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Collection Number: 20393

Collection Title: Jerry Wexler Collection, 1967-2004

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 300 items)
Abstract Jerry Wexler (1917- ) was born in New York City. He was a partner with Ahmet Ertegun in Atlantic Records, an independent record label specializing in rhythm and blues, a term Wexler coined while a reporter for Billboard Magazine. With Atlantic, Stax, and other labels, Wexler created a greatly influential corpus of classic rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and soul music. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. The collection is composed of material that Wexler collected documenting his life and career as music producer specializing in rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and soul music. It includes scrapbooks chiefly containing newspaper clippings concerning Wexler, musicians and producers with whom he associated, and the 1979 musical One Mo' Time, which he produced. Musicians documented in these clippings include Aretha Franklin, Solomon Burke, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Dusty Springfield. Other materials include articles and speeches Wexler wrote, commercial and non-commercial audio recordings and video recordings, and a biographical poster. Among these materials are a photocopy of Aretha Franklin's session notes during the recording of her 1970 release Spirit in the Dark (1970), Wexler's Grammy nomination card as producer of the original cast recording of The Wiz, and a handwritten note to Wexler from Quincy Jones wishing him a happy new year in 1980.
Creator Wexler, Jerry.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
Use of audio or video materials may require production of listening or viewing copies.
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Jerry Wexler Collection #20393, Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Jerry Wexler on 1 November 2004 and 6 December 2004
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Jerry Wexler was born 10 January 1917 in New York City and grew up in Washington Heights. Early on, he gravitated towards sports and jazz music. Wexler graduated from high school at age 15 and enrolled at Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science where he obtained a degree in journalism. He served in the United States Army and was stationed in Florida and Texas. After the Army and a job with BMI, he was hired as a reporter for Billboard Magazine. At Billboard, Wexler suggested "rhythm and blues" as a name change for "race records,"  Billboard's rubric for black music.

Attending jazz clubs and postwar jam sessions, Wexler met Ahmet Ertegun and Herb Abramson, founders of Atlantic Records, an independent record label specializing in rhythm and blues. When Abramson went into the Army, Wexler joined Atlantic as a partner.

During different periods of his career Wexler had two main co-producers, Ahmet Ertegun and Barry Beckett, a southern piano player. In the 1950s, Wexler produced or co-produced recordings by LaVern Baker, Ruth Brown, Ray Charles, the Drifters, and Big Joe Turner. During the 1960s, Wexler relocated much of his production work from New York City to Stax in Memphis, Tenn., and Fame in Muscle Shoals, Ala. He produced or co-produced artists including Solomon Burke, Cher, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, and Dusty Springfield. Wexler and Franklin worked together into the 1970s, and it was during Franklin's stay at Atlantic that she recorded the body of work for which she is best known.

In 1975, Wexler resigned from Atlantic, but continued producing records in Miami at Criteria Studios, where he had set up "Atlantic South." In the 1970s and 1980s, Wexler worked with a number of significant artists including Dr. John, Doug Sahm, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, and Carlos Santana. He also produced the musical One Mo' Time, the original cast recording of The Wiz, and the motion picture soundtracks to Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling and Pretty Baby. His soundtrack for Pretty Baby received an Academy Award nomination in 1979. As a record producer, Jerry Wexler helped create a greatly influential corpus of classic rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and soul music. Wexler was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He and David Ritz wrote Rhythm and the Blues: A Life in American Music (Knopf, 1993).

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection is composed of material that Jerry Wexler collected documenting his life and career as music producer specializing in rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and soul music. It includes scrapbooks chiefly containing newspaper clippings concerning Wexler, musicians and producers with whom he associated, and the 1979 musical One Mo' Time, which he produced. Musicians documented in these clippings include Aretha Franklin, Solomon Burke, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Dusty Springfield. Other materials include articles and speeches Wexler wrote, commercial and non-commercial audio recordings and video recordings, and a biographical poster. Among these materials are a photocopy of Aretha Franklin's session notes during the recording of her 1970 release Spirit in the Dark (1970), Wexler's Grammy nomination card as producer of the original cast recording of The Wiz, and a handwritten note to Wexler from Quincy Jones wishing him a happy new year in 1980.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s.

About 100 items.

Arrangement: chronological and by format.

Material documenting Jerry Wexler's life. Chronological material is chiefly newspaper clippings. Audio and video materials include interviews with Wexler and historical perspectives on Atlantic Records. Also included is a biographical poster, or biomontage, created for Wexler by his attorney.

Folder 1

1960s-1970s #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." Folder 1

Folder 2

1980s #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." Folder 2

Folder 3

1990s #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." Folder 3

Folder 4

2000s #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." Folder 4

Folder 5

Undated #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." Folder 5

Folder 6

Personal writings #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." Folder 6

Videotape VHS-207

Jerry Wexler: Interview; 6 April 1987; Long Boat Key, Fla.; Auburn Television, Auburn University #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." VHS-207

Videotape VHS-208

Ain't Nothin but the Blues #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." VHS-208

Videotape VHS-209

Jerry Wexler: Blues lecture, Sarasota Blues Society, 1991 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." VHS-209

Videotape VHS-210

Atlantic: Hip to the Tip (Fragile Films) #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." VHS-210

Videotape VHS-211

Jerry Wexler and friends at Bluestock, Mtitleis, Tenn., October 1998 (with special treats) #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." VHS-211

Videotape VHS-212

The Men Who Made the Music: Sam Phillips, Rick Hall, Buddy Killen, Jerry Wexler, Muscle Shoals, 12/99 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." VHS-212

Videotape VHS-213

Immaculate Funk: Jerry Wexler documentary (in progress) #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." VHS-213

Videotape VHS-214

That Rhythm ... Those Blues #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." VHS-214

Videotape VHS-215

Eubie #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." VHS-215

Videotape VHS-216

Sam Phillips memorial tribute, the Pyramid, Mtitleis, Tenn., 2003 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." VHS-216

Videotape VHS-217

Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." VHS-217

Digital Video Disc DVD-102

Jerry Wexler interview, Pop Archives, Hamburg, Germany #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." DVD-102

Music Compact Disc CD-4559

Jerry Wexler 50th birthday industry tribute, Saint Regis, 10 January 1967 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4559

Music Compact Disc CD-4560

Dr. John and Jerry Wexler, Spin, 1960s #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4560

Music Compact Disc CD-4561

Jerry Wexler: "Remembering Jack Dupree, Remembering Fess,"  Fresh Air, National Public Radio, Washington, D.C., May 1993 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4561

Music Compact Disc CD-4562

Wex on Wax: A Tribute to Jerry Wexler #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4562

Music Compact Disc CD-4563

Jerry Wexler Soul Man, BBC, disc 1 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4563

Music Compact Disc CD-4564

Jerry Wexler Soul Man, BBC, disc 2 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4564

Music Compact Disc CD-4565

Jerry Wexler Soul Man, BBC, disc 3 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4565

Music Compact Disc CD-4566

Atlantic Soul, BBC, programmes 1 and 2 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4566

Music Compact Disc CD-4567

Atlantic Soul, BBC, programmes 3 and 4 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4567

Music Compact Disc CD-4568

Atlantic Soul, BBC, programmes 5 and 6 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4568

Music Compact Disc CD-4569

BBC Pop Arranging, 28 January 2003 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4569

Music Compact Disc CD-4570

BBC Pop Arranging, 4 February 2003 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4570

Music Compact Disc CD-4571

BBC Pop, 25 February 2003 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4571

Music Compact Disc CD-4572

Pioneering Rhythm and Blues Labels: Atlantic Records, part 1 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4572

Music Compact Disc CD-4573

Pioneering Rhythm and Blues Labels: Atlantic Records, part 2 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4573

Music Compact Disc CD-4574

Dan Penn: Unreleased gospel album #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4574

Music Compact Disc CD-4559

Jerry Wexler 50th birthday industry tribute, Saint Regis, 10 January 1967 #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." CD-4559

Oversize Paper OP-20393/1

Wexler biomontage (biographical poster) #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." OP-20393/1

Sheet Music SM-460

"Little Jumping Jack," lyrics by Gerald Wexler #20393, Series: "1. Biographical Materials, 1960s-2000s." SM-460

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. One Mo' Time scrapbook materials, 1979.

56 item.

Arrangement: Original order of materials in scrapbook has been maintained.

Photocopies of materials from a scrapbook that contained showbill, newspaper clippings, and press releases documenting the 1979 musical One Mo' Time, which was produced by Jerry Wexler at the Village Gate. Clippings are mostly reviews of the production.

Folder 7

Scrapbook materials #20393, Series: "2. One Mo' Time scrapbook materials, 1979." Folder 7

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Artists and Producers Materials.

About 75 items.

Arrangement: alphabetical by artist.

Newspaper clippings and other items collected by Jerry Wexler pertaining to artists with whom he worked. There is a separate folder for Aretha Franklin, which contains a photocopy of her session notes for Spirit in the Dark.

Folder 8

Aretha Franklin: Spirit in the Dark #20393, Series: "3. Artists and Producers Materials." Folder 8

Folder 9

A-E #20393, Series: "3. Artists and Producers Materials." Folder 9

Folder 10

F-J #20393, Series: "3. Artists and Producers Materials." Folder 10

Folder 11

K-Z #20393, Series: "3. Artists and Producers Materials." Folder 11

Folder 12

Various #20393, Series: "3. Artists and Producers Materials." Folder 12

Includes music charts, book reviews, and general music articles mentioning artists with whom Wexler worked

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Commercial Recordings.

73 items.

Arrangement: alphabetical by artist.

A selection of commercial recordings from Jerry Wexler's collection. These recordings were either produced or highly influenced by him.

Videotape VHS-218

The Cotton Club #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." VHS-218

Videotape VHS-219

Pretty Baby #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." VHS-219

Digital Video Disc DVD-103

Tom Dowd and the Language of Music #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." DVD-103

Music Compact Disc CD-4575

Atlantic Rhythm and Blues, 1947-1974, volume 1 #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4575

Music Compact Disc CD-4576

Atlantic Rhythm and Blues, 1947-1974, volume 2 #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4576

Music Compact Disc CD-4577

Atlantic Rhythm and Blues, 1947-1974, volume 3 #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4577

Music Compact Disc CD-4578

Atlantic Rhythm and Blues, 1947-1974, volume 4 #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4578

Music Compact Disc CD-4579

Atlantic Rhythm and Blues, 1947-1974, volume 5 #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4579

Music Compact Disc CD-4580

Atlantic Rhythm and Blues, 1947-1974, volume 6 #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4580

Music Compact Disc CD-4581

Atlantic Rhythm and Blues, 1947-1974, volume 7 #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4581

Music Compact Disc CD-4582

Atlantic Rhythm and Blues, 1947-1974, volume 8 #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4582

Music Compact Disc CD-4583-4584

Solomon Burke: Home In Your Heart: The Best of Solomon Burke #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4583-4584

Music Compact Disc CD-4585

Betty Carter: 'Round Midnight #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4585

Music Compact Disc CD-4586-4590

Ray Charles, Genius and Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4586-4590

Music Compact Disc CD-4591

Cher: 3614 Jackson Highway #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4591

Music Compact Disc CD-4592

Country Got Soul, volume 1 #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4592

Music Compact Disc CD-4593

Jackie DeShannon: Jackie #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4593

Music Compact Disc CD-4594

James Luther Dickinson: Dixie Fried #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4594

Music Compact Disc CD-4595

Jim Dickinson: Fishin With Charlie and Other Selected Recordings #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4595

Music Compact Disc CD-4596

Jim Dickinson: 1000 Footprints in the Sand #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4596

Music Compact Disc CD-4597

Dr. John: Gumbo #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4597

Music Compact Disc CD-4598-4600

The Drifters: Rockin' and Driftin': The Drifters Box #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4598-4600

Music Compact Disc CD-4601

Drive-by Truckers: Decoration Day #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4601

Music Compact Disc CD-4602

Bob Dylan: Saved #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4602

Music Compact Disc CD-4603-4606

Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul: The Atlantic Recordings #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4603-4606

Music Compact Disc CD-4607

Freda and the Firedogs #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4607

Music Compact Disc CD-4608

Donnie Fritts: Everybody's Got a Song #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4608

Music Compact Disc CD-4609

Donnie Fritts: Prone to Lean #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4609

Music Compact Disc CD-4610

Guitar Slim: ATCO Sessions #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4610

Music Compact Disc CD-4611

Etta James: Deep in the Night #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4611

Music Compact Disc CD-4612

Etta James: The Right Time #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4612

Music Compact Disc CD-4613

Alan Lomax Collection: Songs of Christmas #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4613

Music Compact Disc CD-4614

Alan Lomax Collection: World Library of Folk and Primitive Music: Spain #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4614

Music Compact Disc CD-4615

Alan Lomax Collection: Southern Journey: Voices from the American South #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4615

Music Compact Disc CD-4616

Alan Lomax Collection: Deep River of Song: Black Appalachia #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4616

Music Compact Disc CD-4617

Alan Lomax Collection: Caribbean Voyage: The 1962 Field Recordings #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4617

Music Compact Disc CD-4618

Alan Lomax Collection: Italian Treasury: Folk Music and Song of Italy #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4618

Music Compact Disc CD-4619

Dan Penn: Blue Nite Lounge #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4619

Music Compact Disc CD-4620

Esther Phillips: Confessin' the Blues #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4620

Music Compact Disc CD-4621-4622

Esther Phillips: The Best of Esther Phillips, 1962-1970 #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4621-4622

Music Compact Disc CD-4623-4624

Wilson Pickett: A Man And A Half: The Best of Wilson Pickett #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4623-4624

Music Compact Disc CD-4625

Pretty Baby soundtrack #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4625

Music Compact Disc CD-4626-4627

Doug Sahm: The Genuine Texas Groover #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4626-4627

Music Compact Disc CD-4628

Sanford and Townsend: Smoke From a Distant Fire #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4628

Music Compact Disc CD-4629

Carlos Santana: Havana Moon #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4629

Music Compact Disc CD-4630

Boz Skaggs #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4630

Music Compact Disc CD-4631

Dusty Springfield: Dusty in Mtitleis #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4631

Music Compact Disc CD-4632

James Talley: Deep Country Blues: The Best of the Capitol Years Revisited #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4632

Music Compact Disc CD-4633

James Talley: Nashville City Blues #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4633

Music Compact Disc CD-4634

James Talley and Cavalliere Ketchum: The Road to Torreon #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4634

Music Compact Disc CD-4635

Testifying: The Country Soul Revue #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4635

Music Compact Disc CD-4636

Allen Toussaint: The Complete Warner Recordings #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4636

Music Compact Disc CD-4637-4638

Joe Turner: Big, Bad, and Blue: The Big Joe Turner Anthology #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4637-4638

Music Compact Disc CD-4639

Joe Turner: The Boss of the Blues #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4639

Music Compact Disc CD-4640

Tony Joe White: The Heroines #20393, Series: "4. Commercial Recordings." CD-4640

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Processing Information

Processed by: Benn Joseph and Steven Weiss, April 2005

Encoded by: Benn Joseph and Kelly Kress, April 2005

Revised by: James McGlothlin, April 2005

Clippings have been photocopied for preservation purposes.

Books and sheet music originally donated with this collection have been described and cataloged separately.

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