Songwriting Legend Jerry Leiber Dies At 78
August 22, 2011 at 3:22 PM (PT)
Songwriting legend JERRY LEIBER, the lyricist half of the team of LEIBER AND STOLLER who wrote several classic tunes of the '50s and early '60s, died TODAY (8/22) of cardiopulmonary failure in LOS ANGELES at 78. LEIBER and STOLLER were inducted into the ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME in 1987 and the SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME in 1985.
Among the duo's hits were "Hound Dog," an R&B hit for BIG MAMA THORNTON before ELVIS PRESLEY made it a household word; several more ELVIS hits including "Jailhouse Rock"; the COASTERS' many hits ("Along Came Jones," "Yakety Yak," "Poison Ivy," "Young Blood," "Searchin'"); "Love Potion No. 9," a hit for THE CLOVERS and THE SEARCHERS; WILBERT HARRISON's hit "Kansas City"; "Stand By Me," BEN E. KING's classic (co-written by KING) that later provided the title for the popular film version of STEPHEN KING's novella "The Body"; THE EXCITERS' "Tell Him"; and many more. They produced many records over the years, including THE DRIFTERS' hits, and were part of the legendary BRILL BUILDING songwriting group.
The duo also founded SPARK RECORDS and RED BIRD RECORDS and received numerous awards, including Grammys for PEGGY LEE's "Is That All There Is?" and for the cast album of the musical based on their songs, "Smokey Joe's Cafe," which also won seven Tony Awards.