Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes (Aug. 20, 1942 – Aug. 10, 2008) was an American R&B musician, vocalist, composer, producer, and actor who was musically active from the early 1960s on up through the 21st century. The lavish orchestration and elongated arrangements of his second album, Hot Buttered Soul (1969), spearheaded the transformation of soul music into maximalist form.

Isaac Hayes was born Isaac Lee Hayes Jr. on August 20, 1942, in Covington, Tenn. His mother died early and his father abandoned the family, leaving Hayes in the care of his maternal grandparents. As a child, Hayes sang in the church choir and learned to play piano, organ, saxophone, and flute.

After earning his diploma, Hayes was offered several music scholarships but turned them down to support his family, working factories by day and gigging juke joints by nights. In the late 1950s, he scored his first paid gigs as a singer at Curry’s Club in North Memphis, backed by Ben Branch’s houseband.

During the early 1960s, Hayes started working as a session player for the Memphis-based Stax Records label. He formed a writing partnership with producer David Portner that generated the Sam & Dave hits “Soul Man,” “When Something Is Wrong with My Baby,” and “Hold On, I’m Comin’.” With Stax houseband Booker T. & The M.G.’s, Hayes also played on songs by Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, and William Bell.


  • Presenting Isaac Hayes (1968)
  • Hot Buttered Soul (1969)
  • The Isaac Hayes Movement (1970)
  • …To Be Continued (1970)
  • Shaft (1971)
  • Black Moses (1971)
  • Joy (1973)
  • Three Tough Guys (1974)
  • Truck Turner (1974)
  • Chocolate Chip (1975)
  • Disco Connection (1975)
  • Groove-A-Thon (1976)
  • Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak) (1976)
  • New Horizon (1977)
  • Hotbed – Isaac Hayes Demo Album – Stax Records (1978)
  • For the Sake of Love (1978)
  • Don’t Let Go (1979)
  • And Once Again (1980)
  • Lifetime Thing (1981)
  • U-Turn (1986)
  • Love Attack (1988)


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