From the Riverfront Times:
Behind the scenes, Hays was also known for his playful demeanor and off-colored sense of humor. A Riverfront Times profile of Hays in 2005 began with him rattling off some of his favorite one-liners. "What's better than a rose on your piano?" quiped Hays. "Tulips on your organ!"
The jokes left some rolling their eyes and Cardinals brass -- at times -- shaking their heads, But for Ernie, the goal was not to offend. He simply wanted to bring a smile to the face.
"I'm a motivational keyboardist," he told Riverfront Times. "That's something you have to learn over time. If fans are positive, my job is to reinforce their attitude. If their mood is foul, my job is to work like hell to change that."
Hays is survived by his wife of 50-plus years, Loreta, and their children and grandchildren.
An exceptional biographic article, also by RFT, from 2005: DIRTY ERNIE