Isaac Hayes

Saturday Covington will celebrate one of its natives with the annual Isaac Hayes Day.

It was an idea born on Facebook, organizer John Edwards, a Covington alderman, told The Leader in 2017.

“A guy was talking about how Isaac Hayes was the coolest guy to come through Memphis. I told him that he was probably the most famous person to come out of Covington. He replied, ‘Probably?'”


Hayes, who died on Aug. 10, 2008 in Memphis, was born in the Rialto community on Aug. 20, 1942 to Isaac Lee Hayes Sr. and Eula B. Wade Young.

His mother died in 1944 and he was raised by his grandparents, Willie James Wade Sr. and Rushia Addie Mae Taylor. The family attended Rialto Baptist Church, but moved to Memphis as Isaac began school.

He began performing as a young boy and his legacy as a performer lives on.

Hayes recorded two very successful albums, “Hot Buttered Soul” and “Black Moses.”

In 1972, he won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the theme from “Shaft” and the Golden Globe and the Grammy for Best Original Score for the movie of the same name.

He was only the third African-American to win the Academy Award at the time.

Hayes appeared in the the movies “Truck Turner” and “I’m Going to Get You Sucka” as well as television shows like “The Rockford Files” and “The A-Team” and voiced the character Chef from the animated series “South Park” on Comedy Central.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2005.

Daughters Nikki Hayes McGee, Melanie Hayes and Veronica Hayes were in Covington in 2017 to accept a proclamation on their father’s behalf and tour the community where he got his start.

The celebration will take place from 10-6 in Frazier Park with vendors, music and more.

Admission to the event is free.

Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.