The Master, Isaac Hayes
“Listen – Isaac Hayes – Walk On By – MP3″
I come to you bearing some sad news (and a previously unscheduled post).
The mighty Isaac Hayes has passed away.
Known to most for his Oscar winning ‘Theme from Shaft’, Hayes was a major cog in the Stax soul music machine in the 60’s.
Along with his partner David Porter, Hayes wrote a grip of amazing songs for Sam & Dave, including ‘Soul Man’, ‘Hold On I’m Comin’, ‘You Don’t Know Like I Know’, ‘I Thank You’ (that’s Hayes on the clavinet-y keyboard line) as well as ‘B-A-B-Y- for Carla Thomas and one of my all time favorite 45s ‘Your Good Thing (Is About To End) by Mable John (and later by Lou Rawls).
Hayes later stepped out from behind the scenes for a very successful solo career, at one point his releases pulling the very overextended Stax organization from the brink of insolvency.
The peak of this period was 1969s ‘Hot Buttered Soul’ and its epic reworking of the Bacharach/David classic ‘Walk On By’. Abetted by the Bar-Kays, Hayes removes the song from the elegant pathos of the Dionne Warwick version, drenches it in a quiet storm of strings and tasteful horns, all set against a tripped out fuzz guitar motif*. Hayes’ ‘Walk on By’ is one of the finest soul records of all time, period (as well as the definitive recording of the song). It was a Top 20 hit in the Fall of 1969, his biggest hit until ‘Shaft’ in 1971.
He will be missed.
See you on Tuesday for Vinyl Record Day.
*Haye’s version of ‘Walk On By’ was sampled many, MANY times…