Jann S. Wenner & Henry Stone
Ahmet Ertegun Award
Hall of Fame Essay
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.
his legendary ears, yes, his great ears.
Cleveland, Ohio 44114