Song of the Day: Isaac Hayes, “Never Can Say Goodbye”

Singer, actor, songwriter, composer, and session musician Isaac Hayes was born on this day in 1942. He wrote and played on a number of hits by Sam and Dave, including “Soul Man” and “I Thank You,” and came into prominence after writing the soundtrack for 1971’s Shaft. “Never Can Say Goodbye” was written by Clifton Davis and done by The Jackson 5, Gloria Gaynor, and others; Isaac’s version was released in 1971 and reached #5 on the R&B chart, #22 on the Hot 100, and #19 on the Easy Listening chart.

11 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Isaac Hayes, “Never Can Say Goodbye”

  1. He did a slower version than the one I am accustomed to and, at first, I wasn’t into it but it grew on me. I enjoyed it.


    1. I don’t think Michael Jackson was old enough to sing it when he made his record (I think he was 12 or 13). I liked Gloria Gaynor’s disco version, but Isaac’s was just perfection. Glad you liked it!

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  2. Hi John – this is a good one – I’m enjoying it here again – he’s got such a staggering voice. Also those words … so true, so often in our lives for various aspects of our times on this planet. Cheers Hilary


    1. Clifton Davis, the songwriter, was an actor and singer, and also a minister, so if the words sound particularly soul-satisfying, that might be the reason. Isaac was perfect for the song…


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