Memphians pause to remember music legend - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

  ISAAC HAYES 1942-2008

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Flowers and Gifts: Family members ask that all memorials be made to the Stax Museum Children’s Music Academy, 926 McLemore, Memphis, TN 38106

Reported by Ben Watson

Memphians pause to remember music legend

Updated:

People from all walks of life stopped Monday to remember Isaac Hayes, one day after the music legend died in his Memphis home.

Log before Warren Lewis became famous for his method of burning hair at his Memphis barbershop, he was a childhood mentor to Hayes.

"I was poor, but he was a little poorer than what I was," Lewis said.  "That's why we made it so good together."

Hayes grew up around Lewis' shop.  In the 1960's, they teamed up to form the Black Knights, a non-profit self-help group that provided hundreds of poor people with everything from food to job assistance.

"I met him in 1967 in front of Stax," Lewis said. "He and David Porter."

Monday, customers at Lewis' barbershop talked about the impact Hayes had on them and the rest of the country - especially at the Wattstax concert.  Hayes and Porter headlined the concert to diffuse racial tensions following race riots in several cities.

"He did in music what Dr. King did through speech and reasoning," said Memphis City Council member Myron Lowery.  "He was a civil rights leader, using his musical talents to bridge the gap."

The Reverend Samuel Billy Kyles said even after winning an Academy Award for Shaft, and other international fame, Hayes stayed humble down to earth.

"Isaac Hayes was a visionary and a dreamer," Kyles said. "He was not afraid to dream, and he had no problem doing what dreamers do - they step outside the box."

As for his legacy, many said Hayes will live on through his music, movies and the people he touched.


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