A Hymn for Donny

For years, people with outstanding taste in music have whispered in my ear about Donny Hathaway.

When one of his albums finally popped up in my “Try These” playlist–a folder of hundreds of songs recommended by friends, boyfriends, and such–I kicked myself for waiting so long to hear something that powerful.

Thirty minutes after one track ended–a heartstopping cover of Leon Russell’s “A Song For You”– I was still shaking.

Donny captures the kind of sound that was born in the days before Autotune, Photoshopped album covers, and horrible SuperBowl halftime shows. It’s the kind of music that gets written in somebody’s living room at 3AM, the songwriter sitting at a creaky upright piano, just singing on a gut level.

For a few short years, Donny Hathaway gave listeners so much, though he himself was in the throes of mental illness.

That said, the sole point of this post is to get you to listen to a song.

Go  ahead. Minimize those other web pages. Shut off the TV. Turn off the phone. Put on your headphones (or crank your kick-butt speakers).

Now lose six minutes of your life to “A Song For You.” Start to finish… don’t cut corners.

Thank you for the music, Donny. Wish you were still here.

Indy

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