Sunday, August 10, 2008

Isaac Hayes is gone...


We must all mourn the man who brought us such musical joy. Isaac Hayes has shuffled off this mortal coil, but not without bringing us all countless supreme flavors of joy. He was one of the original movers in the world's finest record label, Stax. He found his greatest musical triumphs there at the lil' ol' label at the corner of College and McLemore, in Memphis. He took his lumps with the rest of them when Stax came crashing to the ground. And slowly, but ultimately gracefully, he made his own way back into the popular culture. But he is now no longer with us. As of this writing, the cause of his death is not known. My own speculation is that it could be related to problems which his stroke of two years ago may have caused. He was discovered unresponsive in his Memphis home near a treadmill. When he was brought to a Memphis hospital, he was pronounced dead. He was only 65. That's not too much older than my father.

I just finished putting the final, finishing touches onto my own, broken-into-tracks-and-added-5:05 CD version of Paul Westerberg's 49:00, when a quick check of the Glorious Noise boards broke me the horrible news. As much as I am lovin' the new PW, it's gonna have to take a backseat to a full-out grief-fest for one of Soul's finest men. Some of you only know him as the man who plays Chef on South Park. Others know him for the Theme from Shaft. But did you all know that he co-wrote the following classics?
  • "Hold On, I'm Comin'"
  • "Soul Man"
  • "When Somethin's Wrong With My Baby"
  • "I Thank You" (original by Sam & Dave, covered by ZZTop)
  • "Wrap It Up" (original again by Sam & Dave, covered by Fabulous Thunderbirds)
  • "Ain't That Lovin' You (For More Reasons Than One)"
The list goes on, but right now, I'm too heartbroken (and tired; it's practically 1am here) to continue. Please know this: the world has lost a huge talent. Thank you so much for all you gave us, Mr. Hayes; may you be groovin' up there in Rock & Roll Heaven. Say hi to Otis for all of us.

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