October 1: Soul singer Donny Hathaway ( "Where Is the Love") was born on this day in 1945...

... he died on January 13, 1979 at 34 years of age from an apparent suicide.

Donny Edward Hathaway. who was born in Chicago, often collaborated with Roberta Flack. In 1973 their duet, "Where Is the Love," won him the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the duet.
With Roberta Flack

Hathaway began singing in a church choir with his grandmother, a professional gospel singer, at the age of three. He studied music on a fine arts scholarship at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He also formed a jazz trio to work around the local area with drummer Ric Powell. In 1973, he left Howard to pursue a career in the music business.

Hathaway soon found work as songwriter, session musician and producer. He  did the arrangements for hits by The Unifics, ("Court of Love" and "The Beginning Of My End") and took part in projects by The Staple Singers, Jerry Butler, Aretha Franklin, The Impressions and Curtis Mayfield.

After becoming a "house producer" for Mayfield's label, Curtom Records, he started recording there as a member of The Mayfield Singers. He recorded his first single under his own name in 1969, a duet with singer June Conquest called "I Thank You Baby."

Later that year, Hathaway released his first successful album which included the single, "The Ghetto, Pt. 1," which he co-wrote with former Howard roommate Leroy Hutson.

His second LP, Donny Hathaway, was also a success, and included duets with former Howard University classmate and label mate Roberta Flack that established him, especially on the pop charts.

His final studio album, "Extension Of A Man" came out in 1973 with two tracks, "Love Love Love" and "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know" reaching both the pop and R&B charts. However, it was probably best noted for his classic ballad, "Someday We'll All Be Free" and a six-minute symphonic-styled instrumental piece called "I Love The Lord, He Heard My Cry."

He again hit the charts in 1978 with Roberta Flack with "The Closer I Get To You" on her album, "Blue Lights In The Basement." The song topped the R&B chart and just missed the number 1 spot on the Hot 100 (reaching #2). Atlantic then put out another solo single, "You Were Meant For Me" shortly before his death.

HIGHLY Recommended:

CollectionLiveExtension of a Man