Monday, August 11, 2008

Isaac Hayes RIP

Soul music luminary Isaac Hayes died yesterday at the age of 65 due to causes yet unreleased. Hayes survived a stroke in January 2006, but seemed in good health – he recently finished work on the upcoming film Soul Men (co-starring with, in a somewhat chilling turn, comedian Bernie Mac) and was preparing to begin work on a new album.

Hayes began his professional career in 1964 as a session musician for Stax Records, recording most famously with Otis Redding, although that was by no means the extent of his experience. He hooked up with songwriter David Porter and collaborated on a number of songs, most notably the Sam and Dave hit “Soul Man”.

His career as a recording artist began in 1967 with the release of Presenting Isaac Hayes, but it wasn’t until 1969’s Hot Buttered Rhythm that he came to prominence. Superstardom deservedly came with 1971’s brilliant “Theme From Shaft”, a number one hit that snagged him an Academy Award.

Hayes was an iconoclast for his time, musically opting for a smooth, laid back delivery as opposed to the more frantic presentations of his contemporaries and, visually, eschewing the loud colors, flared pants and afros in style at the time for a shaved head and a whole, whole lot of gold. The beginnings of many of his songs on early records are spoken word and today considered one of the predecessors of the rap genre.

In addition to an up and down musical career Hayes starred in several films, was a noted philanthropist, provided to voice of Chef on Southpark, and, unfortunately, an outspoken advocate for Scientology.

Dubious religious affiliations aside, Isaac Hayes was a brilliant songwriter, a charismatic performer ahead of his time, and a prolific, more than passable actor. That’s a pretty respectable legacy to leave behind.

Man, I’m getting sick of typing RIP after people’s names.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, MiseryCreek, I am sorry you must be the one to go on typing RIP after all these wonderful beings, but Misery, you and your talent for fact, reacall and PROFOUND writing, sorry, you are the one to go on and soldier through all the RIP's.... I can see no other that could add such great commentary and spirit of rememberance to what ever my be or become. We all owe a death. There is no such thing as an untimely one. But, you know this...
Were Mr. Hayes Family to read your blog, they would be honored not only that you know so much, that you, not really of his generation, took the time to be of that generation, but because also of how beloved your writing is.

Let us have our happy memories of Isaac, in no small part of thanks, To You, Misery.

Abiding, Ak GRae