On what would have been Issac Hayes birthday, we celebrate him with this A-Z playlist.
From smoldering Stax Records innovator to Blaxploitation big gun to unlikely South Park icon, Isaac Hayes spun out his legendary career as stylishly as he spun out countless cover versions. As a prolific in-house songwriter and session musician at Memphis’ aforementioned soul powerhouse, he was well placed to make the transition from backroom boy to pioneering artist. In contrast to the usual singles plus filler of the average 60s soul album, Hayes specialized in audaciously extended, lavishly orchestrated covers, often featuring breathy monologues on the trials of romance. Visually, he cut just as striking a figure, cultivating an aloof, sultan of soul-esque mystique through sheer physical presence and a wardrobe stuffed with extravagant dashikis.