Jerry Wexler

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Jann S. Wenner & Henry Stone
  • Category:
    Ahmet Ertegun Award


One of music’s first producers.

Jerry Wexler’s position at Atlantic Records (an upstart, indie label at the time) allowed him to work hands-on with artists and revolutionize the recording process. As a music reporter, he also coined the term “rhythm and blues.”

Hall of Fame Essay


Michael Hill

ln the early days of rock and roll, a few men made it possible for the voice of change to be heard. The forces that were then shaping music foreshadowed the end of separate black and white societies. In the late Forties, Jackie Robinson started playing for the  Brooklyn Dodgers, and Jerry Wexler, at Billboard, helped change the name of the black-music chart from Race Records to Rhythm and Blues.

As a boy, Wexler had worked with his father as a window washer. After college (where he studied journalism) and the army, he started reporting for Billboard. But soon he caught the boogie disease.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Program 1987
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Jerry Wexler_quote
his legendary ears, yes, his great ears.
Henry Stone