Today we're really sad about the news of Isaac Hayes's passing.
Last year around this time we did a month long American road trip that included a couple days in Memphis. The tour of Stax Records was by far one of the highlights of the entire trip.
I have been a devout Otis Redding fan for a long time so it was almost overwhelming to see the historic and revolutionary studios in person. The original building was torn down in 1989 (WHY DO PEOPLE DO THESE THINGS???????!??) but a group of heroic souls rebuilt on the site with a museum and recording center. The museum is so well done - taking you on a history of soul music in general and then through the history of Stax. The exhibits and films are very powerful, so much so that my eyes got watery from many happy and sad occasions. Isaac Hayes' peacock blue Cadillac from 1972 was a major highlight in the happy and totally awesome department. Unfortunately photos weren't allowed inside so you'll just have to go to Memphis and see it for yourself. We went to Graceland too, and really enjoyed it, but I would say Stax is the don't miss attraction.
The cultural and musical history of Memphis is completely staggering. There are many places to read, see, and analyze the scope of its musical legacy so I don't feel very qualified to discuss it in any length. It does seem like a lot of the history is surrounded in tragedy too. Unfortunately Isaac Hayes's early death adds to the sadness. RIP Isaac.