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Jerry Wexler (Born 10th January, 1917)

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:27 am
by john poole
Gerald Wexler - born 10th January, 1917 (New York) [died 15th August, 2008]

(Credited as) LaVerne Baker - 'Soul on Fire' (1953) - remembered by Jerry as being from the first session he worked on after joining Atlantic (and it was the first for Lavern with the label) - co-writers credit to "Jermet" (Jerry & Ahmet)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a27L3nT1Qsk

and from possibly the last LP he produced before leaving Atlantic - Willie Nelson's "Phases and Stages" (1974) - 'Washing the Dishes'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOjMOQIFuzY

For anyone with a couple of spare hours - an extended interview with the great man, split into four parts, filmed at home in 2002; seems to have been posted to YT by Jerry's son Paul
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnCsT1LGLfw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2i8z1tleqHE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv_OVMge_p0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmPygwi7Z58

Posted here by CG five years ago this week under "January Birthdays" -

"Spoke to Jerry last night, on the eve of his 91st birthday.

In answer to the question, "how are you?", the droll Jewish saying: "same as yesterday, only worse."

His voice sounds strong as ever, but he assured me it was deceptive. He has three bad things wrong with him, all with scientific names I could not hang onto long enough to reproduce here. When I said I was glad to see that he could still write as well as ever, in the sleeve note for the recent Aretha album of b-sides and alternate takes, he confessed that it was the work of David Ritz, the co-writer of his autobiography. Well, he knows your every inflection, was all I could say.

At one point Jerry used a word I recognised as having seen in print before, but would never have known where or how to place it. I pointed out his masterly grasp of such words and he chuckled. "Well we colonials have got to show that we can still match you on the other side of the Atlantic in our use of the language we share." I assured him he was way ahead.

He has lived in Florida for thirty-five years now, alone in a big house since his wife went into a nursing home following a stroke. Does he still get visitors? "I don't want visitors, it's the same as in hospital. People think you want to see them, but you don't, you have to put on a show for them and it's exhausting."

So delighted to have caught him after several calls that found only his answer phone, I'm afraid I may have spoken for too long and tired him out too. But I wanted him to know how many people revere and think about him. For me, he was like another father, one I met only three or four times, but with whom I had very warm communications, written and on the telephone. It's been several years since we spoke, and I fear he doesn't have long now.

What cruel choices impending death gives us, sometimes allowing the body to stay strong while the mind disintegrates, alternatively allowing our lively minds to observe our bodies giving up bit by bit. Either way, a bleak prospect."

Re: Jerry Wexler (Born 10th January, 1917)

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:25 pm
by NormanD
Thanks for reminding us of that post from Charlie, John.

The last paragraph is particularly poignant. Charlie admitted feeling towards Jerry Wexler in a way that many of us may have felt towards him.

In answer to the question, "how are you?", the droll Jewish saying: "same as yesterday, only worse."
How true, how true.

Re: Jerry Wexler (Born 10th January, 1917)

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:35 pm
by Rob Hall
The man who gave us the term "rhythm and blues music" as a replacement for "race music" when he worked for Billboard magazine.

Re: Jerry Wexler (Born 10th January, 1917)

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:52 pm
by AndyM
I wonder what the 'difficult' word was.

Re: Jerry Wexler (Born 10th January, 1917)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 10:36 am
by john poole