Jerry Wexler, producer of Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, dies

This music video is called Aretha Franklin – Respect [1967].

By Hiram Lee in the USA:

Jerry Wexler, producer of Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, dead at 91

20 August 2008

Jerry Wexler, the legendary music producer of Atlantic Records, died of congestive heart failure on August 15 at his home in Sarasota, Florida. He was 91.

Wexler was a significant and influential figure in American popular music. During his long career he produced and shaped the sounds of some of the most important R&B musicians of the period between the 1950s and the 1970s, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and Donny Hathaway. Wexler is credited with coining the very term “Rhythm and Blues.”

The future producer was born in the Bronx, New York on January 10, 1917. He was raised in the mostly immigrant neighborhoods of Washington Heights in Manhattan. His father, a Polish immigrant, worked as a window washer. His mother, Elsa, was a socialist and sold copies of the Daily Worker in Harlem.

Elsa Wexler insisted that her son be cultured and have a richer life than she and her husband had known. Hoping the young boy would become a writer, she bought Jerry works of Shakespeare, Moliere and Theodore Dreiser to read. Jerry, however, would take a different path, soon embarking on various cultural pursuits of his own. …

Following his stint in the military he returned to Kansas State and earned a degree in journalism. He then returned to New York in hopes of finding a job at one of the big newspapers. Instead, he got a job with Billboard magazine.

It was at Billboard that Wexler coined the term “Rhythm and Blues.” The editors had asked their writers to come up with a new name for the black music charts which had, up until that time, still been called “race music.” Wexler casually suggested the title be changed to “Rhythm and Blues” and it stuck.

Rhythm and Blues and politics in the 1960s: here.

Origins of soul music: here.

Phil Spector: here.

3 thoughts on “Jerry Wexler, producer of Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, dies

  1. Pingback: Soul singer Percy Sledge dies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Babyshambles banned in Blairite-Brownite Britain for rocking | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Singer Aretha Franklin, RIP | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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