Hayes born in Covington, Tennessee and raised by his grandparents, grew up very poor and ofter referred to his days of picking cotton in his song monologues. He was a longtime songwriter and arranger for Stax Records in Memphis, playing in the studio's backup band and crafting tunes for artists such as Otis Redding, The Emotions and Sam and Dave to name a few in the 1960s with his collaborator David Porter.
Besides his musical career, Hayes had a long running television and movie career dating back to the early 1970's. He appeared in films and television, such as, "Truck Turner", "The Rockford Files", "I Gonna Git You Sucka", "Hammer, Slammer, and Slade", but is probably best known as the animated character "Chef" on the long running cartoon "South Park".
He is survived by his wife, 12 children, 14 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Enjoy this live clip from 1973 of Hayes performing his Oscar winning "Theme From Shaft".