When the soundtrack to the motion picture Shaft was released in 1971, it instantly became one of the most popular albums — actually, a double album — in the nation. Produced by Isaac Hayes, the collection of soulful songs also helped make a name for the talented singer, composer and producer.
The recording, which was recorded for Stax Records’ Enterprise label, was largely instrumental. It peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart on Nov. 6, 1971, and remained in that spot for 60 weeks. The “Theme From Shaft" and "Do Your Thing," two songs on the album, became Top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with the “Theme” peaking at No. 1.
It was Hayes’ best-known work and the best-selling album ever released on the Stax label. It was an award-winning recording in a number of categories. The National Association of Television and Radio Announcers gave Shaft its Album of the Year award. Hayes also became the first African-American to win an Academy Award for a non-acting category when “Theme From Shaft” won the Oscar for Best Original Song.
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(Photo: Enterprise Records)