National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day – August 10 – Isaac Hayes

0 Comments 10 August 2012


The research for today’s DPD was fascinating.

Today’s focus – Isaac Hayes.

Mr. Hayes was born and grew his wings in rural Tennessee. He was a founding member and key figure for Memphis’ Stax records. At that time – the early 1960s – Motown was blowing up and taking the nation by storm. Stax records – powered by Otis Redding (and later by Isaac Hayes) – provided an unpolished, gritty alternative to Motown that helped catapult the likes of James Brown and the funk explosion of the late 60s and early 70s. And I think we’ll all agree we’re the better for it.

After making a name for himself as a premiere songwriter, arranger and musician at Stax he was approached to write the soundtrack for Shaft. Originally he wanted the starring role and when it was given to Richard Rountree instead…Hayes almost walked away. Thankfully he didn’t.

Hayes was eccentric.His follow up to the Shaft success was his album Black Moses where its original issue, the cover folded out to reveal a portrait of Mr. Hayes in crucifix form. At the time unprecedented. Nowadays people take craps in boxes and release with their albums. But I digress.

My point is that most of us know about Hayes because of his association…then diassociation with South Park because of his Scientology roots. Evidently he became one of those quacks at some point in the early 1990s. Interestly enough I found out through my research that Doug E. Fresh and Chick Correa are Scientologists as well. Who knew? Either way, I guess an axiom in Scientology is not being able to take a joke….so South Park lost chef, and his chocolate salty balls.

Anyways, lets focus on the positive with Mr. Hayes’ career. He was a badass mofo, knee deep in soul and funk.

Isaac Hayes, 65, a Creator of ’70s Soul Style, Dies
Published: August 10, 2008

Isaac Hayes, the singer and songwriter whose luxurious, strutting funk arrangements in songs like “Theme From ‘Shaft’ ” defined the glories and excesses of soul music in the early 1970s, died on Sunday in Memphis. He was 65. Continue

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