Jerry Wexler has been dubbed the Godfather of Soul Music in America. As a music reporter in the late 1940s, he coined the term ‘Rhythm and Blues’ to define a new style of music. As a partner in Atlantic Records, Wexler helped guide a small independent label to become the most important label for R&B and Soul music in the 1950s and 1960s. Wexler produced some of the most historic sessions in American music. Those sessions helped shape Jump Blues and R&B into something that appealed to Pop listeners. His early work with Ruth Brown, LaVern Baker, Chuck Willis, and Ray Charles put Atlantic on the map. Those recordings retained strong Jump Blues flavor, but the rhythms and lyrics pointed towards a Rock ‘n’ Roll audience. From there, Wexler worked with the likes of Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters, Big Joe Turner, Esther Phillips, the Coasters, Ivory Joe Hunter, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Professor Longhair, Duane Allman, Dr. John, Dire Straits, Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan. Wexler never let any retirement slow down his love of music. Well into his 80s, Jerry Wexler remains a guiding force in American music.
— (Blues Foundation press release, 2006.)