Friday, August 15, 2008

On the death of Jerry Wexler

The BBC News website reports the death of 'legendary' Muscle Shoals producer Jerry Wexler.

I can't claim detailed knowledge of his career, but he did produce one of my favourite albums, Bob Dylan's masterpiece of bad-tempered spirituality Slow Train Coming, the first record of his born-again Christian era.

The most famous story from the Wexler/Dylan encounter is told as follows:

During the record­ing Dylan tried to interest Wexler in Biblical matters. Wexler comments: "When I told him he was dealing with a confirmed 63-year-old Jewish atheist, he cracked up." Wexler was tolerantly amused by the whole business: "I liked the idea of Bob coming to me, the Wan­dering Jew, to get the Jesus feel."

But I see that like all famous anecdotes, its factual accuracy is challenged - see here.

Whatever the truth, their liaison resulted in a great record.

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