Throwback: Donny Hathaway-This Christmas

[youtube id=”VcMWUArO8ak”] Donny Hathaway wrote “This Christmas” with Nadine McKinnor hoping to create the ultimate Xmas song for African-Americans. “This Christmas” wasn’t received well after its initial release in 1970 but by the ’80s it was customary to hear it on Black radio around holiday time. Listeners knew when they heard the beaming horns intro it was time for the holiday.  The presence of the song each year on those radio stations, its re-release in 1991 and cover versions from Patti LaBelle and many others instituted classic status for “This Christmas.” Hathaway and McKinnor’s intention to capture the spirit of a soulful holiday achieved its goal of becoming the most popular Black Christmas song. Hathaway’s daughter Lalah recently covered “This Christmas” for a Spotify Singles recording session. When she was asked by Essence magazine whose version of the song did she like most she replied:

“Donny Hathaway’s is my favorite. I know it’s Christmas when I hear daddy’s version. I would like to hear more of [it].”