NEW YORK Legendary record producer Jerry Wexler, who helped shape R&B music with influential recordings of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and other greats, has died, says his co-author, David Ritz. He was 91.
Ritz, co-author of Wexler's 1993 memoir, "Rhythm and the Blues," said he died at his Sarasota, Florida, home at about 3:45 a.m. Friday. He had been ill for a couple of years with congenital heart disease.
Wexler earned his reputation as a music industry giant while a partner at Atlantic Records.
Atlantic provided an outlet for the groundbreaking work of African-American performers in the 1950s and '60s. Later, it provided a home to rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones.