Friday, August 15, 2008

R.I.P. Jerry Wexler

It's been a sad week for soul fans.

First Isaac Hayes passed away, and now comes the news that Atlantic Records giant Jerry Wexler has died at 91.

You can take your pick of Wexler's accomplishments: he reportedly coined the term 'rhythm and blues', presided over key phases in the careers of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and others, brought Dusty Springfield to town to record 'Dusty in Memphis', and was a major player in bringing the Stax and Muscle Shoals sounds to the wider world.

Oh, and for any non-soul fans out there: he also signed Led Zeppelin to Atlantic, and worked with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and more.

Here are a couple of crucial Wexler-related clips.

One of Ray Charles' earliest hits at Atlantic, 'I Got A Woman':

'I Never Loved A Man' was one of two tracks produced when Wex brought Aretha to FAME for the infamous Muscle Shoals session:

Word has it that Wexler once said he wanted only two words inscribed on his tombstone: "More bass." Rest in peace, Jerry.

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