Adeli’s Music Blog

Isaac Hayes (1942 – 2008)

Posted in music by adeli on August 11, 2008

Isaac Hayes was an innovator. He was a singer, songwriter, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist, and he paved the way for disco, along as serving as a role model and influence to R&B singers and rappers. He will be missed by his fellow musicians and fans.

The baritone voice and the bald head, during a time when soul singers donned Afros, made him standout. And his talent, influence, and contributions to music still live on. He is best known for the “Theme From Shaft,” which earned him both an Academy Award and a Grammy, however his legacy of work is quite extensive.

The Tennessee native started playing in local bands at an early age. When he was 21, he became a backup singer for Stax Records, the pioneering R&B label in Memphis. His first session was with none other than Otis Redding. For much of the 1960s and the early ’70s, he was a principal songwriter and performer for Stax. His writing credits include Sam and Dave’s classics “Soul Man” and “Hold On, I’m Comin’,” along with all his own tunes.

His groundbreaking 4-song album Hot Buttered Soul in 1969 brought him much success. The songs begin with vocal intros or ‘raps,’ have rich arrangements, and run 2-3 times longer than most songs. His 1971 double album Black Moses earned him much respect as a producer, arranger, and composer. Several songs are covers, however his arrangements make these songs quite impressive on their own. Hayes was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Click below for videos and/or performances of this legendary soul artist:


Never Can Say Goodbye

The Look of Love

By The Time I Get To Phoenix

Walk On By



Isaac Hayes: Black Moses