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June 11, 2022

38 Vintage Photos Show Styles of a Young Isaac Hayes

Born 1942 in Covington, Tennessee, American singer, actor, songwriter, and composer Isaac Hayes was one of the creative forces behind the Southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an in-house songwriter and as a session musician and record producer, teaming with his partner David Porter during the mid-1960s. Hayes and Porter were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 in recognition of writing scores of songs for themselves, the duo Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, and others. In 2002, Hayes was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


“Soul Man”, written by Hayes and Porter and first performed by Sam & Dave, was recognized as one of the most influential songs of the past 50 years by the Grammy Hall of Fame. It was also honored by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, by Rolling Stone magazine, and by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as one of the Songs of the Century.

During the late 1960s, Hayes also began a career as a recording artist. He had several successful soul albums such as Hot Buttered Soul (1969) and Black Moses (1971). In addition to his work in popular music, he worked as a composer of musical scores for motion pictures.

Hayes was known for his musical score for the film Shaft (1971). For the “Theme from Shaft”, he was awarded the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1972. This made him the third black person, after Hattie McDaniel and Sidney Poitier, to win an Academy Award in any competitive field covered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He also won two Grammy Awards for that same year. Later, he was given his third Grammy for his music album Black Moses.

Hayes acted in motion pictures and television, such as in the movies Truck Turner and I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, and as Gandolf “Gandy” Fitch in the TV series The Rockford Files (1974–1980). He voiced the character Chef from the animated Comedy Central series South Park from its debut in 1997 until 2006.

On August 5, 2003, Hayes was honored as a BMI Icon at the 2003 BMI Urban Awards for his enduring influence on generations of music makers. Throughout his songwriting career, Hayes received five BMI R&B Awards, two BMI Pop Awards, two BMI Urban Awards and six Million-Air citations.

Hayes died in 2008, 10 days before his 66th birthday. These vintage photos captured portraits of a young Isaac Hayes in the 1960s and 1970s.










































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