Monday, August 18, 2008

Immaculate Funk

"My rubric was Immaculate Funk,"
--Jerry Wexler, describing the sound of R&B at Atlantic Records.

It seems like I've been writing a lot of obituary posts lately, but I would be greatly remiss if I didn't acknowledge the passing of Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler. If you don't know, than you should know that this is the man who rescued Aretha Franklin from Columbia records, put her more in control of the sound her music, and helped bless us with some of the most stunning recordings in music history. He worked with everybody: Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Otis Redding, Rufus and Carla Thomas, Booker T. & the MGs, Sam & Dave, Sam & Dave, and a whole bunch of others. Oh, and by the way, not only did he help redefine R&B as a genre, he actually coined the term "rhythm and blues" while working as a reporter for Billboard magazine. That's what you call juice.

Thank you, Mr. Wexler.

Rolling Stone also has a nice piece on Wexler that's worth checking out.


Jackson Brown said...

His coining the term Rhythm & Blues ... wasn't that an extra credit question for the Motown class?

Abdel Shakur said...