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Profile: Isaac Hayes

By

Issac Hayes

Issac Hayes

source: soulsvilleusa.com

Born:

Issac Lee Hayes, Jr. on August 20, 1942, in Covington, TN; died on August 10, 2008, in Memphis, TN

Genres:

R&B, Funk, Soul, Jazz, Disco

Instruments:

Vocals, keyboards, saxophone, arranger, producer

Contributions to music:

  • Helped take R&B into the Seventies and forever define the soul music of the decade with his soundtrack to the 1971 film Shaft
  • Along with David Porter, wrote and produced several classic songs for artists at the legendary Stax label in the Sixties, including most of Sam and Dave's hits
  • Developed the "Black Moses Of Soul" persona, the first to use chains as symbols of success rather than slavery
  • His epic jazz-influenced covers of popular music standards were incredibly influential in determining the future of R&B
  • Starred in quite a few movies and became popular all over again as Chef in TV's South Park series

Early years:

Born into a family of cotton pickers in rural Tennessee, Isaac Hayes was raised by his grandparents after his birth parents died in a car accident when he was still an infant. Getting his first taste of music through the church, he soon taught himself piano, flute, and saxophone. By the time he was 21, he had gravitated over to Stax Studios, just beginning to come into its own as a soul music powerhouse, where he co-wrote (and later, produced) several hits for their artists, most notably Carla Thomas and Sam & Dave. After the label fell on hard times in the late Sixties, all its artists were ordered to produce albums.

Success:

Isaac Hayes' contribution was the 1967 LP Presenting Isaac Hayes, made with one eye on turning him into a viable R&B artist of his own. But when the multi-talented Hayes took full creative control of his music in 1969, the resultant album, Hot Buttered Soul, was immediately hailed by critics and audiences alike as the new vanguard of black music, the first album by a soul artist to be regarded as a standalone entity, a suite in its own right and not merely a collection of songs. Later albums expanded his audience, but it was 1971's soundtrack to the film Shaft that garnered him Oscars, Grammys, and instant stardom.

Later years:

His style proved massively influential for the new decade, and his way with an extended groove made him a natural for the burgeoning disco market. By 1980 tastes had changed, but Hayes was already making his mark as a b-movie action star, and when he was tapped for voiceover work on a new TV series, South Park, he readily accepted. As Chef, he was a main fixture on the show until 2006 when an episode about Scientology, to which he was a recent convert, upset him, causing him to quit. Hayes continued to record and make movies until August 2008, when he was found dead in his Memphis home from an apparent heart attack.

Other facts:

  • Hayes got the title for Sam & Dave's "Hold On! I'm Comin'" from partner David Porter, who was leaving the studio bathroom when he yelled the title phrase at Hayes
  • Declared bankruptcy in 1977 after the failure of his own label, Hot Buttered Soul Records
  • His 1978 single "Zeke The Freak" was a major influence on the development of house music
  • Public Enemy sampled Isaac's "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic" for their 1989 hit "Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos"
  • His 1998 novelty song, "Chocolate Salty Balls," written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park, became a #1 hit in the UK

Awards/Honors:

  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2002)
  • GRAMMY Awards (1972, 1973)
  • Academy Awards (1972)
  • GRAMMY Hall of Fame (1999)
  • BMI Icon (2003)
  • Songwriters Hall of Fame (2005)
  • Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award (1999)

Recorded work:

#1 hits:
Pop:

"Theme From Shaft" (1971)

Top 10 hits:
R&B:

"Theme From Shaft" (1971)
"Never Can Say Goodbye" (1971)
"Do Your Thing" (1972)
"Joy" (1974}
"Ike's Rap VIII" (1986)

Disco/Dance:

"Chocolate Chip" (1975)
"Don't Let Go" (1979)
"I Ain't Never" (1980)

#1 albums:
Pop:

Shaft (1971)

R&B:

Hot Buttered Soul (1969)
To Be Continued (1970)
The Isaac Hayes Movement (1970)
Shaft (1971)
Black Moses (1971)
Chocolate Chip (1971)
Live At The Sahara Tahoe (1973)

Jazz:

Hot Buttered Soul (1971)
To Be Continued (1971)
The Isaac Hayes Movement (1971)
Shaft (1971)

Top 10 albums:
Pop:

Hot Buttered Soul (1969)
The Isaac Hayes Movement (1970)
Black Moses (1971)

R&B:

Joy (1973)
Don't Let Go (1979)

Jazz:

Black Moses (1972)

Other important recordings: "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," "Walk On By," "I Stand Accused," "The Look Of Love," "cafe Reggio's," "If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don't Want To Be Right)," "Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One)," "Medley: Monologue / Ike's Mood I / You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," "I Can't Turn Around," "Disco Connection," "Storm Is Over," "Medley: Ike's Rap III / Your Love Is So Doggone Good," "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," "Out Of The Ghetto," "A Few More Kisses To Go," "It's Heaven To Me," "Dark And Lovely (You Over There)," "Birth Of Shaft," "Good Love," "Wonderful," "Rolling Down A Mountainside," "Medley: I Just Want To Make Love To You / Rock Me Baby," "Precious, Precious," "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic," "Let's Stay Together," "Theme From The Men," "Wonderful," "Come Live With Me," "Moonlight Lovin' (Menage a Trois)/Stranger In Paradise," "Zeke The Freak," "Do You Wanna Make Love"
Wrote or co-wrote: "Hold On, I'm Comin'," "Soul Man," "I Thank You," "You Don't Know Like I Know," "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby," Sam & Dave; "B-A-B-Y," "Let Me Be Good To You," Carla Thomas; "Your Good Thing (Is About To End)," Mabel John
Covered by: The Wedding Present, Dread Zeppelin, Cabaret Voltaire
Appears in the movies: "Shaft" (1971), "Tough Guys" (1974), "Truck Turner (1974), "Escape From New York" (1981), "I'm Gonna Get You Sucka" (1988), "CB4" (1993), "Posse" (1993), "Robin Hood: Men In Tights" (1993), "Oblivion" (1994), "It Could Happen To You" (1994), "Oblivion 2: Backlash" (1996), "Flipper" (1996), "Illtown" (1996), "Blues Brothers 2000" (1998), "South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut" (1999), "Reindeer Games" (2000), "Shaft" (2000), "Dr. Doolittle 2" (2001), "Chelsea Walls" (2001), "Hustle & Flow" (2005), "Return To Sleepaway Camp" (2008)

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