But it will be his music which will forever earn him a very special spot for all lovers of real r&b (rhythm and blues). Indeed this man is an icon. From being the first in soul to take contemporary pop standards and turn them into full blown orchestral epics to creating the most famous black movie theme of all time ("Who is the man who would risk his neck for his brother man?......Shaft!"), and in turn picking up an Oscar for his efforts. Along the way he also helped to build the foundation that became the Motown of the American south, Stax Records.
From a personal standpoint, Isaac Hayes is one of my very favourite performers ever. You can still find his music on heavy rotation in the Irving household. His early 70's albums heavily influenced me on the importance of strings arrangement being used alongside jazzy, soulful and funky rhythms. Indeed, before Barry White (no disrespect intended, in fact I'm a huge fan of BW), it was Hayes who really married the string and rhythmic elements that became the birth of disco music.
Isaac Hayes' life story (with lots of highs and lows) is featured in the US cable TVOne series 'Unsung' which puts a spotlight on soul acts who sometimes did not receive the full recognition they deserved. This edition just aired in America. You can catch it right here: