Legendary Producer and Executive Jerry Wexler Dead at 91

Jerry Wexler in 1979. (AP)
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

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

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.