Sun. Dec. 05, 2021

Donny Hathaway – I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know

Classics: Donny Hathaway – I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know (Atco)

‘I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know’… A title that says it all in terms of emotional content of this song. And I’m not even talkin’ about the (one of a kind) performance of Donny Hathaway. ‘I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know’… Could we ever think of a better statement to the attention of the one in our heart and thoughts?

With thanks to author Al Kooper and to Arif Mardin for his production work… ‘I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know’ is just in the caliber of the ballads Hathaway has graced us with. From ‘A Song For You’ to ‘Giving Up’. Meanwhile chances are great it will keep on blessing the hearts and souls of those who’ll give it a listen in 50 years from now.
Feel free to less us know then…

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Donny Hathaway is of those rare figures speaking of whom the souvenir has remained alive along with time. Belonging to a list where are to be found Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix or Amy Winehouse more recently. If not 60’s actor James Dean or Formula 1 Brazilian pilot Ayrton Senna among others. As many faces which a tragical destiny prevented from delivering the entirety of their talent.

A native of Chicago, IL, Donny Hathaway grew up in St-Louis, MO. There he began singin’ in a church choir by the age of 3 along with his grandma, who was a Gospel teacher. And he eventually studied piano. Graduating from from Vashon High School in 1963, He then studied music on a fine arts scholarship at Howard University in Washington, DC, where he met close friend Roberta Flack.

Hathaway worked as songwriter, session musician for Curtis Mayfield‘s Curtom Records in Chicago. Eventually becoming a house-producer for the label. He also started recording there. Delivering his first single – ‘I Thank You Baby’ – while sharing the vocal duties with June Conquest.

Short would be Hathaway‘s career though. Although his legacy keeps on speaking for itself. This with classics such as ‘The Ghetto’. A song he co-wrote with former Howard roommate Leroy Hutson, which George Benson would cover some 30 years after. Or the sadly premonitory ‘Giving Up’. But also ‘Extension Of A Man’, ‘A Song For You’ or ‘Someday We Will Be Free’. Not to mention ‘Where Is The Love’ and ‘Back Together Again’ that saw him sharing the bill with Roberta Flack
The highly emotional ‘I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know’, which he recorded back in 1972 as a part of his ‘Extension Of A Man’, most definitely completing the list.

Hathaway began to suffer from severe bouts of depression. This while at the peak of his career. ith paranoid schizophrenia disturbing his relations with his family and friends (beginning with Roberta Flack). Even though he took strong medication to control his disease.

During a session for the recording of another album on Jan. 13, 1979, producers James Mtume and Eric Mercury reported he behaved like in a strange way. This bringing them to abort the session at the end. Then, a few hours later, someone found Donny inanimate. He was on the sidewalk below the window of his 15th-floor room in New York’s Essex House hotel.
A report followed stating that he had jumped from his balcony. Even though his family always had serious doubts about the investigators’ conclusion as being a suicide.

The Rvd Jackson managed to conduct his funeral. With The Whispers recording the memorable ‘Song For Donny’ as a tribute, later on that year…

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