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Ray Chew

Musician and music director Ray Chew was born in 1958 in the Harlem, New York to Henry and Elaine Chew. Chew developed an interest in music at an early age. At age six, Chew received a scholarship to attend the Julliard School’s Children’s Program. He continued to pursue music education throughout his childhood, and enrolled in institutions such as Third Street Music School and the High School of Music and Arts where he was exposed to iconic musicians such as jazz legends Lionel Hampton, Max Roach, and Dizzy Gillespie.

As a music arranger and multi-instrumentalist, Chew has worked with notable musicians including Gladys Knight, Quincy Jones, Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin. In 1974, Chew received his first big break in the music industry when he was given an opportunity go on tour with recording artist and Broadway star Melba Moore. Chew was selected to produce music for Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson in 1975. He went on to serve as the music arranger on seven albums with the legendary duo over a twenty year period. In 1980, Chew became the musical director of the Saturday Night Live Band. In 1998, he co-founded Chew Entertainment with his wife, music executive Vivian Scott Chew. Later Chew and his wife founded Power to Inspire, a nonprofit organization that aims to improve music appreciation among youths He continued his career in television when he was named musical director of “Showtime at the Apollo,” a talent competition filmed at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater, in 1992. In 2001, Chew composed the score for the short film, The Gilded Six Bits, earning him his first credit for a musical score; and, in 2008, he was recruited as the bandleader for the Democratic National Convention. In 2009, he was selected by President Barack Obama to direct the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball. Chew became the musical director of “American Idol” in 2011.

Since his early years as a student at the High School of Music and Arts, Chew has received recognition for his talent as a musical arranger and multi-instrumentalist. Chew served as the musical director of the Apollo Theater Foundation and as a national trustee for the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Chew is married to Vivian Scott Chew. they have two daughters: Bianca and Loren.

Ray Chew was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 24, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.194

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/12/2013

Last Name

Chew

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Leighton

Schools

P.S. 125

P.S. 121 Throop School

P.S. 144 Col Jeromus Remsen School

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

Manhattan School of Music

First Name

Raymond

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

CHE07

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Punta Mita, México

Favorite Quote

Reach Beyond Your Grasp.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

9/7/1958

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Fort Lee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Musician and singer and music director Ray Chew (1958 - ) served as the music arranger on seven albums with the legendary duo Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson. He also served as the musical director for the television shows “Showtime at the Apollo” and “American Idol.”

Employment

Delete

American Idol

Favorite Color

Brown

John "Deacon" Moore

Rhythm and blues musician John Moore, commonly known as Deacon John, was born on June 23, 1941 to Frank P. Moore, a bricklayer, and Augustine Boudreaux, a homemaker and musician, in the 8th Ward of New Orleans, La. One of thirteen children, Moore was raised in a musical family. He received vocal training in his church choir; he sang in his first R&B band in middle school. Moore bought his first guitar at a pawnshop on Canal Street, and learned how to play it from the instruction books and records he purchased. Moore played in high school with various pickup bands as a singer and guitarist.

After playing for several years, Moore joined a musical group called the Ivories with Roger Lewis of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. It was there that he picked up the nickname "Deacon," a term that drummer Al Miller tagged him with from a line in the song "Good Rockin' Tonight" by Roy Brown: "Deacon John and Elder Brown, two of the slickest cats in town ...” In 1960, Moore re-established the musical group the Ivories under the name Deacon John & the Ivories. Eventually they became the house band at the legendary Dew Drop Inn, backing up famous musicians like Bobby Blue Bland, Little Junior Parker, Arthur Prysock and Big Joe Turner. At the Dew Drop, Allen Toussaint discovered Moore and led him to the recording studio, where Moore began playing the guitar on R&B hits like Irma Thomas' "Ruler of My Heart," Aaron Neville's "Tell It Like It Is," Robert Parker's "Barefootin'," Ernie K-Doe's "Mother-in-Law," Chris Kenner's "Land of 1,000 Dances," and Lee Dorsey's "Working in the Coal Mine." In 1970, Moore performed at the first New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and has performed at each annual festival since.

In 2000, Moore was inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame, and in 2003 he starred in Deacon John's Jump Blues, a CD and DVD tribute to New Orleans R&B, for which he earned the 2003 Offbeat music magazine award for Album of the Year. Gambit magazine awarded him three awards that year as well. In 2005, Moore performed at the Congressional Ball at the White House and in 2006, he starred in the critically acclaimed documentary, Going Back to New Orleans: The Deacon John Film. On July 25, 2006, Moore became the first African American president of New Orleans Musicians Union Local 174-496 of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). Just one year later, Moore closed the inauguration of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, performing “God Bless America” accompanied by the 156th Army Band and a Navy fly-over of jets. Later that year, Moore was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

John Moore was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 11, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.040

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/8/2010

Last Name

Moore

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

"Deacon"

Occupation
Schools

Corpus Christi Elementary School

St. Augustine High School

University of New Orleans

First Name

John

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

MOO14

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

It Ain't Easy In The Big Easy.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

6/23/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Seafood

Short Description

Musician and singer John "Deacon" Moore (1941 - ) , commonly known as Deacon John, lead the musical group Deacon John & the Ivories and in 2008 was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Employment

Deacon John & the Ivories

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of John "Deacon" Moore's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his father's family background, pt. 3

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers his upbringing in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about his Creole family's complexions

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers his neighborhoods in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers the choir at Corpus Christi Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls his mother's encouragement

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls his early exposure to secular music

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers teaching himself to play guitar, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers teaching himself to play guitar, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls his musical activities at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers the discipline at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his coursework at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about the suppression of the Louisiana Creole language

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers Louisiana State University in New Orleans

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls his arrest at an integrated party

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls his coursework at Louisiana State University in New Orleans

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls his first marriage

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls joining the American Federation of Musicians

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore describes the history of the American Federation of Musicians in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore describes the history of the American Federation of Musicians in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about the segregated pay scale for musicians

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls a conflict within the American Federation of Musicians Local 174-496, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls a conflict within the American Federation of Musicians Local 174-496, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore describes the origin of his stage name, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore describes the origin of his stage name, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his band's musical genres

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about his various jobs in the music industry

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about his work as a recording studio musician

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his appearances as a commercial actor

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers his film and television roles

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about the slide guitar

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore plays a country blues medley

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore plays a Delta blues medley

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his experiences as a backup musician

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers Curtis Mayfield

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - John "Deacon" Moore recalls playing with Bo Diddley

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about his family

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - John "Deacon" Moore reflects upon his career

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers performing at the White House in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - John "Deacon" Moore talks about 'Deacon John's Jump Blues'

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - John "Deacon" Moore remembers Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - John "Deacon" Moore describes his board memberships

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - John "Deacon" Moore reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - John "Deacon" Moore reflects upon his experiences of discrimination in the music industry, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - John "Deacon" Moore reflects upon his experiences of discrimination in the music industry, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Robert "Deacon" Moore talks about the racial demographics of his bands

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Robert "Deacon" Moore describes the discrimination against black musicians

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Robert "Deacon" Moore remembers a conflict at Tipitina's nightclub in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Robert "Deacon" Moore shares his advice for aspiring musicians, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Robert "Deacon" Moore shares his advice for aspiring musicians, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Robert "Deacon" Moore narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
John "Deacon" Moore remembers teaching himself to play guitar, pt. 1
John "Deacon" Moore plays a country blues medley
Transcript
And with the exposure to live bands, you know. Whenever I would go to one of these high school dances, something like a magnet just drew me to the guitar players. Man, I was just fascinated by the guitar players. I'd--most of the whole night I'd just sit right--stand up right in front of the stage watching the guitar players. Something 'bout them guitar players, you know, 'cause most of the people in my family are string players, you know. And I didn't know anything about genetics at all those things, you know. But you know, I was probably genetically programmed, you know, to be a guitar player 'cause my [maternal] grandfather [John Boudreaux] was a banjo player. My mother [Rilda Augustine Boudreaux Moore] was a piano player, and my oldest sister [Consuela Moore Provost] played the viola and the violin. So, I grew up in a musical environment. My mother kept a piano around the house and she'd sing and play the piano. But once I saw the live bands, you know, I was hooked, you know. So, at about that time is when Elvis [Elvis Presley] came out, and it was some people out on the street, you know, he bought, his daddy bought him a guitar so he could be like Elvis. And so, I used to borrow his guitar and take it home and try to pick out little melodies on it. My mother had a ukulele around the house and I would try to pick out melodies on it that I heard on the radio. And I'd go to the piano and try to, you know, do things with the piano. And then, you know, I decided, you know, that I wanna be a guitar player. At the time, I was in high school [St. Augustine High School, New Orleans, Louisiana]. I had been singing, you know, with a little band when I was in elementary school, middle school [Corpus Christi Elementary School, New Orleans, Louisiana]. But when I got to high school, I just became fascinated with the guitar. So, I had a little job, you know, on Saturdays, stock boy in the grocery store and delivering groceries on a bicycle. I made $2.25 a day, plus my little tips, you know, so. I'd saved up my little money and then had another job. I used to go during the week, after school, and deliver pharmaceuticals, you know. People call in prescriptions, send a dude out on a bicycle, you know, with the prescription and people would give you a little tip. I used to make nine dollars a week, so. I saved my little money up and I went down to the pawn shop with my oldest sister and bought me a guitar (laughter). And I went to the local music store, World Lines [ph.], and bought some instructional books on how to play the guitar.$You're gonna (playing guitar). That's for tuning like a country blues setting, you know. (Playing guitar and singing), "I'm going down to Louisiana, I gonna get me a mojo hand. I'm going down to Louisiana, I'm gonna get me a mojo hand. I'm gonna fix my woman so she can't have no other man. Cold ground was my bed last night, rocks was my pillow too. Cold ground was my bed last night, rocks was my pillow too. I woke up this morning, I was wondering what in the world am I gonna do? But I laid down thinking, buy me a mojo hand. I laid down thinking, buy me a mojo hand. I just wanna fix my woman so, she can't have no other man. Now, we're gonna boogie woogie, now. Oh, let's boogie. I'm gonna boogie for the doctor. I'm gonna boogie for the nurse. I'm gonna keep on boogieing 'til they roll me in the hearse. I got the boogie, the boogie woogie disease. Come here doctor. Give me a shot of that penicillin. Oh, keep on boogieing. You know my mama didn't allow me to stay out all night long. My mama didn't allow me. Just to stay out all night long. But I don't care what mama don't allow. I'm gonna boogie woogie anyhow. Oh, let's boogie now." Now, this is the country blues (laughter).

Roshell "Mike" Anderson

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, television news reporter Roshell “Mike” Anderson was born on September 16, 1952 in Bogalusa, Louisiana, and raised in New Orleans. His mother, Mellenese Magee Anderson moved to New Orleans where she was a cook at The Court of Two Sisters Restaurant. His father, Robert Anderson, was a sergeant in the Korean War. Anderson was raised in the Algiers Church of God in Christ, where he first gained experience in public speaking and singing for an audience. In 1968, he developed a popular impression of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Graduating from Clarke High School in New Orleans in 1970, Anderson, known as “Cool Breeze,” patterned himself after Dr. Daddyo, a local radio personality, and CBS-TV news anchor, Walter Cronkite. Anderson attended Louisiana State University and the Career Academy School of Broadcast Journalism in Atlanta, Georgia, graduating in 1971.

Anderson earned his first class license in Atlanta in 1970 and worked at a number of southern radio stations, including WXNS, WKLS, WAOK, as announcer and disc jockey. He has been known as Roshell Magee and General Frank Magee. Anderson developed a singing and song writing career before getting involved with television. His 1972 record, “Snake out of Green Grass” made the Billboard charts followed by “Grapevine Will Lie Sometimes” in 1974. Anderson then took to the concert circuit. He joined WLWI-FM in Montgomery, Alabama in 1978 and switched to rival WXVI-FM in 1979. That same year, Anderson got his start in television at WAPI-TV in Birmingham, Alabama. As a news reporter, “Mike” Anderson covered the tense case of a black woman shot nine times by Birmingham police.

Before joining WISN-TV 12 News in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Anderson worked as a news anchor and reporter at KIRO-TV in Seattle, Washington. During his tenure at WISN, Anderson has been the recipient of many awards, including his work on the award-winning documentaries Children in the Line of Fire and Solutions to Violence. He has interviewed four American presidents: Richard M. Nixon, George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. He is a current member of the Wisconsin Black Media Association.

Anderson lives in Brown Deer, Wisconsin and has three children: Nicole, Mellenese and Michael. When not reporting the news, he is still a professional recording artist; cutting the album, Sweet and Sour Soul in 1988 and Rolling Over in 2006.

Accession Number

A2007.331

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/27/2007

Last Name

Anderson

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School

Career Academy

Andrew J. Bell Junior High School

McDonogh No. 32 Literacy Charter School

Washington Parish Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Roshell "Mike"

Birth City, State, Country

Bogalusa

HM ID

AND09

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Good Lord Willing.Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Wisconsin

Birth Date

9/16/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Milwaukee

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard Greens, Neckbones, Okra

Short Description

Television news reporter, musician and singer, and radio dj Roshell "Mike" Anderson (1952 - ) was an anchor and reporter for WISN-TV Channel 12 News in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He had an extensive career as a radio personality, singer and songwriter before starting his television career.

Employment

WGOV Radio

WERD Radio

WLWI Radio

WAPI-TV

KIRO-TV

WISN-TV

Nashboro Records

Sunburst Records, Ltd.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Roshell "Mike" Anderson's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Roshell "Mike" Anderson's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers his maternal grandfather's stories

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his great aunt and great uncle

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his upbringing in Franklinton, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his mother's employment

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his father's family background and career

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his likeness to his parents, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his likeness to his parents, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes the 7th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson talks about the use of slang

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson talks about the use of derogatory language

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers his high school geometry teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his early religious experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson talks about morality

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his extracurricular activities

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his early interest in music

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson talks about religious and secular music

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers the death of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his early aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson recalls his training in broadcast journalism

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers his work at WKLS Radio in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his public speaking experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his early radio career

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson recalls his start as a musical artist

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers WGOV Radio in Valdosta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers performing on the Chitlin' Circuit

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his return to the broadcast industry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson recalls joining WAPI-TV in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his experiences as a television reporter in Birmingham, Alabama

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson recalls covering the eruption of Mount St. Helens

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers joining WISN-TV in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson talks about his major news stories

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his work schedule

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Roshell "Mike" Anderson narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Roshell "Mike" Anderson remembers the death of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Roshell "Mike" Anderson recalls joining WAPI-TV in Birmingham, Alabama
Transcript
Now tell us something about J.S. Clark [Joseph S. Clark High School; Joseph S. Clark Preparatory High School, New Orleans, Louisiana]. Now, what, was this--this is an all-black high school in--?$$We had one or two white students at Clark--$$Okay.$$--when I was there. One of 'em I think played on the football team. But, it was primar- predominantly black school, Clark was, yeah.$$Okay. All right. And, so, you went there all four years?$$In a black neighborhood, yeah.$$And, did you, did you run for class office or anything like that, or (unclear)?$$Didn't run for any class office.$$Okay.$$I participated in, I did a couple of talent shows. A couple in particular where I recited Dr. Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] speech, after he died in '68 [1968]. At a talent show after that and I did his, I did his I Have a Dream speech.$$Now, were you, in high school when he was--$$Yes.$$Killed?$$Yeah.$$Okay. Can you remember how it affected you and the other students at the time?$$It affect--it had a tremendous impact on me and the other students. And, I had, in the talent show, I, as I said, I did Dr. King's speech. And, I had it down so pat, I could sound just like him. And, deliver it just like him. And, the kids, a lot of 'em thought that when Dr. King died, he was passing, you know, his, his role in life on down to me 'cause I could sound just--'cause I could deliver just like him. And, I became so--and they would call me, people would call me to come to whatever event to do that speech. And, I got so into it that my mom [Mellenese Magee Anderson] started to worry about me. To think that, you know, "No, son, I mean, Dr. King is gone, you're not gonna be Dr. King. You're not Dr. King." And, I had to catch myself too, to realize that no, I'm not the second coming of Dr. King. And, but, it was amazing how I could, without a whole lot of effort, just stand there, and if you didn't know he wasn't in the room, you'd think it was him. And, we were all--because Dr. King, at that time, he was, he was the inspiration that guided us all, you know. We had James Brown of course, 'Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud' those kinds of things. But, Dr. King being the, being the--he was the Moses of, of our time. And, even as young people, you know, we saw that and understood that. So, yeah, when he died it was a tremendous--$$Now, were there riots in New Orleans [Louisiana] when he, when he died?$$I don't recall that there were riots in New Orleans. Not like there were at some other places, no.$And, that was a good time in my life. And, then my news director at WLWI [WLWI Radio, Montgomery, Alabama] left that station and went to Birmingham [Alabama] as a producer. His name was Jimmy Carter [ph.]. Not to be confused with the President Jimmy Carter [President James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.] at the time. But, his name was Jimmy Carter. And, he went to work for WAPI [WAPI-TV] at the time, it's now WVTM [WVTM-TV], Channel 13 in Birmingham, and--as a producer. And, they were looking for more reporters to add on to their staff, so he recommend me. This is a TV station. I'd never done television before. But, I'm thinking, wow, you know, this might be a shot. So, I went up to WAPI and the news director--I made a resume tape of my voice work, gave that to 'em. But, they wanted to see what I could do on camera. So, I went up, they liked my resume, they sent me out on a story and--with another reporter who was gonna report for that day. But, they wanted me to do the same story so they could view it behind the scenes to see how I present it. I asked the guy, the reporter I was with, I said, "What's the hardest thing to do--?" About putting together a story. And, the reporter told me it was a stand up. He said his hardest thing for him to do is to stand in front of that camera and deliver a stand up. And, so, I thought to myself, okay, if that's the hardest thing to do, that's what I'm gonna do. So, I did my whole story straight stand up, wrote it, rememorized it, and did the whole thing stand up. And, then the editor, the photographer who was with us, he says, "Don't you wanna put some B-roll over that?" I said, "B-ro- ?" I didn't know what B-roll was. That meant cover shots, okay. Then I says, "Well, I suppose you could, yeah." Threw a little cover shots over there, put a sound bite in there, and then the news director said that's what he was impressed with. The fact that I was able to stand in front of the camera, with cars passing behind me, and I wasn't distracted, did the whole thing. Took me like two takes, but I did it. So, I got the job. And, I became a reporter there at W- WAPI, Channel 13.$$Okay. This is nineteen seventy--$$Seventy-nine [1979].$$--nine [1979]. Okay.

Isaac Hayes

Musician, actor, and entertainer, Isaac Hayes, was born Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr., on August 20, 1942, in Covington, Tennessee. When his parents died at an early age, Hayes went to live with his grandparents in Memphis. Hayes was a good student in high school, wanting to be a doctor; in the ninth grade, however, he dropped out to earn money. Hayes later enrolled in a night school from which he earned his diploma in 1962.

By the time Hayes was in his teens, he was adept at playing the piano, organ, and saxophone, as well as having spent years singing in a church choir. When he dropped out of school, Hayes immediately began performing with local R&B groups in Memphis, earning a solid reputation as a musician. Hayes recorded his first album in 1962, and by 1964, he was playing with the house band at Stax Records, one of the premier soul music recording labels in the South. After writing a number of hits in collaboration with David Porter for the group Sam & Dave, Hayes released his first solo album, Presenting Isaac Hayes, in 1967. Two years later, his breakthrough album, Hot Buttered Soul was released and Hayes became a star.

After producing a soundtrack to an experimental film by author Norman Mailer, Hayes was approached to write the musical score of Shaft in 1971; he would become the first African American to win an Oscar for Best Song. Hayes became involved in acting in the mid-1970s with an Italian film titled Uomini Duri, released in America as Three Tough Guys, and the title role in the film Truck Turner in 1974. Hayes returned to acting in 1981 with a role in Escape from New York and 1988’s I’m Gonna Git You Sucka!. The 1990s and beyond saw a resurgence of Hayes in films, playing roles in The Blues Brothers 2000, Dr. Doolitte, and a remake of Shaft; he also became the voice of “Chef” in the animated television series South Park.

Hayes had a radio program on KISS-FM and was the spokesman for the World Literacy Crusade, a part of the Scientology movement. Hayes also established the Isaac Hayes Foundation to partner with nonprofit organizations to promote human rights. While in Ada, Ghana, in 1995, as a part of the World Literacy Crusade, Hayes was crowned as a king, adopting the name of Nene Katey Ocansey I. Hayes also opened up a chain of restaurants across the country. In 2002, Hayes was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Isaac Hayes passed away on August 10, 2008, at the age of sixty-five.

Hayes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 25, 2003.

Accession Number

A2003.142

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/25/2003

Last Name

Hayes

Middle Name

L.

Organizations
First Name

Isaac

Birth City, State, Country

Covington

HM ID

HAY03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Birth Date

8/20/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Soul Food

Death Date

8/10/2008

Short Description

Film actor, musician and singer, and film score composer Isaac Hayes (1942 - 2008 ) was the first African American to win an Oscar for Best Song. In addition to his musical activities, Hayes was also a prolific actor and literacy advocate.

Favorite Color

Red

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Isaac Hayes interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Isaac Hayes's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Isaac Hayes traces his family's roots in Africa

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Isaac Hayes discusses his family's southern heritage

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Isaac Hayes shares family stories from the U.S. Civil War

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Isaac Hayes details his mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Isaac Hayes discusses his mother's mental illness and institutionalization

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Isaac Hayes describes his reunion with his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Isaac Hayes describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Covington, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Isaac Hayes recalls his early affinity for music

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Isaac Hayes discusses his early school life

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Isaac Hayes explains his decision to stay in school

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Isaac Hayes changes career plans after a successful talent show

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Isaac Hayes describes his musical career in junior high and high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Isaac Hayes reveals the extent of his family's poverty

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Isaac Hayes describes his early jobs

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Isaac Hayes remembers his mentor, a white employer

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Isaac Hayes chooses not to puruse criminal activities as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Isaac Hayes explains how candy bars prevented him from receiving his high school diploma

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Isaac Hayes remembers his early musical gigs

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Isaac Hayes shares a humorous anecdote about his piano playing ability

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Isaac Hayes details his success as a songwriter

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Isaac Hayes describes the beginnings of his career as a vocalist

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Isaac Hayes explains his signature look

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Isaac Hayes describes the impact of Martin Luther King, Jr's assassination

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Isaac Hayes reminisces about the creation of his breakthrough album, 'Hot Buttered Soul'

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Isaac Hayes discusses the role of fashion in performance

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Isaac Hayes explains his moniker 'Black Moses'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Isaac Hayes lists some of his discography

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Isaac Hayes considers the need for cooperation across generations

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Isaac Hayes emphasizes African American economic cooperation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Isaac Hayes stresses culturally inclusive education

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Isaac Hayes describes being honored as a Ghanaian king

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Isaac Hayes contributes to development efforts in Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Isaac Hayes describes the advantages of Scientology

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Isaac Hayes details his role in the film 'Shaft'

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Isaac Hayes recalls composing the memorable score for 'Shaft'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Isaac Hayes reflects on his Academy Award for the score of 'Shaft'

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Isaac Hayes discusses his many film roles

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Isaac Hayes shares several of his favorite television roles

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Isaac Hayes is forced to file for bankruptcy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Isaac Hayes describes his current business endeavors

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Isaac Hayes discusses his healthy lifestyle

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Isaac Hayes names his favorite musicians

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Isaac Hayes remembers fellow musician Barry White

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Isaac Hayes considers the black community's needs

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Isaac Hayes considers his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Isaac Hayes describes his future plans

Tape: 6 Story: 12 - Isaac Hayes gives his philosophy on life's trials

Tape: 6 Story: 13 - Isaac Hayes describes his contribution to the world