Soul legend Isaac Hayes' grave marker unveiled in Memphis

Published: Aug. 23, 2009 at 1:34 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2009 at 2:36 PM CDT
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By Lori Brown - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A year after his death, Isaac Hayes - one of the driving forces behind Memphis soul music - was remembered at a grave marker unveiling ceremony Saturday evening.

Fans, friends and family members gathered to offer "Roses for Black Moses" at Memorial Park Cemetery in East Memphis.

His wife, Adjowa Hayes, shed tears as she and Hayes' daughters lifted a veil to reveal the marker engraved with a collage of images of the music legend's life.

"I want to do this so people can come and show their love and visit anytime they want to," said Adjowa Hayes. "It's not only for the family - it's for everybody in Memphis and all over the world."

She said she hopes people remember how much Hayes enjoyed helping children everywhere. Adjowa Hayes met her husband during one of his humanitarian trips to Ghana.

"He knows education is the key for people who live in Africa and all over the world," she said.

Hayes' songwriting partner and friend, David Porter, said Hayes never sought any credit for his generosity.

"He would do things and say, 'we don't want you to say anything to anybody,' " he said. "That happened for many many years. I could tell you some things that would blow your mind that Isaac Hayes did for many people."

Former Stax Records Owner Al Bell reflected on the music barriers Hayes broke.

"What they said couldn't be done, Isaac Hayes did," he said. "For all of that and the good and caring spirit that lived in him, today we bring roses for 'Black Moses.' "

Hayes' three-year-old son placed one of the final roses next to his father's grave marker.

Hayes would have turned 67 this week.

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