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Donny Hathaway – everything is everything

Posted on: October 1, 2007

Don´t be fooled by the naive and ridiculous cover artwork, I did it much too long. Donny Hathaway’s 1970 debut is a certified soul classic, his skills as an arranger, an instrumentalist, and–most impressively–a vocalist, shine brightly on each and every track. And although I don´t agree with his religious and spiritual messages it´s one of the best records I own. “Everything is everything” is neither the raw soul of Stax/Volt, nor the commercially oriented soul of Motown – Hathaway takes the music back to it´s roots, to the church. His debut sounded like nothing before it, based in smooth uptown soul but boasting a set of excellent, open-ended arrangements gained from Hathaway’s background in classical and gospel music. Before going to Howard University in 1964, where his room mate was Leroy Hutson, his knowledge of popular music was practically non-existent.

Before King Curtis took him to Atco record, who signed him as a solo artist, he had some duets with different artists – most succesfull his duet “I Thank You Baby” with June Conquest, became his first hit in 1969. After “Everything is everything” two further studio records, one live recording and a soundtrack followed, as well as several collobarations with Roberta Flack – each with his smoky, pleading voice, one of the best to ever grace a soul record.

On the 13th January 1979, Donny was found dead, at the age of 33, on the sidewalk below the 15th floor window of his room. The glass had been carefully removed from the window, and there were no signs of struggle, leading investigators to rule his death a suicide.

Donny Hathaway was young, gifted and black.


5 Responses to "Donny Hathaway – everything is everything"

A Personal favorite!

very good choice

[…] one artist (among many others) who deserves to be held in the same esteem as Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Donny Hathaway, Leroy Hutson and dozens more. The record is Lou Courtney’s masterpiece and got a wonderfully […]

[…] 3. Donny Hathaway – everything is everything […]

I have never heard of Donny…good thing you’re here to get me to know good music 🙂 Absolutely a masterpiece, can’t stop dancing to it now! Sugar Lee especially has something to it that makes me cheer up and I have no idea why.

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