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Memories of Issac Hayes by Elaine Davenport

ISSAC HAYES: 1942-2008

ISSAC HAYES was the father of 12 children, and had 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Here, he was puctured with his fourth wife Adjowa who gave birth to their son named Nana Kwadjo Hayes on April 10, 2006.


What I remember most about Issac Hayes was his song By The Time I Get To Phoenix. (it wasn’t a faith song; but it did impact my life)

This song had an 8 minute monologue and basically it was talk set to really cool music. It told a story that we all identified with; meaning in some way most of us have been done wrong. The singer (Issac Hayes) became a hero and endeared himself to us. We wanted to see him succeed…we all did; not only in the song but in real life.

In our minds Issac Hayes became the man in the story whose wife did him wrong. That caused us to overlook that over the top look of the guy with the bare chest; a bald head and eyes glaring over sunglasses. Bald wasn’t in until Issac Hayes did it; years after Yul Brynner that is. That alone might otherwise have turned us off. Instead, we gave him a pass. We liked him and he was a good actor too. He had a sweet way about him. As for his South Park days…I wouldn’t know. I never watched it.

By the Time I Get To Phoenix was a song about a married man with an adulterous and unrepentant wife. He had left her 7 times and went back to her 7 times. He finally reached his breaking point, by the time he was talking to us.

The song tells of his concern about her (the wife) being hurt by his surprise exit; as he makes his way to Phoenix, Arizona to get far far away from her. That song impacted me to continue to pray that God would Bless me with a faithful husband. I had thought that the guy that I was dating at the time was going to be around; (was I ever wrong! What’s his name? I seriously don’t remember…I seem to have blocked it out) .

I had always promised God that if He gave me a husband I’d treat him good and remain faithful as well as love and honor him. Enough said. It would be ten long years before I’d find my ideal man when I wasn’t really looking. (that’s a hint girls)



Issac Hayes was born in Covington, Tennessee to two parents. His mom died soon thereafter and his father left when he was around one and a half years old. He was raised by his grandparents. He was raised in the church and taught himself how to play several instruments including the piano, electronic organ, flute and saxophone; he also began to sing around the same time; he was five years old. Issac reportedly dropped out of high school, but returned to get his diploma at the behest of his teachers. It is clear by his multiple accomplishments after humble beginnings that he was a very smart young man.


Issac Hayes was a writer and producer and perhaps a part owner for Stax Records. At one point; things were financially lucrative, but over time it became a balancing act and on at least two occasions he faced mounting debt and on one occasion a bankruptcy caused him and his then wife to lose their home, a lot of his personal property and even worse it is reported that he lost the rights to the revenues from all of the music he had written, produced and recorded. Many would have disappeared; but he bounced back.

Issac Hayes became an actor, launched a musical comeback with a degree of success. At one point he became a part owner in an American Basketball Association basketball team from Memphis.


I’m not really certain if Scientology is a religion; ( sorry to have touched on that “keg” of worms) but Issac Hayes became an active member of the movement joining many other actors in Hollywood around 1995. He became a well known spokesperson for them. During that period; he took a job playing the animated role of Chef on the television series South Park with some critical acclaim. Not long after he took the job; they reportedly had a segment that attacked Scientology principles. It was reported that Issac Hayes said he understood that. However, he eventually got out of his contract over “religious” differences.


Issac Hayes reportedly suffered a stroke perhaps after his departure from South Park. The whole South Park story is way out.


Issac Hayes was a remarkable man who kept coming back. He didn’t have a perfect life; no one does. I didn’t get to list the remarkable work that his foundation The Issac Hayes Foundation has done and I’m sure there’s a lot that’s not even reported here. What a long ways he traveled from his humble roots. Oh, how gifted he was. I just want to encourage you all to love on this family and to keep them lifted in your prayers.


I read around the Internet where people were saying deaths comes in threes. That’s not true; it’s superstition. Death in this earthly life is a frequent event. Permanent earthly life is not promised to any of us and that’s why we here on earth better get our eyes fixed on eternity and not on the here and now.



I am a born again believer. I am a Prayer Intercessor, writer, wife, mom, sold out for God lady! I believe that Jesus heals. I also believe that many people need faith information and prayer and this site will offer this.

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