Mono Mondays: Donny Hathaway, Everything is Everything

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Monday, July 7, 2014
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Mono Mondays: Donny Hathaway, Everything is Everything

This week’s Mono Monday release comes from a ‘70s R&B legend who’s often remembered as much for the work he did with his recurring duet partner, Roberta Flack, as for the work he did on his own, but this particular album was all his.

Originally released on Atco on July 1, 1970, Everything is Everything was Donny Hathaway’s debut solo album, but it was hardly his first foray into music, having started his career as a gospel singer (under the name “Donny Pitts”) before moving to Chicago and eventually pulling a job for Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records, serving variously as an arranger, composer, conductor, producer, session player, and songwriter.

Everything is Everything may be best remembered for its hit single, “The Ghetto,” which Hathaway co-wrote with Leroy Hutson of the Impressions, along with “Tryin’ Times” and – with the assistance of Edward Kennedy – “Je Vous Aime (I Love You).” Other songs on the album include covers of Ray Charles’ “I Believe to My Soul,” Nina Simone’s “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” and “Misty,” written by Johnny Burke and Erroll Garner, along two other songs penned by Hathaway: “Sugar Lee,” which he co-wrote with Ric Powell, and “Thank You Master (For My Soul),” a solo composition.

Some have argued that Everything is Everything was, in fact, the best solo album Hathaway ever released, but now you can make that decision for yourself.