Photographer and music journalist Rena Kosnett thinks she got one of, if not the, final interview with the singer, songwriter, musician and former "South Park" voice who died Sunday. Hayes, 65, was found dead at home near Memphis. He was due to appear at this year's Sunset Junction festival and spoke to Kosnett last week for the LA Record. Excerpt of the interview:
Rolling Stone named ‘Soul Man’ as one of the 500 greatest songs of all time. Do you think most people realize you and David Porter wrote that song?
Maybe, maybe not. Some people, they don’t connect it—they think it was Sam and Dave, because they made it well known.
The Sunset Junction festival started as a way to bring the Latino community and gay community together in East L.A. after several instances of violence. Would you consider writing a ‘Soul Man’ type of song for the gay and Latino struggles?
Oh, um, I’m workin’ on that one. [laughing] I’ve been working on my new album. I’ll just tell you what, though—this new album that’s coming out, it’s good. It’s probably coming out next year.
Who should really be called ‘Black Moses’: you, Harriet Tubman, or Marcus Garvey? There can’t be three, can there?
I got my name as ‘Black Moses’ from Dino Woodward, a pastor at Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York [and one-time Stax executive]. He called me Moses, and I said, ‘Hey, that’s sacrilegious, baby!’ But he just kept up with it, so I was like, ‘OK, I get it.’ I finally gave in.
Kosnett enjoyed the interview and writes at her blog, "I was ecstatic for the week leading up to the interview, and stayed ecstatic for the week following it, so not surprisingly I received 4 voicemails, 6 text messages, and 9 emails from people informing me of this sad news. Isaac was a one-man messianic movement who spoke the gospel of groove and spread the sermon of soul throughout American culture. He served to liberate and advocate American funk and human sexuality the way Timothy Leary articulated acid, the way Hunter S. Thompson obliterated objectivism."
Photo: Hayes in 2001, AP Photo/Frank Franklin II via Yahoo