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HATHAWAY CATALOG SURFS TO PRIMARY WAVE
1/17/20

Primary Wave Music Publishing has announced the acquisition of a majority stake interest in the music publishing catalog, as well as artist royalties, of soul legend Donny Hathaway. The acquisition includes some of Hathaway’s biggest hits, such as Grammy-winning single “Where Is the Love,” “The Ghetto,” “Someday We’ll All Be Free,” as well as the holiday classic “This Christmas,” which has been covered by Mary J. Blige, Destiny’s Child, Train, Pentatonix, Aretha Franklin, Lady Antebellum and more. Primary Wave will partner with the Hathaway estate to not only market his catalog of music, but also to pitch licensing opportunities for his name, likeness and brand.

"We are very excited about partnering with Primary Wave,” said Eulaulah Hathaway. “Their track record of success with other legendary artists makes them the ideal partner for this endeavor. We look forward to working together to bring the music of our beloved Donny Hathaway to listeners for generations to come.”

CEO & Founder of Primary Wave Music Publishing Larry Mestel added, “I want to welcome the Hathaway family into the Primary Wave family.  Donny Hathaway was one of the greatest singers of our time with a voice as smooth as anyone. It’s an honor to represent his music.”

Born in Chicago in 1945, Hathaway began singing in church at a very early age. He began playing piano and by high school was impressive enough to win a full scholarship to Howard University to study music in 1964. While in college, he performed with cocktail jazz outfit the Ric Powell Trio. Hathaway first worked in the record industry behind the scenes as a producer, arranger, songwriter and session pianist, supporting the likes of Aretha Franklin, Jerry Butler, and the Staple Singers, and joined the Mayfield Singers, a studio backing group that supported Curtis Mayfield's Impressions

Hathaway soon became a house producer at Mayfield's Curtom label, and in 1969 cut his first single, a duet with June Conquest. From there he signed with Atco as a solo artist, and released his debut single, the inner-city lament "The Ghetto, Pt. 1," which remains a classic soul message track, and has been sampled by numerous hip-hop artists. The song also set the stage for Hathaway’s acclaimed debut, Everything Is Everything, released in 1970. A year later he recorded a duet with Roberta Flack, covering Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend.” The song reached the Top 10 on the R&B charts and sparked a full album of duets, released in 1972. Hathaway also branched out into soundtrack work, recording the theme song for the TV series Maude. In 1977, Hathaway recorded another duet with Roberta Flack, “The Closer I Get To You.” The song was a smash, becoming the pair's second R&B #1 in 1978, and also climbing to #2 on the pop charts.