Pete Seeger's half sister and (third) life companion of composer and folk monument Ewan MacColl, the man who wrote Dirty Old Town while all of the Pogues still wore dirty dipers. Ewan was stunned and inspired by Peggy from the moment he saw her. He actually first saw her during a rehearsal for a tv-production in Chelsea where they were both supposed to sing. (Alan Lomax was a witness). MacColl was twenty years her senior, married and father. Anyhow, he was flabbergasted, wrote this song, saw Peggy again in '58 and this time for good. She got pregnant, married British folksinger Alex Campbell just for the sake of staying in England and close to Ewan. They were lovers until his dead in '89. And what about the song? The First Time was finally registered in '62 (on The New Briton Gazette Volume 2). That's when it ended being just a private musical love poem.
Bonnie Dobson [as The First Time]
Joe & Eddie [black folk duo; their version inspired Roberta Flack's]
Bert Jansch [instrumental]
Ewan MacColl [author]
Roberta Flack [n°1 US in '72 (see footnote)]
Dick Gaughan [on lp The Songs Of Ewan MacColl]
Stereophonics [with Jools Holland]
Paul Potts [as La Prima Volta]
Jan Rot [as Ik Leef Pas Vanaf Je Eerste Blik]
Roberta Flack first cut this song for her debut album First Take. The only one impressed was Clint Eastwood, who still remembered it three years later while shooting his film Play Misty For Me. It seemed perfect as soundtrack for one particular intimate scene. People who saw that movie rushed out of the theatre and into the record store asking for that particular song. Nowhere to be found until it's rush re-release and chart climb, all the way to the top. A 50th anniversary re-issue holds a live version from '68.