***** Today’s guest post is by my friend Jesse Stern. He is one hell of an amazing bass player with a memory better than an elephant when it comes to music. He remembers my songs better than I tend to. Here’s his favorite song to be shared with you all. *****
“Live” by Donny Hathaway is probably my favorite album of all time. If I could only take one album (or an iPod with only one album on it), this would be it. During a time of great creativity in music and American culture, the album is alive, full of energy and possibility.
“You’ve Got a Friend” is one of the highlights of the album. A cover of the Carole King song, made famous by James Taylor, the song was already a #1 hit the year before. From the opening chords, the audience goes wild. In the chorus, Donny stops singing and just lets the audience take it. And the audience sings in three-part harmony.
The cast is all star. Members of the band had already performed with legends such as Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Ramsey Lewis, Grover Washington, the Doobie Brothers, and went on to work with Michael Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire. And the band is on fire.
I don’t know about you, but I can feel the joy in this song, from the lead singer, from the band, and from every member of the audience. It’s one of my favorite tracks of all time, and I’m glad to have the chance to share. Enjoy!
Personnel: Donny Hathaway (vocals, keys), Fred White (drums), Earl DeRouen (congas) Willie Weeks (bass), Mike Howard (rhythm guitar), Phil Upchurch (lead guitar).
Jesse Stern (www.jessestern.com)