Jerry Wexler, famed record producer, dies at 91

NEW YORK (AP) -- Legendary record producer Jerry Wexler, who helped shape R&B music with influential recordings of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and other greats, has died, says his co-author, David Ritz. He was 91.

Ritz, co-author of Wexler's 1993 memoir, "Rhythm and the Blues," said he died at his Sarasota, Fla., home at about 3:45 a.m. Friday. He had been ill for a couple of years with congenital heart disease.

Wexler earned his reputation as a music industry giant while a partner at Atlantic Records.

Atlantic provided an outlet for the groundbreaking work of African-American performers in the 1950s and '60s. Later, it provided a home to rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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