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Soul Singer - Isaac Hayes

Updated on September 12, 2013

Isaac Hayes, Singer, Voice and Actor

The first black composer to win an Oscar for Best Song, award winning instrumentalist, crooner, rapping before there was rap, Rhythm & Blues & Jazz singer, soul singer, winner of Academy and Grammy awards and a humanitarian to boot - that was Isaac Hayes.

Isaac Hayes, prolific artistry touched many different areas: as an accomplished Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award winning composer/musician, published author, in demand actor and on-air radio personality, whose career spanned five decades. His signature sound laid the groundwork for the lush orchestrations of disco and the hip vocals of rap. Isaac Hayes also nicknamed "Black Moses," was known more recently as the voice of "Chef" on South Park. It could be said that he went from "Shaft" to "Chef."

OH YES, it was a sad, sad day on August 10th of this year, 2008, Isaac Lee Hayes Jr., the could-sing-anything guy died at age, 65.

"Hello Children!"

Two words that will immediately bring a person to mind for most of the generation X population. Not many long lasting actors can successfully make the transition from one genre to another, and in the case of Isaac Hayes, we saw just that. An actor who could bounce between action (Escape From New York/LA, Miami Vice, The A Team, Johnny Mnemonic), drama (Reindeer Games, Flipper, Shaft, Hustle and Flow), comedy (South Park, Robin Hood Men in Tights, Dr. Dolittle 2), and even some campy horror (Tales from the Crypt, Return to Sleepaway Camp).

As I mentioned before, Isaac Hayes was like most artists and didn't restrict his interests to only film. Hayes contributed music in such films as American Gangster, Zodiac, Lord of War, Kill Bill, We Were Soldiers, Shaft, and 8 Mile. Even though most remember him as the lovable Chef from South Park, Isaac Hayes was a talented man with a dynamic set of talents which we were lucky to enjoy in any form they came. So grab some friends this year and leave your logic at the door while you enjoy his final piece of work before his passing. Return to Sleepaway Camp will most likely be a direct to dvd release, but that doesn't mean you can't lose your inhibitions in a case of beer while enjoying its complete ridiculousness with a group of friends in honor of the late Mr. Isaac Hayes.

Isaac Hayes' career is a testament to perseverance. With some of my memories and a few pictures from the past let me show you how ....

Isaac Hayes was born in the rural poverty of a sharecropper's family on August 20, 1942. Orphaned in infancy, he and his sister Willette were raised by their maternal grandparents, Willie & Rushia Addie-Mae Wade. He started picking cotton after his grandfather's health failed, became a bus boy, dishwasher then a short order cook.

Isaac's dream to be a doctor, got redirected when he won a talent contest in ninth grade by singing Nat King Cole's "Looking Back." From that day forward Isaac Hayes never looked back.

I wish that I could have been in the audience for that performance!

1964 - Stax Records of Memphis

Soul Children

A self-taught musician, Isaac was hired in 1964 by Stax Records of Memphis as a backup pianist, working as a session musician for Otis Redding and others. He also played saxophone.

Under the name the Soul Children, the Hayes-Porter duo composed some 200 songs, reeling off a string of hits for Stax luminaries like Sam & Dave (the brilliant "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby," "Soul Man," "I Thank You" and "Hold On, I'm Comin'"), Carla Thomas ("B-A-B-Y,") and Johnnie Taylor ("I Got to Love Somebody's Baby," "I Had a Dream").

Picture: David Porter

Respect Yourself - Stax Records Documentary

PBS presents Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story, which highlights the rise of Stax Records, death of Otis Reading, and the seizure of the entire Stax catalog by Atlantic Records, the label's eventual recovery, and Isaac Hayes' rise to stardom.

Respect Yourself includes personal interviews with William Bell, David Porter, Jesse Jackson, Mavis Staples, Duck Dunn, and more!

SOUL CHILDREN - The name says it all.

If you get this keepsake before I do .. may I borrow it?

Pretty please?

Finders Keepers
Finders Keepers
"Let's give our children the best." These are the words of Isaac Hayes. Father of 12 children, ages 2 to 43 and grandfather of 16 - his ideas about what's best for our children are worth their weight in gold. This album is a found treasure.


1969 - A Star

Album: Hot Buttered Soul

The album Hot Buttered Soul made Hayes a star in l969. His shaven head, gold chains and sunglasses gave him a compelling visual image.

"Hot Buttered Soul" was groundbreaking in several ways. I liked that he sang in a "cool" style unlike the usual histrionics of big-time soul singers.

I already liked songs like "Walk on By" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," so when he reinterpreted these and other pop songs into his moody, rumbling, baritone renditions with complex arrangements, I "loved" them.

Album - Hot Buttered Soul

Tribute by Cookin Soul - Lifetime Thing - Presenting 'Hot Buttered Soul'

I really like this music. It reminds me of my babysitting days. The young couple I babysat for had a collection of jazz and R & B music that I fell in love with. To this day when I hear the "real" jazz (not the canned stuff) it sets my feet to tappin' and my body to swayin'.

In the early 1970s, Isaac Hayes laid the groundwork for disco, for what became known as urban-contemporary music and for romantic crooners with albums:

"The Isaac Hayes Movement"


"To Be Continued."

Album - The Isaac Hayes Movement

Wattstax - The Black Woodstock

On August 20, 1972, more than 100,000 people attended what came to be known as "The Black Woodstock." There are many differences between that seminal hippie event, it was a more socio-politically charged event, with its emphasis on black pride and the simple opportunity for African Americans to assert that. As the title suggests, a host of great Stax Records artists (including Rufus and Carla Thomas, the Bar-Kays, the Staple Singers, Albert King, and show closer Isaac Hayes) performed at the L.A. Colisium.

WATTSTAX (3-CD Deluxe Edition)
WATTSTAX (3-CD Deluxe Edition)
This three-disc, nearly four-hour-long deluxe 35th anniversary edition gets it right by adding over an hour of previously unreleased music, and presenting it in an expanded package that includes a detailed essay by Stax historian Rob Bowman. The show's gospel aspect is further highlighted with plenty of Staple Singers, the amazing Rance Allen Group, and obscure blues harp player Little Sonny ripping into an instrumental version of "Wade in the Water." Comedy snippets from a young Richard Pryor and Jesse Jackson's opening speech, which appeared in the associated film, could have been excised, but nearly entire sets from Carla and Rufus Thomas, the Bar-Kays, and David Porter are worthy additions. Only the ubiquitous "Theme from Shaft" remains from Isaac Hayes's hour-long closing, but his full performance is available separately.

Next came,"Theme From Shaft," a No. 1 hit in 1971 from the film "Shaft" starring Richard Roundtree.

In addition to winning three Grammy awards, the music from Shaft won a Golden Globe award, NAACP Image award and the prestigious Edison award, Europe's highest music honor.

The 1972 album "Black Moses" won Hayes another Grammy and he earned a nickname he reluctantly embraced. You guessed it, "Black Moses." Besides "Shaft," Hayes also composed film scores for "Tough Guys" and "Truck Turner."

Theme From Shaft

I just love thie music in this album. I could listen to it day and night.

OSCAR for "Shaft" - 1972

AND THE OSCAR FOR BEST ORIGINAL SONG GOES TO: Isaac Hayes for "Shaft" at the 44th Annual Academy Awards.

If you find that this YouTube does not want to work: Click on the YouTube logo in the upper left corner of the black screen. YouTube will pop up. Type in "Isaac Hayes winning an Oscar" and you'll have it.

The Look of Love - Yummy!

Here is an epic version of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "The Look of Love" off his 1970 album "To Be Continued." Captured at a live performance in 1973.

When Hayes begins singing, the song enters the stratosphere.

Number One Soul Brother to: - Producer Pete Rock

In Wax Poetics, legendary hip hop producer Pete Rock noted Isaac Hayes was a main inspiration on his own music, saying "he's the number one soul brother to me." Rock went on to say that Black Moses "affected his production and the way he hears things", and really it should come as no surprise as Hayes is right up there with James Brown as one of the most respected, and by extension, sampled, artists among the hip hop cognoscenti.

For those who may have come to Hayes know Hayes more for his Shaft/ South Park/ Scientology celebrity, Jamsbio offers up a neat little primer on some of the more notable uses of his music, from Biggie to Jay-Z to Public Enemy. My own advice: grip a copy of Hot Buttered Soul immediately, find a nice relaxing place and a loved one to listen to it with you.

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain - Playing the theme from 'Shaft'

I've noticed that whenever some piece of music is outstanding ... many others like to do their rendition of it. Played live at Cambridge Folk Festival, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain's rendition of "Shaft" is brilliant!

Great Albums

I listen to my album "Hot Buttered Soul" and it takes me on a trip back in time. What a trip!

Hot Buttered Soul (Remastered)
Hot Buttered Soul (Remastered)
If your lovelorn, sad, an' need somethin' to feed your sadness, or somethin' to keep you in touch with your spirit and soul, then this is the album to pick up. It's by all means one'a the best soul albums of ALL TIME, flawlessly performed from start to finish.
While Theme from Shaft is the most memorable cut on the album, DO YOUR THING, CAFE REGIOS'S, "Ellie's Love Theme" and "Soulsville" are memorable also.
Black Moses
Black Moses
The two featured numbers 'Never Can Say Goodbye' and 'Never Gonna Give Ya Up' are awesome. Its difficult to pick out favourites from a perfect album. A must-have if you want my advice.

"Joy", Isaac Hayes' eighth album in four years.


I really enjoy listening to, "A Man Will Be A Man." "The Feeling Keeps On Coming," is a number that nearly steals the show, and the last song "I'm Gonna Make It Without You," is sweet. Throughout this album the music and production is mesmerising. A rarity these days.

Isaac Hayes was featured in the blaxploitation films "Three Tough Guys" and "Truck Turner." Although I haven't seen these movies, I have heard the music he recorded for both of them in 1974. Tough Guys is mostly instrumental & Truck Turner is a single. Awesome music!

A Little Trivia: The soundtrack score was eventually used in the "Kill Bill" film series. It has also been the theme song of a Brazilian radio show "Jornal de Esportes" at Jovem Pan station for over 30 years.

Album - Joy

Album - Truck Turner

Master of instrumentals. I love it!!!

Album - Three Tough Guys

Despite his numerous successes, a rapid demise of Stax forced Hayes (now also known as Ike) to declare bankruptcy in 1976. He made a comeback later with a series of hit songs and albums for the Polydor label.

In 1977, the double-LP "A Man and a Woman," recorded with Dionne Warwick, indicated a resurgence in his recording career. Although this record was not as huge a hit as the recordings before it, I really like listening to it. They made a wonderful duo!

In 1979 a collection of duets with Millie Jackson, titled "Royal Rappin's", was released.

Isaac Hayes also acted in motion pictures and television from 1997 to 2006. (A filmography will be added later.)

A Man and a Woman (Deja Vu)

Royal Rappin's - Millie Jackson & Isaac Hayes - You Never Crossed My Mind

1973 - 1979 Albums

Hayes is the master technician of romance on a disc that is expertly balanced with a powerful party jam.

Solo albums released: 1980s "And Once Again" and 1981's "Lifetime Thing".

The same year, Isaac made an appearance in the movie "Escape From New York", playing the role of "The Duke Of New York".

Musically, Isaac retired for five years before re-emerging with "Ike's Rap", a

Top-10, U.S., R & B single taken from the album 'U Turn'.

Two years later he returned again with "Love Attack", before again dropping out of music to focus on acting.

1995 he released two CD's in the form of "Branded" and the instrumental "Raw and Refined".

Hayes continued to write and record sporadically over the next two decades - but took an extended five-year break from music in early-'80s to spend more time with his family and then his second career, as an actor, blossomed. He also did the song "Two Cool Guys" on the "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America" movie soundtrack in 1996.

Changing With The Times

Isaac Hayes changed with the times. The success of 1970s seemed to make the proceedings of his later albums more relaxed and confident. Throughout most of the slow tracks here Hayes seemed to be trying to attain a more thoughtful approach and seemed to be reminiscent of his Black Moses era.


Isaac Hayes' official name under which he served as a member of the royal family of the African nation of Ghana.

1992 - A Ghana King

In 1992, in recognition of his humanitarian work, he was crowned an honorary king of Ghana's Ada district. This meant he was responsible for improving literacy as well as spurring industrial and economic growth. In the summer of 2000, he opened a school in Ghana designed to link children in Africa with those in American inner cities via the Internet.

Interviewer: You were made an official, an honorary of the royal family of Ghana. How did that come about?

Hayes: I went over there with Dionne Warwick back in '92. We went through all of the dungeons and it just changed my life. I went back on speaking engagements and encouraged African-Americans to go to Africa to interact socially, culturally and/or economically.

This princess heard me speak then called her father. She said, "let's honor this man." So they invited me over to go through the rituals for me to become a development king.

But we've progressed. I have built a school in Ghana, and it's a beautiful thing.

"My name is Nene Katey Ocansey I (King for Development of Ada)".

Interviewer: Well, your majesty, thank you very much for being with us, Isaac Hayes, it's been an honor to meet you.

Special Thoughts From Nene Katey Ocansey

(nee Isaac Hayes)

"I have tried several times to explain the chill I felt as I walked through the slave dungeons with Dione Warwick during my first visit to Ghana in 1992. At that time, I knew my soul could never be at peace until I had done something significant on this continent of my ancestry."

"I believe my humble duty is to unlock the heavy chains of illiteracy that still continue to keep the minds of my people in abject poverty in the midst of plenty. I am deeply humbled to have the opportunity to see the fulfillment of this duty in my lifetime through the Neko Tech Center Project. Health and Technology are the two anchors that will help improve the plight of Africa in the 21st century."

Note: Well endowed with natural resources, Ghana has twice the per capita output of the poorer countries in West Africa. Even so, Ghana remains heavily dependent on international financial and technical assistance. Gold, timber, and cocoa production are major sources of foreign exchange.

South Park pays tribute to Isaac Hayes - by Mike Burr

Isaac Hayes left a musical legacy that encompasses much more than his iconic theme from Shaft, but he might have attained more mainstream fame with the younger generation in his role as Chef on South Park. Though Hayes left the show acrimoniously over the Scientology-baiting "Trapped in the Closet" episode and his character was later played as an unwitting dupe to a sinister organization, show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are offering a simple "In Memoriam" tribute to Hayes on their website. Hayes appeared on South Park from 1998 to 2006 as well as the 1999 film South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. [South Park]

South Park Chef Tribute

ON .. Scientology for the Rich

Leaving Scientology

"Written by Jeff, a former staffer.

Even the most dedicated Scientologist can see the disparity between the stated goal of "Clearing the Planet" and the fact of the Church's high "donation rates." At Flag, the cost of a single intensive of auditing, 12 ½ hours, is $6,800. You can get a used car for that. Scientologists can and do spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach Clear and OT. Add to that the donations to the IAS, Ideal Orgs and Superpower, those donations you'd better make if you want to keep your OT Eligibility, and it puts Scientology completely out of reach for at least 95% of the planet. Consider that only 6% of Americans make over $100,000 a year, and only 3% make over $125,000, or $250,000 household income.

And what about the rest of the planet? What about countries where the average per capita income is $20,000, $10,000, $5,000 or even less?


Hayes was well known as a champion of human rights. As an international spokesman for the World Literacy Crusade, Isaac Hayes encouraged young people to stay in school. He was also a longtime supporter of the Shepherd Foundation, a Harlem-based charity that researches alternative treatments for degenerative diseases. In 1999 he established the Isaac Hayes Foundation, a charity that supports global causes, serves the needs of the community, and - according to his website - assists "vulnerable populations in realizing their full potential through grants, technical assistance and program development in the areas of health care, economic, community, environmental and human development."

He also supported Youth for Human Rights International, the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, and the ONE Campaign.

2002 - Isaac Hayes

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Hayes says he was surprised when he heard that he had become a Hall of Fame inductee.

The legendary singer and song writer joined CNN Anchor, Anderson Cooper, to recap the event. Hayes said Monday night's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony was "off the hook."

2003 - BMI ICON

3rd Annual Urban Awards

A special highlight of the gala evening featured a salute to soul music legend, Isaac Hayes. For his ever enduring influence on generations of music makers, he was honored as BMI ICON .

Picture: Black Expo 1973


A very exciting year.

The year 2004 was a busy and exciting year for Isaac Hayes. His first big appearance was when he presided over the opening day ceremonies at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Soulville, Memphis.


Fund-raising reception, screening, and opening of Wattstax photography exhibit featured a special evening with Isaac Hayes.

I believe it was Isaac Hayes who turned chains, once symbols of slavery and degradation, into ornaments, a decade before Mr. T and decades before the arrival of bling-bling. At the Oscar ceremony in 1972, Hayes performed the song wearing an eye-popping amount of gold and received a standiing ovation.

2004 - Wattstat

Isaac Hayes At Wattstax
Isaac Hayes At Wattstax
This new edition of the acclaimed 1973 documentary was digitally remastered by the Saul Zaentz Film Center in Berkeley and contains footage that was lost for some 30 years. It also contains new audio commentaries by such luminaries as Al Bell, Isaac Hayes, the film's director Mel Stuart, and others who were present for the landmark Wattstax concert and for the filming of the documentary, which focuses not only on the Wattstax concert, but of everyday life on the streets for African-Americans in South Central Los Angeles at the time.


NASCA Busch Series race

In harmony with the 2004 rock 'n' roll celebration at Memphis Motorsports Park, Isaac Hayes served as Grand Marshal and sang the National Anthem.

In what appears to be a continuing effort to attract more African-American fans, NASCAR hired Isaac Hayes to voice a new character on its animated series, "The Kellys", billed as the first Internet cartoon about a stock car racing team.

For free PC racing games at "Kellys Game Room and to read more about this series of a dedicated racing Vermont family, whose fans root for them as the most popular underdogs on the racing circuit. Click here

The Kellys: "It's got to get better than this."

November 4, 2004, BMI congratulated performer and BMI ICON Isaac Hayes as he was inducted into Hollywood's Rockwalk at the Guitar Center. To further celebrate the "Soul Man," Mayor James Hahn of Los Angeles also proclaimed the day "Isaac Hayes Day."

Isaac Hayes Supports ..

Have-A-Chance Program

May 2005 Isaac Hayes reached out to support the Mary McLeod Bethune Community Center's Have-A-Chance program. The Center's Have-A-Chance program provides educational assistance to youth ages 6 - 17. The program's targeted population is at-risk youth from underserved communities. The Have-A-Chance program provides extended academic services outside of the student's schools.

Isaac Hayes is seen on stage with Congresswoman Corrine Brown, Francis Mobley, and the President of the Mary McLeod Bethune Community Center, Loretta Burson, the Program Director, and Sandra Hawkins, a Board member of the Mary McLeod Bethune Community Center.


Songwriter's Hall of Fame

June, 2005 - Isaac Hayes and, partner of the past, David Porter were inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.

Over the course of the past years, some key Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees have included many of my favorites: Isaac Hayes and David Porter,John Fogerty, Steve Cropper, Richard and Robert Sherman, Bill Withers, Carole King, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Sir Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Brian Wilson, James Taylor, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Jim Croce, Phil Collins, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Jimmy Webb, Van Morrison and Cy Coleman. I have probably missed some.

The Songwriters Hall of Fame - List of Hayes Award Exhibits

I would love to see the Songwriter's Exhibits. (I wonder if a person is allowed to take pictures in there.)

If you would like to read about the Songwriters Hall of Fame - click here

Isaac Hayes Exhibit

  • Isaac Hayes Photos


  • Isaac Hayes 1972 Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song Awards

  • Isaac Hayes 1972 Oscar Nomination for Best Music, Original Dramatic Score Awards

  • Isaac Hayes 1972 BAFTA Nomination for the Anthony

    Asquith Award for Film Music Awards

  • Isaac Hayes 1972 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score Awards

  • Isaac Hayes 1972 Grammy Award for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture Awards

  • Isaac Hayes 1998 BMI TV Music Award Awards

  • Isaac Hayes 1999 Image Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: South Park Awards

Ultimate Isaac Hayes

Renowned as one of his generation's greatest songwriters and arrangers, Hayes punctuates his creations with hints of r&b, funk, jazz and soul.

Examples include:

The indelible, "Theme From Shaft."

Hal David's, "The Look of Love."

The slow-grooving, "Do Your Thing."

An unreleased gospel standard, "His Eye Is on the Sparrow."

Can You Dig It? - An Introduction to a legendary artist.

Get your feet wet and start your collection with this one.

Ultimate Isaac Hayes: Can You Dig It
Ultimate Isaac Hayes: Can You Dig It
This inspired packaging includes a four-track DVD that features a trio of Hayes' performances from the 1972 WATTSTAX Festival at the Los Angeles Coliseum--providing as much evidence of the magnitude of Hayes' esteem as this starter set for anyone seeking an introduction to a legendary artist.

Isaac welcomes his new baby boy Nana Kwadjo Hayes

Kwadjo is Isaac Hayes fourth son, the first with Adjowa.

Nana means "King", the baby's first name is Kwadjo (pronounced "kwo-jo"), which in the Ghanaian language means "boy born on Monday."

Apr. 10/06 did indeed fall on a Monday.

Memphis Salutes Isaac Hayes

Soul Icon

The Memphis Soul 'n' Rock Museum hosted the "Memphis Music Salute" reception honoring Memphis music and soul Stax soul legend, Isaac Hayes.

Hayes was presented with a plaque of recognition; an autographed duplicate of the plaque has been placed on permanent display in the museum.

A Little Trivia: Immediately following the reception, Hayes was recognized at center court at the NBA Memphis Grizzlie's home game against the Chicago Bulls.

The "50 Year of Stax" concert at the Hollywood Bowl - was the most soulful local summer soiree since the legendary "Wattstax" Festival .. The real ace-in-the-hole was headliner Isaac Hayes.

"Here we are 50 years later and people still love this music," said Hayes. ".. it's given me an incredible life, .. I've been all over, traveled the world."

In celebration of the milestone, Concord Records released a Delux 2-CD set featuring cuts from STAX favorites, Isaac Hayes, the Dramatics, The Staple Singers and Mable John.

Isaac Hayes Album - Instrumentals

This is my favorite instrumental album in my extensive collection.

It makes me want to dance. Isaac Hayes Rocks!

This is one of the better compilations of Isaac Hayes' work with soundtracks for "blaxpoitation movies" in the 70's. When you listen to the tracks from this CD you will think that this could be used for any type of movie from that time period. Ranging from psychedelic guitars "Pursuit of the Pimpmobile" & "Hung up on my baby" to jazz "Cafe Regio's". If you are a fan of Isaac Hayes a composer, you can't lose with this CD.

Aug 3-5, 2007 - The Big Chill Music Festival - Eastnor Castle Deer Park , UK

Isaac Hayes Brings the Funk Wherever he goes.

BIG 'n' still chillin': Mixing art, music and magical randomness, with a formidable line-up and sunny crowds, camp Chill's sixth festival at the stunning Eastnor site was a three-day fun fest like no other!

Isaac Hayes, Mika, The Cinematic Orchestra, Norman Jay, Mr Scruff, Tom Middleton presents AMBA, The Blockheads, Low, Chungking, Kevin Rowland, Jose Padilla, Biosphere, Ulrich Schnauss, Ashley Beedle, Skatalites, Hextatic, DJ Yoda, Chromeo, The Nextmen, Soul Of Man, DJ Pasta, Idjut Boys, Ashley Beedle, Neon Heights, Greg Wilson, Blackgrass, Skitz, Secret Stealth, Joe Driscoll and many more..... and MANY more plus the Media Mix tent, Big Chill Radio, the all singing all dancing debut of 'Big Chill Nights' which opened with the 'greatest Pyrotechnic Show On Earth' from Light it + Dancing girls, circus skills workshop, Body and Soul and the Art Trail.

Such was the occasion Isaac Hayes starred at. As always, Isaac Hayes - wowed the crowd with his distictive husky tones. He jazzed up "Walk on By", "Soul Man" and sang a phenomenal rendition of "Shaft." Icon Hayes oozed stage presence.

Feb. 8, 2008

Hayes; "Shaft" Honored at Movies Rock!

It looked like a collision between the Grammys and the Oscars at the Kodiak Theatre - the occasion? "MOVIES ROCK" a special program honoring the enduring relationship between music and film.

The crowd was generaous with it's praise throughout the night standing up to applaud cool singing, Isaac Hayes' theme from "Shaft."

The Very Best of Isaac Hayes

This is by far the best single CD compilation of Isaac Hayes' Stax recordings I've seen

The Very Best Of Isaac Hayes
The Very Best Of Isaac Hayes
Virtually all of the big hits which made Isaac Hayes a superstar are included here and (as a bonus) some more obscure tracks. Isaac's Stax recordings all succeeded at reaching R&B, Jazz and MOR-Pop audiences alike and they remain enjoyable and relevant to this day.

Looking for Isaac Hayes' music on eBay? - Use the Bidsquid now.

Find exactly what you want today.

SAMPLOLOGY - Isaac Hayes lives on in prominent samples

The SAMPLOLOGY mixtape series, mixed by DJ Parler (par-lay), is a compilation of music & the original songs that inspired them. Connecting the dots between your favorite Hip Hop/R&B tracks and the classic hard-to-find gems, each chapter highlights a select artist, producer or genre. Past chapters include: J Dilla, Kanye West, Philly International Records, Jay-Z's American Gangster Soundtrack, and Isaac Hayes.

Click Here For A Free Download

Cooking With Heart And Soul - Isaac Hayes

Most obituaries of the funk-soul great Isaac Hayes are focusing, understandably, on his immortal, Oscar-winning "Theme From Shaft," but my favorite works of his also include his cookbook, "Cooking With Hear and Soul."

Long before Isaac Hayes became the voice of "Chef" on the wildly popular and irreverent television show South Park, he was a food lover. His fondest and most enduring memories are those associated with his Tennessee boyhood and helping his grandmother to prepare traditional Southern soul food.

Before becoming an Academy Award-winning composer, Hayes was a short-order cook. And somewhere in a career spanning more than four decades, he was a single father who cooked for five children and shared recipes with friends, professional chefs, and family. The commercial successes in music, film, television, and radio came and went and came again - but ALWAYS there was the food.

Cooking with Heart and Soul
Cooking with Heart and Soul
Cooking with Heart and Soul is pure Isaac Hayes - one part hot buttered soul, one part chocolate salty balls, and a big helping of comfort. It's a mix of traditional home cooking and healthy eating, with a touch of the gourmet - and a lot of stories from a life lived to the fullest. This is a rare collection of recipes and reminiscences that reveals Isaac's passionate and eclectic interests from soul food and soul music to superstars and super-nutrients. It is as inspiring and satisfying as his Mama's Fried Cream Corn recipe. (See below.)

Isaac's Hot Buttered Fried Creamed Corn

Sounds good! I'm going to try it.

"Mama used to make this dish for me on her wood burning stove in the kitchen. When I make it nowadays, it lets me travel back in time in an instant and relive those happy times. There is nothing like the smell or taste of fresh-cooked bacon mixed with fried corn."

6 ears corn

3 slices bacon

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 cup evaporated milk, warmed

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Cut the kernels off the ears; set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add bacon and fry until crisp. Drain on paper towels and crumble.

In the drippings in the pan, sauté the corn kernels until lightly browned.

Add the butter and heat until melted. Stir in the flour until smooth and gradually stir in the evaporated milk. Stir in the crumbled bacon and cover and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 servings

Source: Cooking with Heart and Soul by Isaac Hayes

Hayes Acting Career

From 1971 ..

While Hayes was certainly proud of his achievements, at one point he'd shown an interest in playing the lead in Shaft as well as writing the music, and after displaying an estimable amount of screen charisma in several concert films including Wattstax and Save the Children, he was cast alongside Fred Williamson and Lino Ventura in the Italian blaxploitation-style drama Uomini Duri released in America as Three Tough Guys; Hayes also wrote music for the film. Later that same year, Hayes scored a solo starring role in Truck Turner, but just as his acting career began taking hold, the bottom began to fall out of the blaxploitation market, and Hayes went back to making music, not scoring another film role until Escape From New York in 1981.

In the mid-'80s, Hayes returned to acting, and appeared in no fewer than 25 theatrical and television features between 1986 and 1996; most were low-budget genre fare, but several more notable films appeared on his resumé, including the blaxploitation parody/tribute I'm Gonna Git You Sucka!, Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Mario Van Peebles' African-American Western Posse, and Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored, an evocative look at life in a small Southern town in the 1940s.

Hayes' acting career got an unexpected boost in 1997, when he was asked to provide the voice of Chef on the animated television series South Park. Originally intended to appear in one episode, Chef went over so well that he became a regular character on the series, and remained with the show for nine years. Hayes also continued to land a number of higher profile film roles in films like Reindeer Games, the 2000 remake of Shaft, and the independent venture Hustle & Flow, for which he was nominated for a Screen Actors' Guild Award. When not busy with acting projects, Hayes continued to play concerts and record new material; he was also a literacy activist, a supporter of children's charities around the world, and operated a pair of successful restaurants in Chicago and Memphis.

Three Tough Guys

Clarke Fountain

Plot Synopsis

This Italian film was made for the blaxploitation action niche, but sloppy dubbing and unintentionally funny dialogue kept it from packing the kind of action punch needed for box-office success. Father Charlie (Lino Venturi) is an ex-con who has been granted an exemption from canon law to become a priest. When a friend of his gets into trouble which looks suspiciously like a frame-up, Father Charlie decides to investigate, with or without the blessing of his bishop. His friend Lee Stevens (Isaac Hayes) is looking for the real culprit as well, and Father Charlie and Lee soon join forces.

Truck Turner

Jason Buchanan

Plot Synopsis

Isaac Hayes puts his gun where his groove is in his role as hard-case bounty hunter Mack "Truck" Turner, three years after composing the legendary score for Shaft (1971). Ex-football star turned skip-tracer, Turner specializes in bringing in the criminals police are too scared to chase, and when he's hired to capture sociopathic pimp Gator (Paul Harris), he finds himself confronted by the most vicious killers in the underground scene. Little does Turner know that Gator's woman, Dorinda (Nichelle Nichols), has a deep-running cold streak of vengeance, and has hired ruthless hit man Harvard Blue (Yaphet Kotto), as well as a legion of other like-minded and equally determined assassins, to snuff out Truck's supercharged motor once and for all. It's now up to Truck to keep his cool long enough to get to the source.

Truck Turner - Pursuit of Pimpmobile

Scenes from 'Truck Turner' (1974). Some pretty exciting scenes .. and some funny ones too.

Escape From New York

Jason Buchanan

Plot Synopsis

A tenuous synergistic agreement between two remote civilizations threatens to crumble when a stubborn prince breaks a longstanding pact in director Kunihiko Yuyama's poignant tale of war and hope. The inhabitants of Lunaria may not have much in the way of technology, but their strong connection with the Earth does provide them with one essential natural resource - water. Though their neighbors in the Shadowlands lack the life-giving resource, they do have a firm grasp on technology. When the two civilizations come to the mutually beneficial agreement that the Shadowlanders will provide technology to the Lunarians in exchange for water, both are satisfied with the deal and an era of peaceful coexistence begins. Years later, the Lunarian prince cuts the water supply to the Shadowlands after declaring that the technology they have provided is obsolete. As war looms on the horizon, a forbidden romance between the Lunarian Prince's daughter Veronica and Rolland, heir to the Shadowlands, continues to flourish. With agents from the Shadowlands struggling to restore their water supply and a mysterious fiend named Lagado scheming to conquer Lunaria, the only hope for peace may reside within the mythical Tree of Life.

Robin Hood: Men in Tights

Mark Deming

Plot Synopsis

Mel Brooks directed and co-wrote this satiric comedy which lampoons a number of cinematic treatments of the legend of Sherwood Forest, including Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and The Adventures of Robin Hood. Robin Hood (Cary Elwes) comes home after fighting in the Crusades to learn that the noble King Richard (Patrick Stewart) is in exile and that the despotic King John (Richard Lewis) now rules England, with the help of the Sheriff of Rottingham (Roger Rees). Robin Hood assembles a band of fellow patriots to do battle with John and the Sheriff, including Asneeze (Isaac Hayes) and his son Ahchoo (Dave Chappelle), the blind watchman Blinkin (Mark Blankfield), Will Scarlet O'Hara (Matthew Porretta), and Rabbi Tuckman (Brooks). The Sheriff is eager to put Robin Hood out of business with the aid of criminal mastermind Don Giovanni (Dom DeLuise), but Robin soon has an ally in the royal palace when he falls for the lovely Maid Marian (Amy Yasbeck), whose minder Broomhilde (Megan Cavanagh) has uncooperatively outfitted Marian with a chastity belt. The cast also includes Tracy Ullman, Robert Ridgely, and Clive Revill.

Only the Strong Survive

Mark Deming

Plot Synopsis

Roger Friedman is an entertainment journalist and music fan with a particular love for R&B and soul music from the mid-'50s to the pre-disco era of the early '70s. Owing in part to segregated booking policies and simple lack of proper archiving, Friedman discovered there is little or no surviving film footage or videotape of many of the greatest artists of the era performing on-stage. However, a large number of the performers in question were still active and performing on a regular basis, and with the help of documentary filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, Friedman set out to capture some of his favorites on film while they were still in good form. Only the Strong Survive features knockout performances from such R&B legends as Wilson Pickett, Jerry Butler, the Chi-Lites, Carla Thomas, Mary Wilson, Ann Peebles, and many more, as well as interviews in which the artists discuss the ups and downs of their lives in music. Only the Strong Survive also features performance footage of Memphis R&B pioneer Rufus Thomas, who had passed on at the age of 84, less than two months before the film was screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.

The Shaft

Bruce Eder

Plot Synopsis

Richard Roundtree cuts a startlingly new and powerful heroic figure as John Shaft, "the cat who won't cop out, when there's danger all about" in Gordon Parks' seminal action film, Shaft. John Shaft is a black private eye with a small office near Times Square. On his way there one day, he gets pumped for information by Lt. Victor Androzzi (Charles Cioffi), a friend of his on the police force, about something big going down in Harlem involving black crime kingpin Bumpy Jonas (Moses Gunn). Shaft can't help him and leaves, only to just miss being waylaid by two of Bumpy's strong-arm men at his office, one of whom ends up dead on the pavement eight floors or so below. Squeezed by the cops, who are holding a potential manslaughter arrest over his head, Shaft contacts Bumpy, who reveals that his teenage daughter, whom he's always kept away from his business, has been kidnapped. There's been no ransom demand and no clue as to who did it, and he wants Shaft to find the culprits, insisting that he start with a group of Harlem-based black militants led by Shaft's onetime friend Ben Buford (Christopher St. John). No sooner does he find Buford, holed up in a decaying part of Harlem, however, than his friend's comrades are mowed down by submachine gun fire, and Shaft and Buford barely escape. With Shaft angry and out for blood, everyone is forced to come clean - Bumpy knows that it's the Mafia that kidnapped his daughter, as they want in on the Harlem drug trade that he controls; they're holding her somewhere else outside of Harlem, where his men are no good to him, which is why he wanted Shaft to hook up with Buford. Androzzi tells Shaft that a dozen Mob trigger men from out of town have been spotted in Greenwich Village. He doesn't know why they're there, but he does know that if fighting breaks out between Bumpy's men and the Mafia, it's going to look like a race war, and the whole city could erupt. Shaft doesn't like the way he's been manipulated, but he sees Androzzi's point - he links the trigger men to the kidnapping and finds the girl, but loses her again, getting shot in the process. Even though he's wounded, Shaft heads for a final confrontation with the kidnappers, supported by Ben's friends in an armed assault on the building where they're holed up.

South Park

Mark Deming

Plot Synopsis

The most tasteless third graders on television graduate to the big screen, as Trey Parker and Matt Stone expand their animated series with foul-mouthed humor that might breach the boundaries of basic cable. In the small Colorado town of South Park, good-natured Stan Marsh, slightly neurotic Kyle Broflovski, fat and petulant Eric Cartman, and perpetually doomed Kenny McCormick are psyched for the premiere of the first feature film from flatulent Canadian TV performers Terrance and Phillip, entitled "Asses of Fire." The movie is rated R, but that's not about to stop the boys from sneaking into the theater. However, when the boys' language gets bluer by the minute after seeing the film, their parents and school administrators decide that something must be done. Kyle's mother comes up with the ideal solution: blame Canada. Terrance and Phillip end up in jail for corrupting America's youth, while the Canadian Air Force retaliates with an air strike targeting the Baldwin brothers. The boys soon organize a children's underground resistance force to free Terrance and Phillip before they can be executed; meanwhile, in a sensitive subplot exploring relationship issues, we're permitted an inside look at the domestic problems of Satan and his lover, Saddam Hussein. As on the TV show, Parker and Stone perform the voices of most of the characters, and they also wrote several songs for the film; George Clooney, Minnie Driver, Eric Idle, Dave Foley, and Mike Judge contribute voices. Not to spoil the plot, but rumor has it that Kenny dies.

I'm Gonna Git You Sucka

Dan Pavlides

Plot Synopsis

Keenen Ivory Wayans wrote, directed, and starred in this hilarious parody of blaxploitation films in the comedy I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. Jack Spade (Wayans) returns home from a hitch in the army to find his brother Junebug has died from an overdose of gold chains, leaving his widow Cheryl (Dawnn Lewis) and mother Ma Bell (Ja'net DuBois) alone to fend for themselves. Ma throws two inept thugs (Damon Wayans and Kadeem Hardison) sent by the evil white guy Mr. Big (John Vernon) down a flight of stairs. Junebug owes $5,000 to Mr. Big for his gold-chain addiction and tries to force Cheryl into prostitution to pay off the debt. Jack recruits his old friend to go after Mr. Big to seek revenge. John Slade (Bernie Casey), Hammer (Isaac Hayes), Slammer (Jim Brown) Kung Fu Joe (Steve James) and the former Pimp Of The Year Flyguy (Antonio Fargas) join up with Jack to avenge his brother' death. Chris Rock makes a brief appearance as the annoying customer who risks his life by irking rib joint owner Hammer. Funny and fast paced, the writing, acting, sight gags and cameos by Robert Townsend, Peggy Lipton, Clarence Williams III, Eve Plumb (Jan from The Brady Bunch), Kim Wayans, and Gary Owens makes this a must-see for any comedy fan.

Once Upon a Time When We Were colored

Matthew Tobey

Plot Synopsis

Actor Tim Reid (WKRP in Cincinnati) made his directorial debut with this filmed adaptation of Clifton L. Taulbert's autobiography. Set in an African-American community in the segregated South, Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored follows a young Taulbert through three decades, beginning with his birth in a cotton field in 1946. As he grows up, Taulbert is faced with the harsh realities of being black in the mid-20th century: first from the lessons of his great-grandfather (Al Freeman Jr.), later in his trips to the local segregated library, and finally in 1962, when a 16-year-old Taulbert watches as his community deals with a racist white business owner trying to run a local black ice man out of town. Once Upon a Time...When We Were Colored was the recipient of the Audience Choice Award at the 1995 St. Louis International Film Festival.

Raindeer Games

Mark Deming

Plot Synopsis

A burglar looking to make time with a beautiful woman after five years in prison falls into a dangerous trap in this action drama. Rudy (Ben Affleck) is serving time in prison for auto theft, where he becomes friendly with his cellmate Nick (James Frain). Nick has been enjoying a spicy courtship by mail with a woman named Ashley (Charlize Theron), who has sent him several enticing photos, even though he has been unable to send her any of himself. Rudy and Nick are to be released the same day, but Nick is killed in an altercation with only three days left to serve. Rudy is let out on schedule, and discovers Ashley, unaware that Nick is dead, is waiting for him. Swayed by her beauty, Rudy claims to be Nick, which turn out to be fun until Rudy meets Ashley's brother Gabriel (Gary Sinise). Gabriel runs with a group of outlaws planning on using Nick's knowledge of an Indian gambling casino in Michigan where he once worked in order to stage a massive robbery on Christmas Eve. Rudy soon realizes if he keeps on being Nick, he gets to stay with Ashley, but he'll also have to go along with Gabriel's robbery, which could easily land him back in prison - or get him killed. Clarence Williams III, Danny Trejo and Donal Logue play Gabriel's henchmen; Dennis Farina, Isaac Hayes, and Ashton Kutcher also highlight the supporting cast.

Hustle & Flow

Plot Synopsis

One man's struggle to rise above his circumstances prompts him to try a career in music in this acclaimed drama from writer and director Craig Brewer. Djay (Terrence Howard) is a low-level pimp and drug dealer who scraped together a living in the ghettos of Memphis, TN. Djay isn't happy with his life, and the realization that he's reached the same age when his father unexpectedly died has made him start thinking about changing his ways. Djay has always had a gift for spinning stories, and after picking up a cheap keyboard, he begins picking out beats to go along with his rhymes. After bumping into an old high-school buddy who works in gospel music, Key (Anthony Anderson), Djay decided to take the plunge and remake himself as a rapper. With the technical know-how of Key and the musical input of a local beat maker named Shelby (DJ Qualls), Djay begins turning his way with words and his first-hand knowledge of the street life into music, as his two live-in girlfriends, Lexus (Paula Jai Parker) and Shug (Taraji P. Henson), add their musical input and emotional support and Nola (Taryn Manning) continues to turn tricks to pay the bills. When local boy-turned-nationwide hip-hop star Skinny Black (Ludacris) comes to town to pay a visit to Arnel (Isaac Hayes), a club owner friendly with Djay, he sees an opportunity to put his demo in the hands of someone who can bring his music to the masses, though it turns out to be far more difficult than he expected. Hustle & Flow had its world premiere at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, where it received a number of rave reviews and took home the Audience Award.

Hayes Movies on sale - DVDs

I don't know how long you'll have a chance to buy these movies - apparently they are going like hotcakes now and people are buying them as collector items.

Amazon has them:

~ Truck Turner

~ Escape From New York

~ Robin Hood - Men In Tights

~ Hustle and Flow

~ Once Upon a Time ...When We Were Colored

* For a review of these movies .. please see above.

My Favorite Is

Busy Schedule

Isaac Hayes seemed to thrive on keeping busy with his concerts, recordings, charities and other engagements. Just reading what he accomplished since the beginning of January 2008 is enough to make me dizzy-tired. I wanted to shout, "Slow down Ike!"

The Press Releases showed that Isaac Hayes was on a fast track. Look at his schedule for the year 2008.

Jan.28/08 Rock & Roll History Class Meets Isaac Hayes ( My Pics)

Feb.18/08 Isaac Hayes Adds "Soul" to music comedy

Mar. 6/08 Motown Loves Isaac Hayes

Mar. 12/08 Hayes on the set of Miramax's Soul Men!(My Pic. Soul Men)

Mar.20/08 Isaac Hayes Loves Memphis

Apr.16/08 Isaac Hayes advises Memphians to look after their Heart and Soul


Apr.21/08 Step into the shoes of The Ultimate Soul Man at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum!(Pic in My Pictures-step into shoes….)

April 24/08 The Isaac Hayes Experience at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum(Pic woman-album)

May 5/08 The Celebrate Brooklyn! Concert Series - Turns 30 with Classic Soul Icon Isaac Hayes

May 8/08 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

May 16/08 Isaac Hayes playing at Rhythm and Blues by the Brook Festival

May 16/08 Isaac Hayes playing at Rhythm and Blues by the Brook Festival

May 22/08 Isaac Hayes at the Ravinia Festival

June 5/08 Isaac Hayes kicks off Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival

June 11/08 Hayes Performs with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

June 19/08 The reviews are in ...

July 1/08 Isaac Hayes Helps Fight Hunger!

July 9/08 Rave Reviews Kick Off the Summer Season for Hayes!

July 16/08 BMI Hosts Luncheon for Isaac Hayes and David Porter

July 18/08 Hayes gives classic show with Pittsburgh Symphony!

July 23/08 Memphis Heart Clinic Campaign feat. Isaac Hayes set to air during Olympics Opening Ceremony!

Right down to the end he put himself out for others.

Right down to the end he put himself out for others.
Right down to the end he put himself out for others.


Remembering soul singer and actor, Isaac Hayes.

Others' Tributes to Isaac Hayes

Who knew!!

The White House has a cool vinyl collection.

Apparently in the basement of the White House there is a whole bunch of cool records.

The RIAA updated the vinyl during the end of the Nixon era.

But their idea of hip was Pat Boone!

The Carter administration hired a "rock critic" to hip it up.

Allegedly there is vinyl (likely unopened) from Captain Beefheart,

Ramones, Sex Pistols. Isaac Hayes, & Led Zeppelin.

I wonder if the Obama family appreciates the collection.

Back on screen - Isaac Hayes - Soul Men

Soul giant Isaac Hayes and comedian Bernie Mac died a day apart in August after finishing work on the movie "Soul Men". But as the comedy has recently opened, the two stars are back on screen in splendid form, in a movie drenched with music from another era.

Besides Mac, Jackson and Isaac Hayes, who takes a supporting role as himself, the movie features Sharon Leal, who was also seen in "This Christmas," and Affion Crockett who appeared on the MTV's "Wild N Out." Leal plays the daughter of the woman that both men fell in love with, and Crockett plays her hip-hop wannabe, drug dealing, and abusive boyfriend.

During filming, both Mac and Hayes performed in less than stellar health. Mac starred in the film as an aging soul singer looking to return to fame, and Hayes appeared as himself. Samuel L. Jackson, who starred in "Soul Men" with Mac, said the film was a perfect last role for the comedian he befriended years ago. "It bothers me more that Bernie didn't get to see the movie than that he passed," said Jackson, 59. "Because he did this film, and he did a great job in it, and it's an amazing tribute to what he is and who he's been."

The movie revolves around the music of Stax Records, the soul music label founded in Memphis, Tennessee that was a musical home in the 1960s to Hayes and some of the leading black performers of the day.

Synopsis: The movie follows fictional singers Floyd Henderson (Mac) and Louis Hinds (Jackson) on a road trip to reclaim the singing glory they once enjoyed in a famous soul music trio.

The trio falls apart when lead singer Marcus Hooks (John Legend) goes solo. But when Hooks suddenly dies, Henderson and Hinds come to terms with their own fractured friendship as they dust off their act and perform in a tribute show for their former band mate.

The end credits are devoted to Bernie Mac, complete with interview footage about his career, along with an additional tribute to Isaac Hayes.

Overall, "Soul Men" is a great movie. It is not one of those movies where they show all the funny scenes in the advertisements and then when audiences see it they are disappointed. It is a film that is definitely worth the time and money.

'Soul Men' on DVD

The comedy drama Soul Men was a bittersweet film release for two major reasons: the cast includes comedian Bernie Mac and musician Isaac Hayes, both of whom passed away unexpectedly within a day of each other, on August 9th and August 10th of last year, respectively. Fans of the entertainers will have the chance to own a memento next month when the music-themed movie is released on DVD on Tuesday, February 10.

Soul Men is about two estranged soul music legends (Mac and Samuel L. Jackson) who discover their friend and former bandleader has died. Afterwards, they decide to reunite to honor his memory by delivering a final memorial performance together at the historic Apollo Theatre in New York. The only problem is they must first work through their twenty-year grudge during a five-day cross-country car trip to the venue.

Additional co-stars include Sharon Leal (Boston Public), Sean Hayes (Will & Grace), Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie), and music artist John Legend. Better still, the DVD release features a tribute to both Mac and Hayes among the special features.

Follow the jump for more details about the DVD versions of Soul Men, as well as stills from the film.


Price: Standard DVD - $28.95/Blu-Ray - $34.99

Rating: R

Run Time: 98 minutes

Languages: English

Subtitles: Closed Captioned, English, Spanish

Audio: Standard DVD - Dolby 5.1/Blu-Ray - Dolby 5.1, 5.1 True HD


Commentary by Director Malcolm Lee

The Soul Men: Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson

The Cast of Soul Men

Director: Malcolm Lee

A Tribute to Bernie Mac

A Tribute to Isaac Hayes

Boogie Ain't Nothin': Behind-the-Scenes

Bernie Mac at The Apollo

The Best of SOUL MEN


The two remaining members of the popular soul band, The Real Deal, from the 1970s, Floyd Henderson, now a retired businessman, and ne'er-do-well, ex-convict, Louis Hinds, take a road trip to the Apollo Theater for a musical tribute to their recently deceased front man, Marcus Hook. As they travel cross country in a series of adventures and misdventures, they air old grievances about thirty year old betrayals and learn the music's still in them.

For "Soul Men" director, the death of Mac and Hayes were twice as devastating. The show must go on though! That is what both Hayes and Mac would have wanted.

There's always a certain sense of melancholy in witnessing one of the last works of a great artist, especially when that artist never lived to see the finished product. Thankfully, Bernie Mac's and Isaac Hayes' penultimate feature is a soul movie with genuine heart, a crowd-pleasing comedy that leans more heavily toward laughs for the majority of the running time, yet still manages to draw the viewer in with a slightly more earnest subplot. The chemistry between headliners Mac and Samuel L. Jackson provides more than enough energy to sustain the good vibes straight through the final showstopper, with a special postscript serving to send the audience out with a warm smile.

As in any road movie, it's essential that the main players share a chemistry, so that the viewer won't mind staying with them as they share the same cramped car space from highway to byway - and it couldn't be more fun watching Mac and Jackson bicker their way cross-country while stopping off at the occasional dive bar to brush up on their act. And though Soul Men works infectiously well as a sort of anti-buddy comedy during the first act, things get even better once they stop off to visit an old friend, and wind up with another passenger in the form of frustrated waitress Cleo (Sharon Leal). Not only does Cleo's presence help to elevate the story by providing a curious link to Floyd and Lewis' contentious past, but she might just be a sign of things to come as well. Leal easily holds her own opposite formidable talents Mac and Jackson, gradually coming out of her shell as she begins to hone her skills as a talented singer in her own right. Likewise, the soundtrack .. a satisfying mix of old-school hits, soulful new songs, and retro-fitted compositions for the fictional bands featured in the film goes a long way in keeping the fun vibes flowing throughout.

Music naturally plays an integral part of Soul Men, particularly poignant with the appearance of Stax legend Isaac Hayes and a warm coda dedicated to both of the recently deceased Soul Men stars highlights just what humble performers they were.

More than providing the musical narrative for the upcoming movie, the soundtrack for Soul Men stands alone as a solid album that faithfully recreates the legendary sound and flavor associated with Stax Records at the height of its popularity in the late '60s through the mid-'70s.

Stax Records released the soundtrack to 'Soul Men' Nov. 4, 2008. (see below)

Soul Men Music Soundtrack - A Winner!

The closing revival of Isaac Hayes "Do Your Thing." Hayes' own cover of The Jackson 5's "Never Can Say Goodbye" remains as sultry and fresh as when originally issued on 1971's Black Moses.

Soul Men
Soul Men
A solid fifty-minutes of soul that stretches from original sides through inventive covers to new compositions based on the Stax theme, this is a great spin.

Soul Men - Blu-ray Disc. Video

The 2.35:1 widescreen presentation of Soul Men looks better than other Genius/Weinstein Blu-ray discs that I've seen recently. It uses the AVC MPEG-4 codec for the disc, and the blacks are deep both in the interior sequences like in Louis' apartment, but also in the Memphis sky. Fleshtones are reproduced to excellent detail (I could spot the gray hairs on Mac's chin), and the fabrics the pair wore during their concerts all look vibrant without oversaturation. The blue suits on the first concert stand out nicely, and moving onto the brighter metallic colors, things are maintained just as well.

When the two are out in the desert (and not being shot on projection screens), the scenery looks good there and the background detail isn't too shabby either. Not only there, but in Floyd's hotel room, the pattern of the blanket was easily discernible. Nice results all the way around.

Soul Men [Blu-ray]
Soul Men [Blu-ray]
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack presents a mix of Stanley Clarke's score and songs that helped make the Memphis Stax sound so memorable. The music sounds clear and has solid dynamics, and is well-balanced for the viewer to make for nice ambient experiences. I was kind of surprised that the subwoofer stayed dormat for those sequences too, but I wasn't complaining. Dialogue rarely wavers and requires little compensation by the user, and the sound track does have occasional panning during the Tulsa scenes. All in all this is a nice sounding disc that does the music and the events in the film some justice. Oh, Mac and Jackson handle their vocals for the film, and they can carry a tune surprisingly well.

A tribute to the movie - Soul Men

Song: Comfort Me - Sung by Sharon Leal

CURRENT GOOD NEWS - Albums Reissued on CD

Isaac Hayes' epic 1971 album Black Moses, which captured the artist at the peak of his popularity, was reissued February 24, 2009 on Stax Records. The release is a complete replication of the original Black Moses package, folding out into a cross-shaped image of the artist. The album was re-mastered from the original tapes. New liner notes are by Rob Bowman, the Grammy Award-winning Stax scholar and author of Soulsville U.S.A: The Story of Stax Records.

Also on February 24, Stax reissued Hayes' 1976 disco album, Juicy Fruit [Disco Freak], originally released on Hayes' ABC Records-distributed Hot Buttered Soul label and recorded at his own Memphis studio with many of his long-time band members. This will be its first time on CD. Music historian Bill Dahl contributed liner notes to the reissue.

Stax Records was re-launched by Concord Music Group in 2007, the year of the legendary soul label's 50th Anniversary.

"Black Moses"

A 14-song two-album set reissued on two CDs, reached #1 on Billboard's soul album chart and #10 pop, remaining on the charts for 40 weeks. Bowman describes it as "a wondrously crafted, intense evocation of the vagaries of love gone bad," which Hayes himself corroborated: "I was going through some emotional turmoil. You can tell by the tunes on the album that I was going through a break-up of my marriage. It was the only way I could express myself."

The album may be best remembered by its lead single, Hayes' signature version of the Jackson 5's "Never Can Say Goodbye," which was on the radio months before the rest of the album had been completed. Other highlights include the Bacharach-David-penned Carpenters hit, "Close to You," Toussaint McCall's "Nothing Takes the Place of You," the Curtis Mayfield-authored Gene Chandler hit "Man's Temptation," Little Johnnie Taylor's "Part Time Love," Kenny Gamble and Thom Bell's Aretha Franklin hit "A Brand New Me," Luther Ingram's "Help Me Love," Curtis Mayfield's "Need To Belong," the Whispers' "Your Love Is so Doggone Good," Kris Kristofferson's "For the Good Times," which had been a hit for Ray Price, Bacharach-David's "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and the Hayes composition "Good Love." "Isaac's ability to take other people's material and make it so deeply personal is nothing short of brilliant," writes Bowman.

"Juicy Fruit [Disco Freak]"

As the '70s progressed, Hayes adjusted admirably to the disco onslaught. On his exit from Stax, he released four albums in a little over a year (Chocolate Chip, Disco Connection, Groove-A-Thon and finally... Juicy Fruit [Disco Freak] while launching his career as a movie star in Three Tough Guys and Truck Turner. Hayes was loyal to his band members (known as the Movement) and many of them are featured on Juicy Fruit [Disco Freak] including drummer Willie Hall, keyboardist/co-arranger Lester Snell and guitarists Michael Toles and Charles "Skip" Pitts. Trumpeter Ben Cauley was a member of the Bar-Kays who survived the tragic 1967 plane crash that claimed the life of Otis Redding. Juicy Fruit [Disco Freak] is also one of the few Hayes albums written entirely by Hayes and includes several noteworthy songs including "Let's Don't Ever Blow Our Thing," "The Storm Is Over" and "Music to Make Love By."

Hayes' unexpected death on August 10, 2008 at the age of 65 robbed us of future soulful treasures, but we can rediscover R&B classics like Black Moses and overlooked gems like Juicy Fruit and groove anew on his extraordinary musical vision.

1976 - Juicy Fruit

With Stax records failing in the mid-70s, Isaac Hayes created his own Hot Buttered Soul label with distribution through ABC. Across four albums he traded in his languorous soul sound for a funkier disco vibe and often focused more on instrumental dance grooves than his considerable talent as an interpretive vocalist.

Juicyfruit (Disco Freak)
Juicyfruit (Disco Freak)
Fortunately, this 1976 release finds Hayes mixing up the disco jams with soul ballads and mid-tempo numbers that feature sharp arrangements.

WRTC - 89.3 FM

"Greasy Tracks" host Chris Cowles presented

Stax Records feature.

Sat May 22/10

Stax Brings Soul Heat With Releases From Hip-Hop's - Good News for Isaac Hayes Fans

Favorite Sample Source

Most of our favorite hip-hop songs from the last thirty years owe a huge debt to the soul music that came before it -- with that in mind, Stax put together a collection of the most heavily sampled soul music from their label and released it as Stax The Soul of Hip-Hop

Check out the tracklist below:


1. 24-CARAT BLACK - "Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth"

2. THE EMOTIONS - "Blind Alley"

3. BOOKER T. & THE MGs - "Melting Pot"

4. THE BAR-KAYS - "Humpin'"

5. THE DRAMATICS - "Get Up and Get Down"

6. ISAAC HAYES - "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic"

7. ISAAC HAYES - "Hung Up On My Baby"

8. DAVID PORTER - "I'm Afraid the Masquerade Is Over"

9. WENDY RENE - "After the Laughter (Comes Tears)"

10. CHARMELS - "As Long As I've Got You"


12. RUFUS THOMAS - "Do the Funky Penguin (Part 1)"

13. LITTLE MILTON - "Packed Up and Took My Mind"

14. WILLIAM BELL - "I Forgot To Be Your Lover"

This fourteen-track which was released recently includes original Stax hits of the '60s and '70s later sampled by artists such as Geto Boys, Rakim, DJ HiTek, Cypress Hill, DJ Muggs, LL Cool J, Public Enemy, DJ Quik, Ice Cube, Notorious B.I.G., Wu-Tang Clan and RZA among others. Just check out Isaac Hayes "Hung Up On My Baby" below and you'll immediately see where the Geto Boys got the beat for "Mind Is Playin Tricks."

Purchased your 'Stax The Soul of Hip-Hop' now at Amazon for the low price of $9.49.

A new job for STAX Records .. - Executive Al Bell.

Posted at "Memphis Flyer" by Chris Herrington

The Memphis Music Foundation elected former Stax Records executive Al Bell as its new chairman this week. Bell takes over from longtime board chairman Phil Trenary.

"Economic empowerment and economic development," Bell responds when asked what his focus will be. "When I say empowerment, I'm talking about individual. When I say development, I'm talking about institutions and businesses. Everything I do will be about that."

Bell praises the city's "diverse, authentic music base" and asserts, familiarly, that one challenge is to get locals to appreciate the city's cultural assets as much as people around the country and around the world.

Bell's long, historic music career is best know for his period as an executive and eventual co-owner of Stax, leading the label during the era marked by Isaac Hayes' rise to superstardom and the historic WattStax concert.

Hung Up On My Baby

Can You Dig It! - Blaxploitation Movie Music

The Music and Politics of Black Action Films 1969 - 1975

Last month released was the story of Blaxploitation movie music on a double CD, double-double vinyl and download, with an awesome 100 page book. You'll get to see action photos of your favorite artists. Many of the tunes have been around for a while and could be purchased as singles but it is now great that all of these classic tracks can be purchased on the same CDs. Nobody could tell it better than Heinrich of V.A. - Spaced Out Jazz (2009)V.A. - Light: On The South Side.

Release Notes:

The Black Action Films of the early 1970s gave the Hollywood industry its first African-American cinema - actors, directors, cameramen, editors and writers. Thesefilms discussed aspects of the African-American experience in the form of entertainment. Storylines interwove post-civil rights revolution with action stories, many involving pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers or private detectives.

The films also featured the finest funk and soul black music of the time as stars such as James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Willie Hutch and Roy Ayers produced some of their finest work, with film budgets allowing for the addition of huge orchestral arrangements by jazz legends such as Quincy Jones, Johnny Pate and JJ Johnson.

In the early 1970s, Black Action Films exploded into the cinema with three extremely successful films - Shaft, Super Fly and Sweet Sweetbacks Badasssss Song. The most profound statement of these films was their actual existence - black actors and black directors entering the previously closed Hollywood film industry.

Black Action Films were a representation of politically everything that had gone before and stylistically of everything that was current. Civil rights, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Black Power, Black Panthers, Vietnam sit alongside the criminal worlds of policemen, private investigators, bail bondsmen and the criminals, drug dealers, pimps and hustlers that they parole.

Can U Dig It? brings you everything you always wanted to know about black action films. Aside from the amazing music (brought together for the first time ever), it also comes with a 100-page book featuring scores of original photographs, film posters, text and descriptions of all the films.


01. Roy Ayers - Coffy Is The Color

02. Gene Page - Blacula

03. Johnny Pate - Shaft In Africa

04. Willie Hutch - Brothers Gonna Work It Out

05. Don Costa - Charley

06. Marvin Gaye - T Plays It Cool

07. Bobby Womack - Across 110th Street

08. J.J. Johnson - Willie Chase

09. James Brown - Down and Out In New York City

10. Quincy Jones - They Call Me Mister Tibbs

11. Martha Reeves - Keep On Movin On

12. Dennis Coffey - Theme From Black Belt Jones

13. Curtis Mayfield - Freddies Dead

14. The Blackbyrds - Wilfords Gone

15. Willie Hutch - Theme Of Foxy Brown

16. Isaac Hayes - Run Fay Run


01. Isaac Hayes - Shaft

02. Curtis Mayfield - Pusherman

03. Joe Simon - Theme From Cleopatra Jones

04. Johnny Pate - You Can't Even Walk In The Park

05. Brer Soul & Earth, Wind and Fire - SweetbacksTheme

06. James Brown - Make It Good To Yourself

07. Isaac Hayes - Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile

08. Grant Green - Travelling To Get To Doc

09. Booker T and Mgs - Time Is Tight

10. Roy Ayers - Aragon

11. Edwin Starr - Easin In

12. Gordon Staples - Strung Out

13. Nat Dove and The Devils - Zombie March

14. The Impressions - Make A Resolution

15. Solomon Burke and Gene Page - The Bus

16. Jack Ashford - Las Vegas Strut

17. Don Julian - Lay It On Your Head

18. Galt Macdermot - Ed and Digger

In Memory of Isaac Hayes

From the instantly recognizable beats of the "Theme From Shaft," to the Sam and Dave classic hit "Hold On! I'm Comin'," the Oscar and Grammy Award-winning composer and singer, though gone, continues to impact music and is widely sampled by some of today's biggest rap, hip-hop, and R&B artists. Isaac Hayes, everyone's favorite soul singer with the rich-as-coffee voice, will be greatly missed.

I wish to express my deep sympathy to the Hayes family, friends and to his fans all over the world."

He brought us the most amazing music during the 60's,70's, 80's and 90's. Isaac Hayes will be sadly missed.

Rest in Peace Isaac Hayes

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To The Top

Isaac Hayes spoke his mind. Good or bad.

You may speak your mind here.

I look forward to hearing from you.


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