Donny Edward Hathaway (October 18, 1945 – January 13, 1979) was an
American soul musician. Hathaway contracted with Atlantic Records in
1969 and with his first single for the Atco label, “The Ghetto, Part
I” in early 1970, Rolling Stone magazine “marked him as a major new
force in soul music.” His collaborations with Roberta Flack scored
high on the charts and won him the Grammy Award for Best Pop
Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for the duet, “Where Is the
Love” in 1973. Six years later, his body was found outside the luxury
hotel Essex House in New York City, his death was ruled a suicide.
“Live” was recorded in 1972 at two concerts, tracks 1-4 at The
Troubadour in Hollywood, and 5-8 at the The Bitter End in Greenwich
Village, Manhattan. It features only one song penned by Hathaway, “The
Ghetto”, with the rest of the set consisting of cover songs. The album
features some traditional soul anthems, such as Marvin Gaye’s 1971 hit
“What’s Going On”, but also Carole King’s folk standard “You’ve Got A
Friend”.