Monday, August 22, 2011

Jerry Leiber: 1933-2011

This is a big one.

This is the man who, along with his partner Mike Stoller, pretty much cornered the market on rock and roll classics long before anyone was keeping tabs.

For starters:

Hound Dog
Stand By Me
Yakety Yak
On Broadway
Spanish Harlem
Love Potion #9

and one of my faves, Bam Balam.


Anything Should Happen said...

A sad loss!

Gene Oberto said...

Not to mention:
"There Goes My Baby"
"Kansas City"
"Smokey Joe's Cafe"
"Poison Ivy"
"Charlie Brown"
"Ruby Baby"
"Jailhouse Rock"
"Young Blood" (with Doc Pomus)
"Is That All There Is?"
"I'm a Woman"
"Lucky Lips"

and an entire five Tony Award winning Broadway show based on the songs of Lieber & Stoller plus the Original Cast Recording won a Grammy.

He and his partner set a standard of songwriting that few have come close to. The diversity of artists they wrote for is amazing, from Elvis to the Drifters and Coasters to Peggy Lee, Big Momma Thornton to Jay and the Americans.

This empty chair at the songwriting desk will not be filled.

Sal Nunziato said...

Thanks Geno. And while I'm here:

Drip Drop
Loving You
Dance With Me (How great are The Drifters?)

jeff k said...

so many great songs, but for years I've been curious about what they'd been up to, if anything, in terms of writing, for the last forty years.

Did they just stop?

soundsource said...


FD13NYC said...

I think they got old Jeff. I guess they wanted time to spend some of that royalty money. If they owned their own publishing (which I'm pretty sure they did), there was plenty of it.

steves said...

That is major! Nick Ashford, too.

The art of songwriting suffered some heavy losses today.

Meanstreets said...

I was hoping you wood post this Sal... good job...

elizabeth said...

I came across "Hound Dog", Leiber & Stroller's autobiography a year or so ago, while browsing the library for a very different biography. It's an easy read and fascinating, especially given the amount and breadth of their work. So many songs I hadn't previously known were theirs!

I saw Mike Stoller on some music show within the last year. The Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, maybe? Or, don't hate me, Sal, maybe American Idol, when the contestants sang L&S songs. Anyway, Stoller mentioned Leiber wasn't there because of his health.

I'd like to see the names of rock 'n roll songwriters who aren't performers mentioned more often when their songs are played. Then maybe they'd be considered in the same light as the Gershwins, Porter or Rodgers and Hart and their contributions to popular music more recognized.

Dolphy said...

The Coaster's "Shopping For Clothes" is the bomb!!