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Theme from Shaft

"Theme from Shaft", written and recorded by Isaac Hayes in 1971, is the soul and funk-styled theme song to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film, Shaft.[1] The theme was released as a single (shortened and edited from the longer album version) two months after the movie"s soundtrack by Stax Records" Enterprise label. "Theme from Shaft" went to number two on the Billboard Soul Singles chart (behind "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) by Marvin Gaye) and to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 [2] in the United States in November 1971. The song was also well received by adult audiences, reaching number six on Billboard"s Easy Listening chart.[3]

The following year, "Theme from Shaft" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song,[1] with Hayes becoming the first African American to win that honor (or any Academy Award in a non-acting category), as well as the first recipient of the award to both write and perform the winning song. Since then, the song has appeared in numerous television shows, commercials, and other movies, including the 2000 sequel Shaft, for which Hayes re-recorded the song.[4] [5] In 2004 the original finished at #38 in AFI"s 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

In 2000, Hayes told National Public Radio that he had only agreed to write and record the Shaft score after Shaft producer, Joel Freeman, promised him an audition for the lead role. He never got the chance to audition, but kept his end of the deal anyway.[6] Director Gordon Parks also had a hand in composing the theme, describing the character of John Shaft (the "black private dick/who"s a sex machine/to all the chicks") to Hayes and explaining that the song had to familiarize the audience with him. Hayes recorded the rhythm parts on the theme first, scored the entire rest of the film, then returned to the theme song.[6]

Hayes told Mojo in 1995:

As this was my first such undertaking, at the initial meeting I had with the producer and director in New York you could see the anxiety on their faces. They tested me by

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