sheet for Killing Me Softly With His Song, by Roberta Flack.