Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Rhythm and the Blues: A Life in American Music Paperback – October, 1994

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$73.88 $20.27

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran record producer Wexler, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member who coined the term "rhythm and blues," spent the Depression as an adolescent in the Washington Heights section of New York City, hanging out in pool halls, hunting for rare records, hungering for excitement. Wexler took journalism courses at a college in Kansas but spent years as a window washer in Manhattan. After a stint in the wartime Army, he joined the staff of Billboard. In 1952 he became a partner in Ahmed Ertegun's Atlantic Records, recording such jazz, blues and folk greats as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Solomon Burke, Joe Turner, Betty Carter, the Drifters, Etta James and Bob Dylan. This spirited memoir, written with freelancer Ritz, crackles with career highlights and swings breezily through five decades of record-making, focusing especially on the 1950s and 1960s. Readers will enjoy accounts of Wexler's seminal encounters with gifted musicians, but they may wish for deeper development of this hip-merchant's life story. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Any fan of American popular music over the last four decades has heard the work of Jerry Wexler. As producer for such artists as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, and Dire Straits, Wexler never pandered to the latest craze in the music business but crafted adult-oriented records that sound as current today as they did when they were recorded. While anything but humble, Wexler does not gloss over his shortcomings. Bad business deals, personal feuds, and a troubled family life receive as much attention as his phenomenal success as producer and co-owner of Atlantic Records. The forces behind his love of music and will to succeed are vividly outlined in the section on his early years as a pot-smoking jazz hound in Depression-era New York. This lively book succeeds on many levels and belongs in every library where there is an interest in popular culture.
- Dan Bogey, Clearfield Cty. P.L. Federation, Curwensville, Pa.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; First Edition edition (October 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312113765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312113766
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #813,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jerry entered the music business very early in 1953 at Atlantic Records. He was already into jazz (deeply) when he started at Atlantic at the age of 36. So, the first part of the book has a lot of history of his family, grandparents and the conditions of the world he lived his early life through. He was driven by his mother to succeed at something and though he tried a few schools, that did not appeal to him either. He mentions practially every Jazz Man in the book that ever played and met many 'music people' in NY. He also loved the south at a very tough time here in the USA with race relations In TE, AL and Texas but that didn't deter him from attending llive performances in all black dance halls.
Jerry had three children and a wife but he was working long hours and didn't have much time for them. His oldest daughter, Anita, died of aids at 38 years old (also worked in the music field), having been in an out of clinics to get straight. He also has a son Paul and another daughter Lisa (drummer). He was married three times.Spent time in the Service and 2 years later went back to Atlantic. Yes, things had changed!
Jerry as a hard worker and was admired by his friends and people who knew him. He seemed to understand how to get the BEST out of his artists and musicians. Hard to believe he was 60 by the time he produced the Album, 'Planet Waves' by Bob Dylan and 'Comminique' by my favorite group) Dire Straits. The 60''s weren't really his generation and I think his great love was Jazz and then later Funk.(or mixing them together). He liked the music to cook and in the pocket. That's for sure! Aretha Franklin (RESPECT (Sweet Inspirations), Wilson Pickett 'Mustang Sally', La Vern Baker 'Tweedle Dee', Booker T and The MG's (Green Onions), Dr. John (wrong place, right time) .
Read more ›
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book. Looking at the recordings that have been done at many of the Southern Recording studios, Wex's name keeps popping up, along with Atlantic Records, Erteguns, & Tommy Dowd. Wonderful book - Full of Musical meanderings. A welcome addition to my Library. I bought this a while back and am currently Re reading it at this time. It's like an old friend.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
If you are a music lover, industry hopeful, or history buff, this book will give you an honest, down to earth, fireside story of one very important man's life in the business. The manner in which he chooses to tell his story is an in depth, straight forward approach which keeps you wanting to continue to the next chapter. When it is all said and done, you feel as if you knew Wex throughout his journey and understand his joy in the career path he chose and just what he has accomplished. As a music business student, this was an inspiring, thought provoking read. Find this book, and enjoy.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read a zillion music biz books but this Jerry Wexler (Atlantic Records partner) story goes to top of the list. Never have I been sent to the kindle dictionary more; the writing style is "off the charts" entertaining. Described in the forward as "a holy terror...his rapid fire speech blends a promoters hype with a scholars precision, his lexicon a mixture of the mean streets and graduate library." Truly incredible story. It feels as if Jerry actually wrote this. His voice brilliantly captured. His honesty is refreshing. His contribution to Atlantic Records and American music nearly unmatched. As good a read as I ever experienced. Bravo. 5 Stars!!
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I simply loved this book, the best music bio I've ever read. If you like to know all about the music, where the songs came from, who the sidemen were, how the music was produced, you will enjoy this. Much better than the BB King/Ritz collaboration, which. while enjoyable, doesn't hold a candle to this effort. I usually pass books along when I'm through with them, but this will stay on my shelf!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I AM CURRENTLY READING THIS BOOK AND I'M JUST LOVING IT!! I LOVE DAVID RITZ!! TO ME, HE IS THE BEST WRITER IN AUTOBIOGRAPHIES. AND I LOVE JERRY WEXLER. I READ THE BOOK ON AHMET ERTEGUN (THE LAST SULTAN) AND THE TWO ICONIC PRODUCERS WERE AS DIFFERENT AS SALT AND PEPPER. YOU CAN TELL MORE VIVIDLY IN JERRY'S BOOK THAN AHMET. FOR JERRY, DAVID GETS TO THE DEEP MEAT OF THE TWO (AHMET, THE SOPHISTICATED, CLASSY, ICE COOL, FASHIONABLE ONE WHO HANGS OUT WITH ONLY "TOP SHELF" OF WELL KNOWN FAMOUS PEOPLE AND THE ROLLING STONES) AND (JERRY-WHO LOVES DEEP FRIED SOUL FROM MEMPHIS BLUES, AND LOVES BEING WITH ALL THE GREAT ICONS OF R&B-WILSON PICKETT, OTIS REDDING, RAY CHARLES, ARETHA FRANKLIN.AND THEY HAD A LOVE FOR THIS HOT-COOL, WHITE JEWISH GUY FROM BROOKLYN) BUT THE TWO PRODUCERS WORKED WELL TOGETHER AND THEY DISCOVERED AND PRODUCED THE MOST TALENTED AND ICONIC MUSIC LEGENDS OF OUR DECADE. THIS BOOK IS WONDERFULL TO THOSE WHO LOVE TO READ ABOUT THE GREAT PRODUCER LEGENDS OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND IF TAYLOR HACKFORD READS THIS REVIEW, I SERIOUSLY THINK HE SHOULD CONSIDER MAKING THIS BOOK INTO A FAB MOVIE!! I'M TAKING MY TIME READING THIS BOOK BECAUSE I AM TRULY ENJOYING EVERY MORSEL OF IT. THANK YOU DAVID RITZ!! I LOVE YOU AND KEEP ON WRITING THE TRUTH!! I AM A BUYER OF YOUR BOOKS FOR LIFE!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my son-in-law for Christmas. He was thrilled with it. He also had asked for it. I looked through the book and thought it was pretty cool myself. He was also thrilled that it was a first edition. A happy guy for sure. Thank you.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse