DFW Music News

Legendary Producer and Executive Jerry Wexler Dead at 91

Jerry Wexler in 1979. (AP)

Sad news today, as the AP reports that Jerry Wexler died at 3:45 a.m. this morning at the age of 91.

The man who coined the term "Rhythm and Blues," he was a hugely influential partner at Atlantic in the 1950s and '60s. He produced Aretha Franklin's take on Otis Redding's "Respect," Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman" and Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour," among other classics, and worked with Sam and Dave, Ray Charles and other soul legends. He was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Wexler had a couple of local ties. Dallas bassist Chuck Rainey played in some of those early sessions, as mentioned in this 1996 article by occasional Dallas Observer contributor Josh Alan Friedman, as did North Richland Hills guitarist Cornell Dupree. Friedman also wrote extensively about Wexler in his excellent new book, Tell the Truth Until They Bleed.--Jesse Hughey