Great Whispers Tune - A Song For Donny
St. Louis continues to refuse to honor him or even acknowledge his contributions. Luminaries from the city (or the Metro Area) are typically honored with a "Star" and other acknowledgments. This is tradition in St. Louis, where the Arts scene is pretty big. I wrote about this a few years ago. But the arguments of critics have always fallen on deaf ears. The St. Louis "Walk of Fame" organization and other local Arts institutions don't see his worth.He is one of those artists who became just as big in death as he was in life. Yet lesser lights from the Arts World who were from St. Louis have been recognized by the local Arts scene with no problem.
Perhaps a big part of the problem is a lack of blockbuster record sales or crossover. But then again... there have been other St. Louis musicians who have been honored who didn't have much of either. And I hate to say it... (because I hate to point to Race) but I think Race has played a big part in why Donny Hathaway has never received respect or recognition from the city where he grew up (and where he was buried).
Side Note: The St. Louis Walk of Fame should not be confused with the Hollywood Walk of Fame in terms of standards, etc. The term "Fame" is somewhat of a misnomer. The St. Louis Walk of Fame is mostly an Arts based institution. Talent carries a little more weight. (Britney Spears wouldn't necessarily even make it onto the ballot). However, over the last few years, the institution has become more of a joke, based on its selections and its selection process. Based on the direction it's headed, it could turn into another Hollywood Walk of Fame within a few years.