Throwback: Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway-Back Together Again
Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway met as students at Howard University in the ’60s. Both of them were also signed to Atlantic Records and it was Jerry Wexler who suggested a duets project to them. Flack had already been commercially successful on her first album with “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and Hathaway’s reputation as a soul stylist was immediately established on his 1970 debut album Everything Is Everything. Their first collaborative album of 1972 gave them a renewed profile with the public thanks to the single “Where Is The Love.” Their version of the song written by Flack’s drummer Ralph Macdonald and William Salter song exposed their synchronous chemistry and put them in the R&B canon of great duets alongside Rene & Angela, Teena Marie & Rick James, Keith Sweat & Jacci McGhee and D’Angelo & Lauryn Hill. “The Closer I Get To You” was another successful pairing of the two in the studio for Flack’s 1977 Blue Lights In The Basement album. “Back Together Again” is a song written by James Mtume and Reggie Lucas from their 1980 second duets album and one of two songs Hathaway recorded for the project before his 1979 passing. Flack’s 19 plus album output has included writing the soundtrack for the movie Bustin’ Loose and her most recent 2012 tribute album to The Beatles. Donny Hathaway’s legacy is alive and lives through his daughter the singer Lalah Hathaway as well as many artists who have acknowledged his influence including Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Anthony Hamilton and Usher.