With a scruffy beard, smooth baritone voice and dark glasses, Isaac Hayes became a musical force. Born Isaac Lee Hayes Jr. in Covington TN on August 20, 1942, he was orphaned during his infancy and raised by his grandparents. After making his singing debut at the age of five, he taught himself piano, organ and saxophone before moving to Memphis to perform on the city’s club circuit in the short lived groups Sir Isaac and the Doo Dads, the Teen Tones and Sir Calvin and His Swinging Cats. Two years later, he played saxophone with the Mar-Keys, which resulted in his long association with Stax Records. He was later tapped to play keyboards in the Stax Records house band and began a songwriting partnership with David Porter. The duo went on to write and produce songs for such Stax artists as Johnnie Taylor, Rufus Thomas, Sam & Dave and Carla Thomas. In 1967, he released his first solo album, “Presenting Isaac Hayes”, which was recorded after a Stax house party. He made his commercial breakthrough with 1969’s “Hot Buttered Soul”, becoming one of the most distinctive figures in music. He reached his commercial zenith after composing the music for the Blaxploitation film “Shaft’, for which he became the first African American composer to win an Academy Award for Best Score. When Stax Records folded in 1975, Hayes was forced to file bankruptcy. He began a comeback with the singles “Zeke The Freak”, “Don’t Let Go” and “Do You Wanna Make Love”. Following the success of a collaboration with Millie Jackson on a duet album “Royal’s Rappin”, he released a pair of solo albums, “And Once Again” and “Lifetime Thing” before retiring from music. He was discovered by a new generation of fans after doing the voice over for the character Jerome “Chef” McElroy on the hit series South Park. Hayes died on August 8,2008.
Flashback Friday: Theme From Shaft-Isaac Hayes
09 Friday Oct 2015
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