Isaac Hayes

August 20, 1942 - August 10, 2008
  • Songs
  • Artistfacts ®
  • He was the voice of Chef on the animated TV show South Park. On many episodes, he sang deep soul ballads to seduce ladies like Kathie Lee Gifford. A few months after suffering a stroke, Hayes issued a statement quitting the show because of a Scientology episode that was done at the end of Season 9. His son later said that Hayes didn't issue the statement, as his father would not be so hypocritical as to work on a show that makes fun of just about every culture and religion and then take offense when his religion is a target.
  • He has his own cookbook called Cooking with Heart and Soul . One of the items is "Deep-Fried Jive Turkey."
  • Before he started recording, he was a successful songwriter. He wrote many of Sam & Dave's hits in the '60s, including "Soul Man" and "Hold On I'm Coming."
  • He played keyboards as a session musician for Stax Records, a legendary record label in Memphis.
  • His full name is Isaac Lee Hayes. He was born in Covington, Tennessee.
  • Isaac Hayes' main claim to immortality stems from his US #1 and UK #4 hit single "Theme From Shaft" in 1971. However, this was not his only hit. For example, "Disco Connection," as credited to the Isaac Hayes Movement, got as high as UK #10 in 1976. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Derek - Hull, England, for above 2
  • Hayes was much better as a musician than as a business man. He declared bankruptcy in 1977 after the failure of his own label, Hot Buttered Soul Records.
  • He earned the nickname the "Black Moses Of Soul," and was the first famous black performer to wear chains as a symbol of success.
  • Hi parents died in a car accident when he was still an infant. He was raised by his grandparents in Covington, Tennessee. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 3
  • As told to Terry Gross on National Public Radio, before he hit puberty, Hayes had a high, squeaky voice. He went through a dramatic voice change and ended up "Down in the basement."
  • Hayes owned a 1972 Cadillac Ed Dorado that was fur-lined and plated in gold. One of the funkiest cars ever created, it is on display at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.
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Comments: 2

  • Ken from Dupont, PaIsaac Hayes played the Duke of New York in John Carpenter's "Escape From New York" (1981). The Duke was A-Number One.
  • Matthew from New York, NyInducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
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