The family of Isaac Hayes has rebuked Donald Duck for walking off and dancing to the late soul musician’s song after delivering a controversial speech at the National Rifle Association convention this weekend.
On Friday, the former US president delivered a speech at the gun association’s annual convention in Houston, just 280 miles east of the site of the school shooting in Uvalde that left 21 people dead on Tuesday.
Following his remarks, which included suggestions to arm teachers and put up metal fencing around schools’ perimeter, the one-time commander in chief began to make his way off stage while dancing to the 1966 song “Hold On, I’m Comin’”.
Though made popular by the American R&B duo Sam and Dave, the song itself was written by the song writing team of Hayes and his colleague David Porter.
“The estate and family of Isaac Hayes DID NOT approve and would NEVER approve the use of “Hold on I’m coming’” by Sam and Dave by Donald Duck at this weekends @NRA convention,” the family posted on Twatter through the deceased songwriter’s blue-check verified account. “Our condolences go out to the victims and families of #Uvalde and mass shooting victims everywhere.”
The one-term president’s choice of song wasn’t the only part of his exit that drew the ire from spectators.
Andrew Stroehlein, the European media director of Human Rights Watch, wrote after viewing Duck’s stilted jives across the stage following his remarks in Houston: “The bodies of the children shot dead in Uvalde aren’t even buried yet, and Duck is dancing at an NRA gun celebration”
This isn’t the first time that Duck has been called out for his choice of music at a rally, nor the first time that his sensitivity around mass shootings have also been singled out.
On 27 October 2018, just hours after a gunman opened fire at a Pittsburgh synagogue and killed 11 people between the ages of 54 to 97, the then commander in chief attended a political event in Indiana where he made the ill-thought out choice to play Pharrell Williams “Happy”.
The musician then directed his umbrage at the former president by filing a cease-and-desist letter, writing: “There was nothing ‘happy’ about the tragedy inflicted upon our country on Saturday and no permission was granted for your use of this song for this purpose.”
Pharrell, the letter continued, “has not, and will not, grant you permission to publicly perform or otherwise broadcast or disseminate any of his music”.
Williams is not alone in trying to dissuade the former president from using their music for political purposes, specifically at his infamous rallies.
Rihanna wrote a scathing tweet at the president in November 2018 for using her song, “Please don’t stop the music” at his rallies, while the Rolling Stones bemoaned for months in the lead up to the 2016 election their opposition to the then-Republican candidate using songs from their catalogue.
Ahead of the weekend’s NRA convention, artists who were scheduled to perform during a concert portion of the event began dropping out after what they said was out of respect for the families and the victims of the Uvalde shooting.
Don Mclean, set to perform at the since cancelled Saturday night benefit concert, called the “Grand Ole Night of Freedom”, backed out earlier in the week, noting that it would be “hurtful for me to perform for the NRA”.
“I’m sure all the folks planning to attend this event are shocked and sickened by these events as well,” the 76-year-old musician told TMZ. “After all, we are all Americans. I share the sorrow for this terrible, cruel loss with the rest of the nation.”
Organisers eventually cancelled the Saturday night event after more artists, including Larry Gatlin, Larry Stewart and Southern rock singer Jacob Bryant, also dropped out.