Jerry Wexler
August 17, 2008 1:17 AM   Subscribe

Legendary record man and music producer Jerry Wexler died on August 15, at the age of 91. His keen insight, and his deep love and appreciation for the artists he worked with resulted in an extraordinary enriching of American music.

NY Times book review from 1993, of Wexler's autobiography, RHYTHM AND THE BLUES: A Life in American Music.

From Rolling Stone, listen to a selection of twenty essential Wexler productions. Unfortunately, these files are available to US ears only, and also, be warned: you might get a supremely annoying audio ad popout. I got one...

Here's a selection of tunes that, in one way or another, were brought to you by Jerry Wexler:

What'd I Say, Ray Charles (the original Wexler-produced recording)
I Got a Woman, Ray Charles (the original Wexler-produced recording)
Green Onions, Booker T and the MGs
In the Midnight Hour, Wilson Pickett
Tipitina, Professor Longhair

And from the incomparable Aretha Franklin (all of these live performances are sheer joy):

Chain of Fools
Chain of Fools
Baby I Love You...

And that's just a tiny tip of the iceberg. Rest in peace, Jerry Wexler.

And props to stupidsexyFlanders, who originally brought Wexler's passing to our attention here.
posted by flapjax at midnite (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by louche mustachio at 1:26 AM on August 17, 2008


If any person deserves a moment of silence, it is Mr. Wexler, since he brought us such joyful noise.

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posted by fixedgear at 4:11 AM on August 17, 2008


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Wexler's Atlantic years brought us a lot of great records. RIP.
posted by p3t3 at 4:44 AM on August 17, 2008


Wexler produced Dylan's "Slow Train Coming", and a few years ago at the R&R Hall of Fame, told an audience that Dylan had a fine normal singing voice that the public never heard.
posted by Faze at 6:03 AM on August 17, 2008


...a fine normal singing voice that the public never heard.

Ha! I always found Dylan's voice not only fine, but damn near perfect for just about every one of his songs that he ever sang! Particularly from a phrasing point of view. Wonder what he meant by "normal", though...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:08 AM on August 17, 2008


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posted by Riverine at 8:21 AM on August 17, 2008


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posted by CitizenD at 8:52 AM on August 17, 2008


Rolling Stone's obit: The man who invented rhythm & blues.
Thanks for all the great music, Jerry.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:13 AM on August 17, 2008


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posted by Jofus at 9:21 AM on August 17, 2008


I listened to the Wexler obit on NPR on Friday. The excerpts from a studio session where he and Aretha Franklin were recording "You're All I Need To Get By" gave me goosebumps. Wexler was the the man who coined the phrase "rhythm and blues" and was responsible for getting Aretha to switch from gospel to her rightful place as "Queen of Soul".

Wexler and Ertegun were geniuses; they made Atlantic a giant by recording only music that they liked.

Great man, great legacy, great post.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:47 AM on August 17, 2008


Just on the strength of I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You alone (is there a single song on that album that's not a classic?), his legacy is unequaled.
posted by blucevalo at 11:47 AM on August 17, 2008


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posted by motty at 1:28 PM on August 17, 2008


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posted by scottymac at 2:07 PM on August 17, 2008


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posted by Wolof at 5:14 PM on August 17, 2008


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posted by humannaire at 8:46 PM on August 17, 2008


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posted by The Card Cheat at 11:35 PM on August 17, 2008


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