Jerry Leiber passes away

How totally tragic…Gaetano brought this to my attention…

Jerry Leiber, whose 60-year songwriting partnership with Mike Stoller changed the face of rock ‘n’ roll with hits like “Stand By Me,” “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Yakety-Yak” and numerous others, died of cardiopulmonary failure on Monday (August 22nd) in Los Angeles at the age of 78.

A member of both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Leiber’s contributions to rock and pop music cannot be understated. Together with Stoller, he wrote songs that crossed racial lines and brought fame to artists like Elvis Presley, the Drifters, and countless others.

Leiber and Stoller met in Los Angeles in 1950 when Leiber was still a senior in high school, according to Rolling Stone. They began writing music together almost immediately, with Stoller mostly working on the music and Leiber handling the lyrics. Stoller told Rolling Stone in 1990, “When Jerry and I started to write, we were writing to amuse ourselves. It was done out of a love of doing it. We got very lucky in the sense that at some point what we wrote also amused a lot of other people.”

Within three years, Leiber and Stoller were the most in-demand songwriters in the business, penning hits for the Drifters, the Coasters and many other R&B groups of the era. But their career went to a new level in 1956, when Elvis Presley recorded “Hound Dog” — a song they had written four years earlier for Big Mama Thornton — and turned it into a rock milestone.

 

May he rest….

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