I'm 50: Donny Hathaway, DONNY HATHAWAY
It's the second album that can be considered the antithesis of the "sophomore slump": Donny Hathaway's self-titled album, released on April 2, 1971. The collection of cover songs found the artist not only spotlighting his talent, but his tastes. Among the songs he chose to cover on the LP was Leon Russell's "A Song for You," taken from Russell's debut album which was barely a year old at the time. Hathaway's impassioned version is so strong that many listeners are still shocked to discover that the song is indeed a cover. With songs by Billy Preston ("Little Girl"), Mac Davis ("I Believe in Music") and Van McCoy (Gladys Knight and the Pips' 1964 hit, "Giving Up"), the record didn't exactly ignite the charts, peaking at #73 for the week of July 24, 1971 (the #1 album in America that week: Carole King's Tapestry). Hathaway's second LP is so much more than its chart performance. One of just four studio albums he recorded before his tragic death in 1979, Donny Hathaway is a truly timeless classic that will never go out of style.