Born 20th August 1942 – Covington, Tennessee
Died 10th August 2008
Isaac wrote many songs with David Porter for numerous Stax artists. He often played organ as a stand in for Booker T Jones in recording sessions and some live gigs.
His solo career started with Hot Buttered Soul a very successful album released in 1969 (in fact Isaac’s album sales helped Stax survive a revenue crisis). At that time he specialised in long tracks with a spoken introduction – By the Time I Get to Phoenix being one and Our Day Will Come being another.
More famous these days as the chef in South Park and for being a Scientologist. He left the programme due to artistic differences – apparently based on his objection to criticism of the organisation.
Without doubt Isaac Hayes was a main contributor to the readily identifiable Stax sound – CHUNKEY – rather than the Motown melodic beat style.
Both his parents died when Isaac was a small child so he was brought up by his grandparents. Yet again like numerous soul artists that feature in this database, he sang in church and around age five he began to teach himself piano.
The name on the credits on those blue Stax labels: HAYES-PORTER- HAYES (like Holland Dozier Holland) were the sure sign of soul quality to all us record collectors in Manchester in the early to mid 1960’s.
1962 Before he joined Stax-Volt Records, he organised his own group – Sir Isaac and the Doo-Dads, then the Teen Tones and Sir Calvin and His Swinging Cats. In his early recording career he cut tracks for many small labels, before he began playing with the Mar-Keys and playing on several sessions for Otis Redding.
The Hayes-Porter duo composed some 200 songs, (known as the Soul Children) hit after hits for Stax artists such as Sam and Dave – When Something Is Wrong With My Baby – Soul Man, Hold On, I’m Comin’ Carla Thomas B-A-B-Y Johnnie Taylor I Got to Love Somebody’s Baby – I Had a Dream just to list a few.
1967 his debut solo LP Presenting Isaac Hayes – a jazz styled recording cut in the early-morning after a party in the Stax studios.
1969 Hot-Buttered Soul was a massive breakthrough for Isaac launching his solo career.
1970 The Isaac Hayes Movement and To Be Continued followed, then came Shaft in 1971 – the most famous of all.
It was the score from the Gordon Parks film and it won an Academy Award for Best Score (the first African-American composer to win this award).
1971 Black Moses
1974 soundtracks – Tough Guys and Truck Turner
1976 Due to none payment of royalties and the final folding of Stax Isaac went bankrupt!
1977 saw his come-back a double-LP A Man and a Woman with Dionne Warwick and his hit singles Zeke the Freak – Don’t Let Go and Do You Wanna Make Love.
1981 Lifetime Thing was for five years his retirement swan song.
1986 U Turn (on the retirement thing) and Isaac was back on top with R&B hit Ike’s Rap then Love Attack.
1995 saw him heralded as the father of Hip-Hop and he began his voice over acting in South Park. He left after a disagreement over an episode that featured Scientology – everything else was fair game, apparently but not L Ron Hubbard’s mixture of religion and science fiction.