Jazz Promo Services jazzpromo at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 18 07:01:07 EDT 2008


The Stax Records and Concord Music Group family lost a great friend on
Sunday when soul music giant Isaac Hayes died suddenly at the age of 65. 
To the world he was Black Moses, Ike The Ripper and, later, Chef from TV's
South Park. To the rest of us who had the extraordinary opportunity to work
with him in recent years, he was just Isaac. He was humble, unpretentious
and refreshingly down-to-earth. Not bad for a man who delivered a
record-setting seven #1 albums to the Billboard R&B chart, scored numerous
awards (including multiple Grammys and 2 Academy Awards), appeared in over
three dozen films and was named a Royal King of Ghana along the way.
In the Œ60s, the Covington, Tenn. native helped define the Stax Records
sound, co-writing with David Porter such hits as ³Soul Man,² ³Hold On (I¹m
Coming),² ³B-A-B-Y,² and ³When Something Is Wrong With My Baby² for Sam &
Dave, Carla Thomas and Johnnie Taylor, among others. 
He took soul music in a new direction with his 1969 album Hot Buttered Soul,
which featured expansive re-interpretations of Jimmy Webb¹s ³By the Time I
Get to Phoenix² and Bacharach and David¹s ³Walk On By.²  The music¹s impact
was matched only by the visual impact of the record¹s cover, which featured
Hayes¹ signature bald head, gold chains and bare chest.
Two years later, his ³Theme From Shaft² exploded on the pop and R&B charts,
putting him on the map as an artist and icon. The rat-a-tat of that lone
high-hat, that cultural-shifting kick of the wah-wah pedal ‹ no other piece
of music signaled the true end of the '60s, ushering in the gritty 1970s
than Isaac Hayes¹ <http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/artists/Isaac-Hayes/>
theme from Shaft <http://www.concordmusicgroup.com/albums/SCD-88002-2/>. The
song won him not only a Grammy but two Oscars, for ³Best Song² and ³Best
Score² in 1972. That same year he won a Grammy for his double album Black
Moses. The hits continued for Hayes throughout the Œ70s. 
In later years, Hayes¹ career took some other directions. He became the
voice of Nickelodeon¹s Nick at Nite and later the voice of Chef in the
animated series South Park. He had a role in the upcoming movie Soul Men
with stars Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac (who also died this past
In 2007, Hayes participated in the Stax Records 50th Anniversary celebration
shows in Memphis, Austin and Los Angeles. Despite health problems that
slowed him down in recent years, he continued to tour the world. He had
proudly returned to Stax Records, both as an artist and as an advisor in
planning the reactivation of the imprint in 2007 by Concord Music Group.
Isaac was also in the process of recording a new album for Stax. 
To borrow a phrase from the man himself, he was ³one bad mutha.² And through
the music he so generously left behind, the world will be talking about him
and more importantly listening for lifetimes to come.

Concord Music Group president and CEO Glen Barros states, ³Isaac Hayes
exemplified all that is Stax. We are all very fortunate to have worked with
a visionary who changed music in indelible and profound ways.  His talent
was matched only by his kindness of spirit.  On behalf of the entire
Concord/Stax family we express our deep sympathies to his family, friends
and fans all over the world.²
Gene Rumsey, Concord Music Group general manager added, ³The enduring
influence of Stax Records could only have been made possible through Isaac¹s
brilliant song-writing which laid the ground work for the future generations
of rap, hip-hop, and soul.  Isaac played a pivotal role in the recent
re-launch of Stax, once again infusing the label with his creativity,
inspiring a whole new breed of Stax artists.  Our condolences go out to all
the people whose lives Isaac touched throughout his unparalleled career and
John Burk, executive VP and chief creative officer, Concord Music Group,
states, ³Isaac had a profound and multifaceted impact on the Stax label,
contributing to its legacy as a writer, producer, arranger, studio musician,
A&R executive and, of course, one of its most successful artists.  Having
collaborated closely with Isaac during the past few years, I came to know
the man behind the music and his deep love for humanity.  He was an
extraordinary individual who used his talents to inspire and unite people
from all walks of life.  I feel tremendously privileged to have had the
opportunity to work along side this giant of a man.²

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