Friday, August 15, 2008

Jerry Wexler, 1917-2008. R.I.P.

Jerry Wexler, the man who coined the term "rhythm and blues", died today of congenital heart disease. He was 91.

After writing for Billboard magazine, Wexler joined Atlantic Records in the early 1950s and produced amongst others Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and Dusty Springfield. Wexler was also signed a distribution deal with Stax Records in Memphis and would lend them Atlantic artists to Stax like Sam & Dave. Not to be outdone, Wexler also signed Led Zeppelin to Atlantic Records.

In later years, Wexler produced Bob Dylan's born again Christian album Slow Train Coming as well as an early version of George Michael's "Careless Whisper".

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