Jerry Lieber

By | Dec 28, 2011

Lyricist Jerry Lieber along with composer Mike Stoller wrote the soundtrack of the 50’s generation. Some of their songs were Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley and Charlie Brown, Poison Ivy and Yakety Yak for the Coasters. Jerry Lieber died in 2011 on August 22nd.

Jerry Lieber, born on April 25, 1933, and was raised mostly in Baltimore, Maryland. He meet Mike Stoller in Los Angeles in 1950 and the pair was soon writing songs. Both loved Blues and R&B. Their first recorded composition was Jimmy Witherspoon’s “Real Ugly Woman.”

Their song “Hound Dog” was written in 1953 and recorded by Big Momma Thorton. But it was the rock beat of the Elvis Presley version that took off in 1956. Elvis recorded a number of their songs.

In the late 1950’s they worked as producers at Atlantic Records in a deal that allowed them to produce on other labels. This made them as close to independent Record Producers as was done during that time.

In the 60’s they produced or wrote a number of popular songs including ay and the Americans (“She Cried”), The Exciters (“Tell Him”), and The Clovers (“Love Potion #9)”

The 1995 Broadway musical revue Smokey Joe’s Cafe was based on their work. It was also nominated for seven Tony awards, and became the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history.


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