Music: Lady with a Low Flame

After coaching his student for three years, Voice Teacher Frederick Wilkerson took a deep breath and gave her his verdict: as a classical artist, she would make a good pop performer. Many young singers would have been demolished. Not Roberta Flack. Always fascinated with pop music, she took the advice, began lightening and loosening her Puccini-style soprano, soon was singing and playing piano for $20 a night at Mr. Henry's, a jazz joint in the Capitol Hill district of Washington, D.C. Her toughest adjustment was to the audiences, who were literally a far...

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