About Christmas TV History

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Donny Hathaway

I remember first hearing Donny Hathaway's soulful song 'This Christmas' when I spent the holidays in 1998 working retail at Old Navy. It was among the many holiday songs that played in a loop on the audio system of the store starting just after Halloween and continuing through Christmas. By the middle of November, I had that entire collection of songs memorized--but Hathaway's song stood out. Enough so that I actually looked forward to when it would play over and over and I would sing along when it cycled through. 'This Christmas' was new to me in 1998 but the song seems to have risen in popularity each December in the years since. Originally co-written by Hathaway and Nadine McKinnor, Hathaway released the single in 1970, and it has become a Christmas classic that has been covered by many other artists.

Donny Hathaway's original R&B classic 'This Christmas.'

What I only recently realized is that Donny Hathaway is also the voice behind the incredible theme song for the hit TV show Maude. (The music for 'And Then There's Maude' was written by song writing superstars Marilyn & Alan Bergman and Dave Grusin). Over the last couple of weeks I've been watching Maude on Antenna TV and just happened to see Hathaway's name in the closing credits. I immediately recognized his name from 'This Christmas' and was thrilled to learn that it is the same artist! How cool is that?

Theme song from the 1970s hit TV show 'Maude.'

Hathaway's 'This Christmas' has in recent years become a popular song to cover for many other artists. Sadly, Hathaway passed away in 1979 but this song continues his musical legacy.

Chris Brown singing his version of 'This Christmas' in the 2007 theatrical release movie of the same title.

The official site for the movie, This Christmas is still available and has some nice features. Check it out here.


  1. I love Maude AND Donny - never put 2 and 2 together!

  2. YEAH! Me neither--until recently. I saw his name in the credits and I was like, "No way!"