How you remember the man known as Black Moses may differ greatly, depending on the era in which you were raised.
Decades earlier, Isaac Hayes, born on August 20, 1942, in Covington, TN, helped revolutionize the sound of black music. With stirring melodies and a one-of-a-kind voice, Hayes seemed to dig deep into the pain, love and soul that permeated his creative mind.
With hits like “Walk On By,” “By The Time I Get To Phoenix,” and “The Look of Love,” Hayes earned the respect of his peers and the admiration of music lovers worldwide. With the cut, “Theme From ‘Shaft,'” he earned the 1972 Academy Award for Best Original Song.
In the late 90s, Hayes earned a new generation of fans: Appearing as the comedic but well-meaning Chef on the animated series South Park, his unmistakable voice became a common fixture on cable television. Once again, he’d be a part of something iconic. The show has won numerous Emmy Awards during its 24-year run.
Maybe you know him as your mama’s favorite musician. Perhaps you recognize him as the guy with the deep voice who sings as Shaft struts down a shady city street – or he could be the man behind your favorite cartoon cook. No matter the association, today we celebrate the life of Isaac Hayes – thanks for providing the world with a lifetime of hot buttered soul.
Enjoy a few tunes from the man himself below.