Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

R.I.P. - Jerry Leiber

I posted a few days ago on the passing of Nick Ashford (of Ashford & Simpson) who died on Aug 22 - on the same day another giant of American music also departed: Jerry Leiber [right, in the photo with Stoller and Elvis] of Leiber and Stoller, who only produced some of the 20th Century's biggest popular music hits, argueably inventing rock and roll.
Leiber wrote the lyrics, and with Mike Stoller created a vast catalogue of songs that defined the genre, including LOVE ME TENDER, JAILHOUSE ROCK (and the film's soundtrack), STAND BY ME, ON BROADWAY (a favourite of mine), SPANISH HARLEM, the sensational SAVED for Laverne Baker, IS THAT ALL THERE IS? for Peggy Lee (who did an album of their songs). Their golden touch endured for 2 decades, from HOUND DOG which they wrote in 1953 to STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU. Quite a feat for 2 Jewish boys who found they had their fingers on the pulse of the new music scene ... they became independent producers in 1957 operating from the famous Brill Building in New York. Later, shows like SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE, YAKETY YAK and ONLY IN AMERICA were developed using their songs, success indeed.

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