Famed record producer Jerry Wexler dies

He produced Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin

Famed record producer Jerry Wexler, who worked with artists including Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson and is credited with shaping the sound of R&B music, reportedly died at his home in Florida today (August 15).

Wexler, 91, had been ill and suffering from congenital heart disease for the past couple of years, reports the Associated Press.

Credited with helping Dylan win his first Grammy, Wexler produced his 1979 album ‘Slow Train Coming’. He also served as a partner at Atlantic Records, which released groundbreaking albums by African American artists in the 1950s and ’60s as well as Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones.

Wexler, who was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, is credited with launching the careers of Charles and Franklin. He produced Franklin‘s classic ‘Respect’ as well as Dusty Springfield‘s ‘Dusty In Memphis’.

Wexler began his career in music as a journalist working for Billboard in the late 1940s after serving in World War II and studying journalism in college. While writing at Billboard, he reportedly coined the term “rhythm and blues” to refer to the black music on the charts, which had previously been called “race records”.

In the 1980s, Wexler worked with artists including George Michael, Dire Straits and Carlos Santana.

–By our Los Angeles staff.

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