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Donny Hathaway

Donny Hathaway was one of the brightest new voices in soul music at the dawn of the '70s, possessed of a smooth, gospel-inflected romantic croon that was also at home on fiery protest material. Hathaway achieved his greatest commercial success as Roberta Flack's duet partner of choice, but sadly he's equally remembered for the tragic circumstances of his death -- an apparent suicide at age 33. Hathaway was born October 1, 1945, in Chicago, but moved to St. Louis when he was very young, and began singing in church with his grandmother at the scant age of three. He began playing piano at a young age, and by high school, he was impressive enough to win a full-ride fine arts scholarship to Howard University to study music in 1964. While in college, he performed with a cocktail jazz outfit called the Ric Powell Trio, and wound up leaving school after three years to pursue job opportunities he was already being offered in the record industry.

Hathaway first worked behind the scenes as a producer, arranger, songwriter, and session pianist/keyboardist. He supported the likes of Aretha Franklin, Jerry Butler, and the Staple Singers, among many others, and joined the Mayfield Singers, a studio backing group that supported Curtis Mayfield's Impressions. Hathaway soon became a house producer at Mayfield's Curtom label, and in 1969 cut his first single, a duet with June Conquest called "I Thank You Baby." From there he signed with Atco as a solo artist, and released his debut single, the inner-city lament "The Ghetto, Pt. 1," toward the end of the year. While it failed to reach the Top 20 on the R&B charts, "The Ghetto" still ranks as a classic soul message track, and has been sampled by numerous hip-hop artists. "The Ghetto" set the stage for Hathaway's acclaimed debut LP, Everything Is Everything, which was released in early 1970. In 1971, he released his eponymous second album and recorded a duet with former Howard classmate Roberta Flack, covering Carole King's "You've Got a Friend." It was a significant hit, reaching the Top Ten on the R&B charts, and sparked a full album of duets, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway, which was released in 1972. The soft, romantic ballad "Where Is the Love?" topped the R&B charts, went Top Five on the pop side, and won a Grammy, and the accompanying album went gold.

Also in 1972, Hathaway branched out into soundtrack work, recording the theme song for the TV series Maude and scoring the film Come Back Charleston Blue. However, in the midst of his blossoming success, he was also battling severe bouts of depression, which occasionally required him to be hospitalized. His mood swings also affected his partnership with Flack, which began to crumble in 1973. Hathaway released one more album that year, the ambitious Extension of a Man, and then retreated from the spotlight; over the next few years, he performed only in small clubs. In 1977, Hathaway patched things up with Flack and temporarily left the hospital to record another duet, "The Closer I Get to You," for her Blue Lights in the Basement album. The song was a smash, becoming the pair's second R&B number one in 1978, and also climbing to number two on the pop charts. Sessions for a second album of duets were underway when, on January 13, 1979, Hathaway was found dead on the sidewalk below the 15th-floor window of his room in New York's Essex House. The glass had been neatly removed from the window, and there were no signs of struggle, leading investigators to rule Hathaway's death a suicide; his friends were mystified, considering that his career had just started to pick up again, and Flack was devastated. Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway was released in 1980, and both of the completed duets -- "Back Together Again" and "You Are My Heaven" -- became posthumous hits. In 1990, Hathaway's daughter Lalah launched a solo career. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Never My Love: The Anthology

Disc 1

1. I Thank You Baby

2. Just Another Reason

3. The Ghetto Part 1 (Single Version)

4. The Ghetto Part 2 (Single Version)

5. Thank You Master (For My Soul) (Promo Edit)

6. Voice Inside (Everything Is Everything)

7. Tryin' Times

8. To Be Young, Gifted And Black

9. I Believe To My Soul

10. This Christmas

11. A Song For You

12. Magnificent Sanctuary Band (Single Version)

13. Giving Up (Single Version)

14. Come Back Charleston Blue

15. Little Ghetto Boy (Studio Version)

16. Valdez In The Country

17. I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know

18. Lord Help Me

19. Come Little Children (Single Version)

20. Love, Love, Love

21. Someday We'll All Be Free

22. You Were Meant For Me

Disc 2

1. Never My Love

2. A Lot Of Soul

3. Let's Groove

4. Latin Time

5. Tally Rand

6. Memory Of Our Love

7. Sunshine And Showers

8. After The Dance Is Done

9. Don't Turn Away

10. Always The Same

11. Brown Eyed Lady (Instrumental)

12. The Sands Of Time And Changes

13. ZYXYGY Concerto

Disc 3

1. What's Going On

2. Sack Full Of Dreams

3. Little Ghetto Boy

4. You've Got A Friend

5. Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)

6. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

7. Jealous Guy

8. I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know

9. Hey Girl

10. The Ghetto

Disc 4

1. I (Who Have Nothing)

2. You've Got A Friend

3. Baby I Love You

4. Be Real Black For Me

5. You've Lost That Loving Feeling

6. For All We Know

7. Where Is The Love

8. When Love Has Grown

9. Come Ye Disconsolate

10. Mood

11. The Closer I Get To You

12. You Are My Heaven

13. Back Together Again

x

Track List: Live + In Performance

x

Track List: Rhino Hi-Five: Donny Hathaway

1. You've Got A Friend (Live)

2. The Ghetto (Pt. 1 Edited)

3. I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know

4. Giving Up

5. Little Ghetto Boy (Live)

x

Track List: These Songs For You, Live!

1. Flying Easy (Live)

2. Valdez In The Country (Live)

3. Someday We'll All Be Free (Live)

4. You've Got A Friend (Live)

5. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Live)

6. What's Goin' On (Live)

7. Yesterday (Live)

8. Superwoman (Live)

9. A Song For You (Live)

10. Sack Full Of Dreams (Live)

11. Little Ghetto Boy (Live)

12. I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know (Live)

13. The Ghetto (Live)

14. Interview

x

Track List: In Performance

1. To Be Young, Gifted And Black (Live @ The Troubador, Los Angeles, CA)

2. A Song For You (Live @ The Troubador, Los Angeles, CA)

3. Nu-Po (Live @ Carnegie Hall Newport Jazz Festival)

4. I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know (Live @ The Bitter End, NYC)

5. We Need You Right Now (Live @ The Troubador, Los Angeles, CA)

6. Sack Full Of Dreams (Live @ The Troubador, Los Angeles, CA)

x

Track List: The Best Of Donny Hathaway

1. You Were Meant For Me

2. A Song For You

5. Giving Up

7. The Ghetto (Live)

8. Valdez In The Country

9. This Christmas

x

Track List: Extension Of A Man

2. Someday We'll All Be Free

3. Flying Easy

4. Valdez In The Country

5. I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know

6. Come Little Children

7. Love Love Love

x

Track List: Come Back Charleston Blue

1. Main Theme

2. Basie

3. String Segue

4. Vegetable Wagon

5. Harlem Dawn

6. Scratchy Record

7. Explosion

8. Hearse To The Graveyard

9. Switch "Charleston Blue"

10. Come Back Basie

11. Detective's Goof

12. Gravedigger Jones & Coffin Ed's Funeral

13. String Segue

14. Little Ghetto Boy

15. Hail To The Queen

16. Drag Queen Chase

17. Bossa Nova

18. Tim's High

19. Furniture Truck

20. Liberation

21. Come Back Charleston Blue

22. Little Ghetto Boy (Alternate Version)

23. Little Ghetto Boy (Live Version)

x

Track List: Live

1. What's Goin' On (Live)

2. The Ghetto (Live)

3. Hey Girl (Live)

4. You've Got A Friend (Live)

5. Little Ghetto Boy (Live)

6. We're Still Friends (Live)

7. Jealous Guy (Live)

8. Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything) (Live)

x

Track List: Donny Hathaway

1. Giving Up

2. A Song For You

3. Little Girl

4. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (1971)

5. Magnificent Sanctuary Band

6. She Is My Lady

7. I Believe In Music

8. Take A Love Song

9. Put Your Hand In The Hand

10. Be There

11. This Christmas

x

Track List: Everything Is Everything

1. Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)

2. Je Vous Aime (I Love You)

3. I Believe To My Soul

4. Misty

5. Sugar Lee

6. Tryin' Times

7. Thank You Master (For My Soul)

8. The Ghetto

9. To Be Young, Gifted And Black

Comments

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Donny is one o f my favorite artists he is miss s o much.
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Donny Hathaway - To Be Young Gitfed and BLACK. Millions of US around the world are and always will be.
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Love this song. It brings back so many memories!
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Mr. Hathaway - so solid .
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A true talent. Gone to soon. One of the greats. His music lives on forever.
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To Be Young Gifted And Black...if only you knew how truly gifted you were Donny Hathaway!
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What could've been in the decades to come, if he were around to contribute more of his music, immense talent...
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Just want to say to his beautiful daughter Allah I thank God for you and and your dad Donny !i was raised up listening to him and roberta flake they were awesome !!he touched my life and you have to�� I'm 57yrs old so believe me I enjoyed your dads music !!and you I can't get enough of !!youhave been truly blessed with your dad's love of music and I love the duets you done I plan on play one at my daughters wedding next year !2018 thank you Allah I'm trying now to buy all your albums or cd God
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A TRULY TALENTED ARTIST. WITH SO MUCH MORE TO GIVE. BUT SADLY HIS DEMONS WON. THANKS DONNY FOR ALL YOU LEFT US
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Like most artist, Donny Hathaway was a tortured genius. He suffered from schizophreni a . It didn't affect his music.
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Donny sang and wrote from his experience and it was so true for our community. Mr. Hathaway thanks for sharing.
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I can dig it. Bratha A.C.
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Love love love
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A Song For You....how I love this song. Love me some Donny Hathaway
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Miss the soul n the music
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So talent - and great - DONNY . HOLLA- say it DONNY . "Chi is at again"!
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good old days what happened to the music of the past i hate the music we have now
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I watched unsung on television which featured Donny Hathaway and literally cried. Such a great artist and man.
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Montgomery,A l a b a m a Students.You really are in a technologic trimester-of - t e m e n d o u s -trials.Espe c i a l l y the Minority Males to Work -Force2020.. . . . . A S K FOR HELP!!!!!!!! ! !
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This is my dedication,T o ALL YOU 'REAL'(think for yorself regardless of others opinion)
WOMEN....Res t well &comfortable night night!...... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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BACK-TO-ITS- F U T U R E . . . . . . . . . . a need arises!
The 'game'hasn't CHANGED!
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ajd962002
So many artist suffer from depression I think its the pressure of the music industry as a whole. And back then record companies were very shady so I still find it hard to believe he committed suicide.
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I get tears listening to Donny's voice yet knowing the mental hell he must have been going through. Sorry life had to be so hard for you.
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THEREFORE ......there is no question.... . . o f LOVES' LOCATION.... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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Somehow..... . A f t e r i pray about .All the facets.Which transpired throughout.T h e day 8-15-16.The specialty of people.That a GOOD LORD of HOST .Blessed a path encountering . I feel nothing except refreshed -in-spirit.. . .
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The 'Famed' ORIGINAL JEWISH OWNED SECTOR OF EVERY PART OF SIDE IN OR OUT OF EACH CITY........ . . . . " T H E GHETTO"..... d o n n y ( t h e late )hathaway sung&played it BEST........ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , . . . ,
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I truely 'can't-tell' . . . . . W h e n this closeness is going to happen...... B U T IT WILL!!!!!... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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tonias511
Love it
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One if The Greatest Gifted singers of our time, his music has affected & touched many many lives. Miss this Man presence, but his Daughter Lalah Hathaway has continued his Great Legacy!
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What a woman really needs???.... W e l l this real Cuttie.....W h i c h worked for a City Metro Service..... . . . a s k e d me ...as a Man -that-i-am.S h e would have been happy.To do Lunch....... g o i n g 'dutch-treat '
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Now Donny Hathaway was a "Songster".. . . h e enveloped the lyrics...... b e l t e d a melody....fr o m diaphragms soul......no t just your ordinary. Here now gone then 'singer'.... . . . . , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . y e a h Doc said it!!!!!!.... . . . . . . .
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The "Apple -Jack Cap"was Donnies' logo......., n o other can compare. Especially with a a Duet Song harmonizer . Like
Roberta Flack
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SO MANY IF GIFTED TALENTS R PASSING ON AT A TENDER AGE HOW I WISH TO HV SAT IN STUDIO TO HEAR MANY OF THEM.. LIVE VOCALS THT S WHN U CN BLOW..LOTS OF GARBAGE NOW SMH
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neetasherree
Another great musician gone THERE'S nothing like OLD SCHOOL
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The truly legend...
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classic
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Donny Hathaway puts into words things that I find my self lost for. I think that he is a musical genius
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chiwoniso.ka m i n s k i
Just a beautiful song. Gives me chills everytime I hear it.
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Mr. Hathaway - thanks for sharing. Peace be upon you -King.
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Great music from back in the day!
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chiggy515
Rest in eternal peace Donny
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Love this song.
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I just saw a one man play about Donny Hathaway tonight. It is coming to Chi town in a few weeks and then to B More. If you are a fan of Donny, if it comes to your city. It is a must see. The play was about his mental disease and his musical ability. Must see. AWESOME
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I still have to stop and turn it up every time I hear it, SMH!!
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A good song
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One of my favorite songs....
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Luv the song
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Back Together Again was the shiizitt,old shcool 1976" bs@Yahoo.com . posted 4-3-16 yeah#
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Washed my car at a typical noisy self-wash carwash one sunny summer Saturday afternoon. Put on Donny's Live CD, turned around after the second track and he was the only sound heard. Got at least 5 requests to turn it up and 10 to ask who was that voice. That voice my man is Donny, that voice is timeless. Live on!
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Donny taking us to church
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