Saturday, August 16, 2008

Remembering Isaac Hayes

Staxtacular 2007

February 25, 2007: Isaac, his wife Adjowa, and his 10-month-old son Kwadjo (pronounced “kwo-jo”) put in an appearance at Staxtacular 2007, an annual fundraising gala at Soulsville USA.

Adjowa, Novella, and Kwadjo.

Basketball star Pao Gasol (then with the Memphis Grizzlies) holds Kwadjo for a photo.

Stax-Studded Guitar

September 12, 2007: Isaac autographs the Stax-Studded Guitar, which will be auctioned later for the benefit of Soulsville.

Novella rewards him with a kiss.

Novella, Isaac, and Gale Jones Carson.

The guitar, with the autographs of Isaac Hayes and songwriting partner David Porter near the knobs (left). See if you can recognize the other signatures, all of them associated with Stax Records and Memphis Soul music. For example, can you find two of the Blues Brothers? (Hint: They were also key members of Booker T. and the MGs.)

Blues Ball 2007

September 29, 2007: The 2007 Blues Ball, an annual Memphis charity event, this year held on Blues Street. Novella, Isaac, and Memphis Congressman Steve Cohen.

Songwriting partner David Porter and Isaac Hayes show us the appreciation awards they receieved at the Blues Ball.

Later, Isaac takes the stage to perfrom.

Performing the Theme from Shaft. At this crowd-pleasing point near the end of the song, Isaac faces the band and flashes them finger signals of how many staccato hits he wants. Five, ten, or whatever the count, they always get it right. On the right is Isaac's original wah-wah guitarist, Charles "Skip" Pitts.

Stax 50th Anniversary Concert

June 22, 2007: Isaac at the Memphis Orpheum, rehearsing for the Stax 50th concert that night.

After rehearsing, Isaac stops downstairs for a live interview on XM Radio.

Isaac posing with Novella and XM Radio personalities. The man in the far back was an XM listener who had won a trip to the concert.

All photos by Michael Cromer.