Wed. May. 23, 2018

Donny Hathaway – The Ghetto – (Atco Records)

Donny Hathaway is of those rare artists speaking of which the souvenir has remained alive along with time. The proper of the ones who, like Sam Cooke, Otis Redding or Amy Winehouse more recently, not to mention James Dean, have been prematurely prevented by a tragical destiny from delivering the entirety of their talent.
Short happened to be Hathaway‘s career as a result, although his legacy keeps on speaking for itself, with classics such as ‘Extension Of A Man’ the highly emotional ‘I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know’ or ‘Someday We Will Be Free’ in addition to ‘Where Is The Love’ and’Back Together Again’ which he recorded with Roberta Flack
The timeless ultra groovy ‘The Ghetto’, which he penned along with Leroy Hutson, sounding as the mother of all grooves and as fresh as when released some 46 years ago. A classic given a cover version – ‘The Ghetto/El Barrio’ the likes of George Benson featuring Joe Sample with production work courtesy of Masters At Work back in 2000.
Hathaway began to suffer from severe bouts of depression while at the peak of his career. Diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia which heavily disturbed his relations with his family and friends (beginning with Roberta Flack), he was known to take strong medication to control his disease.
During a session for the recording of another album on Jan. 13, 1979, he got reported as behaving in a strange way by producers James Mtume and Eric Mercury who found themselves in the position to abort it. A few hours later, Donny got found dead on the sidewalk below the window of his 15th-floor room in New York’s Essex House hotel. It was reported that he had jumped from his balcony, although his family had serious doubts about what was concluded as being a suicide by the investigators.
His funeral was conducted by the Rvd Jesse Jackson. The Whispers recording the memorable ‘Song For Donny’ as a tribute, later on that year…

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