Jerry Lieber, who, along with Mike Stoller virtually created the R&B pop standard, died on August 22, 2011. He was 78. Some may not know the name, but you would certainly know the songs. Stand By Me. Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock. Yakety Yak. On Broadway. Kansas City. There Goes My Baby. All in all, Lieber and Stoller wrote 24 songs that hit the US charts for “The Coasters” alone. Among his accomplishments are induction to the “Songwriters Hall of Fame” and the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” among many others. Many people, including Phil Spector apprenticed or collaborated with him.
Prior to Lieber and Stoller, R&B was primarily a straight forward in style. They surrounded it with a “big” sound and pop lyrics, allowing the sound to crossover into mainstream radio. This was evident in not only the Coasters and Ben E King, but also for white artists such as Elvis Presley. They were instrumental in moving R&B out of the black clubs into the traditional pop music mould.
A chapter in rock and roll history is now closed. His contributions were large and still impact today’s music. A true giant of the industry.
The video is “Stand By Me”, by Ben E King.
- Jerry Leiber of Songwriting Duo Leiber and Stoller Dead at 78 (spinner.com)
- Rock writing legend Jerry Leiber dead at 78 (thestar.com)
- ‘Hound Dog’ songwriter Jerry Lieber dies aged 78 (telegraph.co.uk)