The song was popularized by Roberta Flack in 1972 in a version that became a breakout hit for the singer. The song first appeared on Flack’s 1969 album First Take. Flack’s rendition was much slower than the original as an early solo recording by Peggy Seeger ran two and a half minutes long whereas Flack’s is more than twice that length. This slower, more sensual version was used by Clint Eastwood in his 1971 directorial debut Play Misty for Me during a lovemaking scene. With the new exposure, Atlantic Records cut the song down to four minutes and released it to radio. It became an extremely successful single in the United States where it reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts in April 1972 for six week runs on each. It reached #14 on the UK Singles Chart.