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Donny Hathaway's Donny Hathaway Live (Paperback) (Emily J. Lordi)
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In January of 1979, the great soul artist Donny Hathaway fell fifteen stories from a window of Manhattan's Essex House Hotel in an alleged suicide. He was thirty-three years old and everyone he worked with called him a genius. Best known for “A Song for You,” “This Christmas,” and classic duets with Roberta Flack, Hathaway was a composer, pianist, and singer committed to exploring “music in its totality.” His velvet melisma and vibrant sincerity set him apart from the hyper-masculine soul men of his day, while influencing generations of singers to come and earning him devoted fans whose love affair with Hathaway continues to this day.
Using original interviews, archival material, and poetry, this Emily Lordi tells the story of the brutally honest, daringly gorgeous music Hathaway created as he battled the onset of paranoid schizophrenia-especially in the performances captured on his 1972 album Donny Hathaway Live. The album stands as a testament to Hathaway's uncanny ability to amplify the power and beauty of his songs in the moment of live performance. This 33 1/3 is about the album and about a broader phenomenon: Hathaway's ability to generate a spiritual experience for those present at his shows, and for those with the privilege to listen in now.