Wexler, Jerry

Wexler, Jerry

(1917–  ) record producer; born in New York City. An aficionado of the black music that he heard in New York jazz clubs in the 1930s, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and worked for BMI and the publishing division of MGM between the late 1940s and early 1950s. Between 1948 and 1951, he wrote a column for Billboard in which he reported on black popular music and coined the term "rhythm-and-blues." In 1953, he became a co-owner of Atlantic Records, the most important mainstream record label to give exposure to black music in the 1950s and 1960s. During the 1950s he produced seminal, gospel-influenced recordings by Ray Charles, the Clovers, and Lavern Baker, and in the 1960s his work with Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, and Wilson Pickett helped establish the soul music idiom. In the 1970s he promoted the careers of Dr. John, Dusty Springfield, and José Feliciano. After the sale of Atlantic in 1978, he joined Warner Brothers as an executive vice-president and continued to produce recordings until his retirement in 1982. His autobiography, The Rhythm and the Blues, was published in 1993.
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With: Steve Lawrence, David Sanjek, Carole King, Doc Porous, Jeff Barry, Tom Dowd, Jerry Wexler, Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Greg Shaw, Barry Mann & Cynthia Well, Nell Sedaka, Raoul Felder, Mike Stoller, Ruth Brown, Sharyn Felder, Don Kirschner, Ahmet Ertegun, Jack Keller, Connie Francis, Alan Warner, Brooks Arthur, Phil Ramone, Bill Medley, Dionne Warwick, Russ Titelman, Burr Bacharach, Shirley Reeves, Steve Tyrell, Hal David, Little Eva, Gerry Goffin, Tony Orlando, Lamont Dozier, Ellie Greenwich, Lesley Gore, Bobby Vee, Ben E.