This soul performer and disc jockey was born in 1942 into a sharecropping family in Tipton County. At the age of seven, he moved to Memphis and took up odd jobs to help with the family income, like shining shoes on Beale Street. Hayes became a sensation at high school talent shows and with the school band. He skipped college to become a house musician at Stax Records and joined sessions where he met his writing partner, David Porter, forming one of the most successful songwriting collaborations in the 1960s.
They developed the "Stax Sound" with hits for Sam & Dave, Otis Redding and others. Hayes went on to record several of his own albums, create a film score for the movie "Shaft" and win several Grammy Awards. Hayes was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. He died in 2008 in Memphis.