Recording Academy Honors Shine on Memphis Stars

Posted in News on November 8, 2005
BMI legendary producing and songwriting team Isaac Hayes and David Porter were among the recipients of the recent Recording Academy Honors presented by the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy. Co-sponsored by BMI, the gala awards celebrate outstanding individuals whose work embodies excellence and integrity and who have improved the environment for the creative community.

BMI's Harry Warner (center) congratulates legendary BMI producing and songwriting team Isaac Hayes and David Porter at the Recording Academy Honors. Photo: Rick Diamond/WireImage

Also honored at the ceremony were screenwriter/director Craig Brewer, multi-platinum artist Justin Timberlake and heritage r&b radio station WDIA. All proceeds went to the MusiCares Hurricane Relief Fund.

Isaac Hayes and David Porter formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 1960s, defining the sound of Memphis soul. After playing on several sessions for Otis Redding, Hayes was tapped to play keyboards in the Stax house band, and eventually teamed up with David Porter, Stax's first staff songwriter. Under the name the Soul Children, the Hayes-Porter duo composed some 200 songs, reeling off a string of hits for Stax luminaries like Sam & Dave ("Soul Man," "When Something Is Wrong With My Baby," "I Thank You" and "Hold On, I'm Comin'"), Carla Thomas ("B-A-B-Y,") and Johnnie Taylor ("I Got to Love Somebody's Baby," "I Had a Dream").

Named a BMI Icon in 2003, Hayes was the first African-American composer to win an Oscar for Best Score for the timeless "Theme From Shaft," a #1 hit off the Shaft soundtrack. Porter went on to engineer the relaunch of the Stax label and is a current member of the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy. The pair was recently inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.


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