As you probably already know, Issac Hayes died today. This was really a shock, especially after hearing about Bernie Mac. They say tragedy comes in threes. Who’s next? Hearing about Hayes made me think about my own life. He and I were the same age, almost exactly. Puts your life in perspective. Since I’m writing this just hours after he was discovered, no cause of death has been announced yet.
Hayes was only the third person to to win a Academy Award with a number one song. The song, of course, “Theme from Shaft”. He also won a Grammy for the song. Isaac Hayes had been in the business since he was hired by Stax Records in Memphis in 1964. He wrote and co-wrote songs for years, doing work for Otis Redding and Sam and Dave, among others. It wasn’t until he put out an album called “Hot Buttered Soul” that he became known nationally. He was actually up for the role of Shaft in the movie, but eventually lost the role to Richard Roundtree. He went on to compose the theme for the movie and, as they say, music history would never be the same.
Some say Hayes was the Father of Disco, but I’m not sure he would have agreed with that. He certainly couldn’t be called the Father of Soul, since soul had been around for years, but he did his part to keep it alive. We’re about 20 years too soon, but if anything could be said for Isaac Hayes, it might be that he was the father of Rap. (“Shut Your Mouth!”) “Theme from Shaft” hit number one on November 20, 1971 and stayed there for two weeks. It was the only number one he ever had.
The news story I liked the best from this week in history was this “Foothills Combed for Parachuting Hijacker”. A hijacker who apparently knew precisely what he wanted to do and how to do it had vanished
after bailing out of a commandeered jet airliner with $200,000. This was, of course, D.B.Cooper. Authorities held out little hope, however, that the hijacker would be found soon. “He’s probably long gone,” a Clark county, Wash., sheriff’s deputy said.
In late November of 1971, Christmas Sales were starting. You could get a men’s white dress shirts for $5.00 and a tie to go with it for $3 or $4. Have a flat? Get a new tire as low as $12.00 and running as high as $35.00 depending on your size and where you shopped. You could get an 8-track player for your car for only $48.88 installed. I wish I still had one of those, they still sell on eBay. Not everything was cheaper. A 23 inch color TV made by Zenith cost $497 (with trade). On TV, we were watching “Ironside”, “The Flip Wilson Show”, “The Dean Martin Show” and Johnny Carson was at the top of his game on the Tonight Show.
I would have loved the comics back then. We still had “Lil Abner”, “Steve Canyon”, “Buz Sawyer” and many other great story comics. I used to love reading them, as I’ve mentioned in other posts.
Here is a cool version of “Theme from Shaft”. We will always remember Isaac Hayes. Enjoy…