Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Photograph by Andrea Zucker

The Soulsville Foundation is sad to post this information about the memorial service planned for Isaac Hayes on Monday, August 18th. We are extremely honored that the family of Mr. Hayes has requested that in lieu of flowers, those wishing to memorialize Mr. Hayes should send donations to the Stax Music Academy. The following is a statement by Soulsville Foundation CEO Marc E. Willis, followed by an announcement about the service and a statement from the Hayes family:

Marc Willis, CEO of the Soulsville Foundation in Memphis (which operates the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Stax Music Academy, and The Soulsville Charter School) said today: “While we continue to mourn the loss of our dear friend Isaac Hayes, we wish to express how humbled and grateful we are to his family for asking that people make their memorial donations to the Stax Music Academy. The academy, which is adjacent to the Stax Museum, has been mentoring thousands of primarily at-risk young people through music education and unique performance opportunities since 2000, and we have changed many lives by providing this positive experience through scholarships we offer to more than 90 percent of our students.

“Just as Isaac Hayes made an indelible mark on the music industry,” Mr. Willis continued, “Stax Records, and international popular culture, his legacy will live on by helping us help these young people become successful adults for generations to come. Our heartfelt thanks go out to his family for their generosity during this difficult time, and his memory will always be alive and in our hearts and souls at the Soulsville Foundation.”


Family Issues Statement on the Occasion of Hayes’ Passing

A memorial service will be held on Monday at Hope Presbyterian Church, 8500 Walnut Grove Road, Cordova, Tennessee from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to celebrate the life of pioneering soul icon Isaac Hayes, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 65.

Born in the rural poverty of a sharecropper's family on August 20, 1942, in Covington, Tennessee, Hayes rose to artistic success as an accomplished GRAMMY®, Golden Globe® and Academy Award® winning composer/musician, paving the way for his fellow African Americans in the arts and entertainment world. As well as being a published author, actor and radio personality, Hayes is a coronated King of Ghana in western Africa. Instead of a palace, he built an 8,000 square foot educational facility as he felt that education and literacy is the key to a successful life.

He is survived by his wife of three years Adjowa Hayes, and their two–year–old son Kwadjo Hayes, ten children—Jacqueline Fields, Felecia Hayes Fisher, Veronica Hayes, Vincent Hayes, Melanie Hayes, Nikki McGhee, Heather Hayes, Isaac Hayes III, Darius Caston and Lillian Bryant—14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The family issued the following statement: “We are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and love from Isaac’s dear friends, colleagues and fans from every corner of the world, and we thank each and every one of them for their kind thoughts and prayers. While he was an iconic figure to many, to us he was husband, father and friend. We will ever miss his love, wisdom, humor and the familiar comfort of his voice.”

To celebrate Hayes’ constant support of the Stax Music Academy and his Stax Records Legacy, the Hayes family, in lieu of flowers requests that donations be sent to the Stax Music Academy in Memphis, made out to Soulsville, 926 E. McLemore Avenue, Memphis, TN 38106. Please specify “In memory of Isaac Hayes.”

Condolences may be sent to the family at


The Stax Music Academy mentors young people - primarily those residing in the Soulsville, USA neighborhood of Memphis - through music education and unique performance opportunities, with the goals of enhancing their leadership and academic skills and inspiring them to become facilitators for community change. The Stax Music Academy began its first music program—a summer camp for area youth—in Summer 2000. It has since grown to serve several hundred young people from throughout Memphis every year with a variety of music classes and performance opportunities, as well as vital mentoring, tutoring assistance, and leadership development programs. Regardless of how long they pursue their interest in music, all Academy students learn values—hard work, responsibility, self confidence, respect for others, and community awareness—that will serve them for the rest of their lives. As part of the non-profit Soulsville Foundation, the Stax Music Academy is funded through generous individual gifts, grants, and corporate sponsorships.


Elder Lee M. Harris said...

I am Elder Lee M. Harris of Aberdeen, NC. I am a very close friend of Mr. Ben Cauley. My wife and I was out in Memphis two months ago for the dedication for the Redding Family. We also went to church with Isaac's son in law and his grand son. We wanted to meet Isaac, but understood he was pretty sick at the time. Since then I wrote a theme song for Isaacand a song for Mr. Cauley pertaining to their years at the Stax. Unfortunately he never got to view the music, but he was definately a favorite to me. I know God will take care of his family no that he's gone. My blessings go with the family. God Bless!

Ivory said...

Isaac Hayes is referred to as an icon. To me he was also a hero. I met him for the first time at the age of 17 years old. I am 49 years old now. I attended the ground breaking event for the Stax Music Academy and Museum, the dedication of the Stax Music Academy and the museum's opening day. I remember how happy he was on all three occasions. There is sadness in my heart from him passing on. My heart felt condolences to the family and his many friends.

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