This Sunday, April 1st, marks the first anniversary of the reported death of Nick Hathaway, the genre- and taste-defying songsmith known for having the kind of talent that is truly not to be believed. For the tens of fans of Hathaway’s music around the world and in his hometown of Chester, Pennsylvania, the past year has been as eventful as any other. Yet eventfulness is hardly the measure of Nick Hathaway's life and work. Nor is quality, that big bugaboo of critics, artists, audiences, and others who like the arts.
Jameson “Nick” Hathaway, the Tin Pan Alley tunesmith who died this week at age 96, is most memorable for his forgetability. Among song composers of the pre-rock era, Hathaway was such a marginal figure, even in his time, that his name long ago drifted off the margins, off the desktop, out of the room, and took a drive to a place populated only by minor academics, nostalgaists, and other people like me.