‘Spot light on a Song’
What a beautiful Friday morning here in the PNW music fans! Ahhh…summertime. Nothing beats a summer like Seattle…..nothing! A friend of mine introduced me to today’s featured spot light artist. And hold on to your hats because this guy will stop you dead in your tracks as you recover from the soulful explosion you will likely experience.
Donny Edward Hathaway was an American jazz, blues, soul, and gospel vocalist and musician. Hathaway began singing in a church choir with his grandmother, a professional gospel singer, at the age of three. After graduating High School, he studied music on a fine arts scholarship at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he was a classmate and close friend of Roberta Flack and a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He also formed a jazz trio to work around the local area, but during 1967 left Howard without a degree, after receiving job offers in the music business.
Hathaway contracted with Atlantic Records in 1969 and with his first single for the Atco label, “The Ghetto, Part I” in early 1970. Rolling Stone magazine “marked him as a major new force in soul music.” His collaborations with Roberta Flack scored high on the charts and won him the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for the duet, “Where Is the Love” in 1973. At the height of his career Hathaway was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was known to not take his prescribed medication regularly enough to properly control his symptoms. On January 13, 1979, Hathaway’s body was found outside the luxury hotel Essex House in New York City; his death was ruled a suicide.
Don’t miss this guy. Sit back, close your eyes and take a listen. It’s a short but powerful journey.
Strum a little….