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Last night I saw a broadcast on TV One about Isaac Hayes.

For me, Isaac represents the real deal of what Soul is in America.

The show Unsung is interesting because it highlights Black musicians who are unsung or under appreciated.

I never felt that Isaac was unsung.

In fact, he was one of those rare Black singers who I felt never abandoned their roots.

His earlier hits with Stax music had that gritty deep soul sound tinged with gospel.

You can almost feel the soles of your feet burning under the hot Tennessee sun.

You can also feel the pain in your back as a result of long hours spent bending over picking cotton.

Instead of distance which sometimes comes as a result of fame, I felt that he was very accessible.

I can just as easily picture him hailing from my small town in Mississippi in the heart of the Delta.

His soulful tunes had a religious feel to it.

I especially loved his ability to take a pop tune and turn it into a soulful ballad such as Never Can Say Goodbye in which the Jackson 5 covered and Walk on by originally by Dionne Warwick.

Whew!!!!!

Out of Sight!!!!!

If I had to pick a favorite Isaac Hayes tune it would be By the time I get to Phoenix.

Isaac was a sex symbol before the whole bald and black phenomenon that seemed to grip Urban Black America circa the 1990’s.

That deep baritone voice had a lot to do with his raw sexuality also.

In the era in which Black pride was taking hold in the psyche of African Americans, no doubt Isaac was the image of Black Pride come to life.

This was especially so when he assumed the persona of Black Moses.

And those chains?

They added to his image of the Black fierce warrior!!

He soared even higher into the Black stratosphere with Shaft-the sound track of the Blaxploitation hoopla!!!

I was very proud when he later collaborated with Barry White on the single Dark and Lovely where they paid homage to African American women.

Isaac never lost his charisma even on his last project-the movie Soul Men.

Slightly older, we had a chance to see this legend still bringing his A game.

And like a true native son, he made his transition in the state of his birth that spawned a wealth of other soul greats.

We still love you Isaac!!!!

Until next time….

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