Today in Music History: Remembering Jerry Wexler

History Highlight:

Today in 2008, record producer Jerry Wexler, who influenced the careers of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Bob Dylan, died at his home at 91. Wexler produced the Aretha Franklin hit "Respect", the Wilson Pickett song "In the Midnight Hour" and helped Bob Dylan win his first Grammy award by producing the 1979 album Slow Train Coming. He also coined the term "rhythm and blues" while writing for Billboard magazine in the late 1940s.

Also, Today In:

1962 - Unhappy with drummer Pete Best's role in The Beatles, the band's manager Brian Epstein and the other three members decided to let him go. Best played his last gig the following night at The Cavern, Liverpool.

1965 - Sonny & Cher started a three-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "I Got You Babe."

1967 - All U.K. offshore pirate radio stations were closed down when the marine broadcasting act came into force. A fictionalized account of these offshore stations is told in the 2009 film Pirate Radio (called The Boat that Rocked in the U.K.), featuring an ensemble cast that included Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh, Chris O'Dowd, January Jones, Jack Davenport, Gemma Arterton and others.

1976 - Funded by a £400 ($620) loan, "So It Goes" by Nick Lowe became the first record released on Stiff Records.

1985 - Michael Jackson won a bid over Yoko Ono and Paul McCartney to secure the ATV Music Publishing catalogue. At a cost of $47.5 million, Jackson gained the rights to more than 250 songs written by Lennon and McCartney.

1995 - Foo Fighters made their network television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman when they performed their single, "This Is A Call."

2001 - A pizza-stained piece of paper signed by three of the four Beatles sold for $48,000 to an anonymous collector at an auction in Melbourne. John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison all signed the paper during their 1964 tour of Australia. Drummer Ringo Starr had laryngitis and was not on the tour.

2005 - Faith Hill was at No. 1 on the U.S. chart with "Fireflies."

2016 - Keyboard and synthesizer player James Woolley died at the age of 49. Woolley was known for playing with Nine Inch Nails as well as Rob Halford's one-time band 2wo, which also included John 5 of Marilyn Manson.

Other Birthdays:

David Crosby is 76.

Actor, comedian and musician Steve Martin is 72.

Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham is 71.

Whitesnake drummer Tommy Aldridge is 67.

Slim Dunlap is 66.

Joe Jonas is 28.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.


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