Dear PoPville – Roberta Flack Lived in DC. Anyone Know the Exact Address of her Euclid Street home?

Dear PoPville,

I was reading the Thaddeus Stevens Elementary Wiki page (Did you know that Jimmy Carter is our only modern day President to enroll his child in DCPS?), and I noticed that singer Roberta Flack was listed as a notable alum. I clicked over to her page, and wow, what a cool lady! Anyway, the article mentions that she taught piano lessons out of her home on Euclid Street NW.

Does anybody know the address?

Wow – super cool lady:

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.

Roberta Flack became the first African-American student teacher at an all-Caucasian school near Chevy Chase, Maryland. She graduated 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 $2800 a year in Farmville, North Carolina.

Roberta Flack then taught school for years in Washington, DC at Browne Junior High and Rabaut Junior High. She also taught private piano lessons out of her home on Euclid St. NW. During this period, her music career began to take shape on evenings and weekends in Washington, D.C. area night spots. At the Tivoli Club, she accompanied opera singers at the piano. During intermissions, she would sing blues, folk, and pop standards in a back room, accompanying herself on the piano. Later, she performed several nights a week at the 1520 Club, again providing her own piano accompaniment. Around this time, her voice teacher, Frederick “Wilkie” Wilkerson, told her that he saw a brighter future for her in pop music than in the classics. She modified her repertoire accordingly and her reputation spread. Subsequently, a Capitol Hill night club called Mr. Henry’s built a performance area especially for her.

Anyone know where on Euclid St, NW she once lived?

11 Comment

  • Nope, but really cool story and I love the song….killing me softly with his song…telling my whole life with his words killing me softly…

  • Not sure, but there was an interview with her last weekend where she mentioned Howard.

    I got a free copy of her hit song on a floppy vinyl record that Burger King gave out back in the 70’s. It wasn’t stiff like a disc, but more like plastic.

  • OMG its that Fugees song from when I was little!
    /musically oblivious 8th grader.

  • Not to mention “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” – what a beautiful song. She is only one of two artists to receive the Grammy for best record of the year two years in a row.

    The first time ever I saw your face
    I thought the sun rose in your eyes
    And the moon and the stars were gifts you gave
    to the dark and the endless skies

    The first time ever I kissed your mouth
    I felt the earth move in my hands
    Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
    That was then at my command
    My love

    The first time ever I lay with you
    I felt your heart so close to mine
    And I knew our joy would fill the earth
    And last til the end of time
    My love
    The first time ever I saw your face
    Your face
    Your face
    Your face

  • She used to sing pretty regularly at Mr. Henry’s on Pennsylvania SE. Not sure what her house number was on Euclid, though.

  • Blithe

    Nope. But she was my older brother’s music teacher at Rabaut, so I remember how cool it was when one of the teachers that he complained about became ‘famous’ singing at Mr. Henry’s. And it was even more cool that we loved her music!

  • Not to rain on the Roberta parade, but I spoke with a woman last year who had Roberta as a teacher in DCPS. She told me that she was not a good teacher at all, and would tell the students that she didn’t care about teaching them, she was going to be a famous singer someday. She was right of course 🙂 and who knows, maybe my acquaintance just had sour grapes or something…

    • When I’ve seen/read interviews, she has come across as one of the most narcisisstic individuals imaginable–definitely in the Joan Baez/Barbra Streisand range, Still a great singer in her prime.

  • 1615 Euclid Street, NW

    You’re welcome.

  • All I can confirm is that she used to go to (and still occasionally shows up at) Enon Baptist Church, 505 L Street NE. I lived next door to Enon for a year, and once every 2-3 months, there would be a town car parked in front of my house with a small card reading ROBERTA FLACK placed on the dashboard.

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