Songwriting Legend Jerry Leiber Dies at 78
Published Aug 22, 2011Songwriter Jerry Leiber, the man responsible for some of the most recognizable songs in rock and pop music history, has died due to cardiac arrest. He was 78.
Along with songwriting partner Mike Stoller, Leiber co-penned hits like "Stand by Me," "Hound Dog," "Jailhouse Rock" and "On Broadway," among many others. The pair were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two years later. They have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and are Grammy Award winners. The 1952 song "Kansas City" (made a hit by Wilbert Harrison in 1959) is the official song of Kansas City, MO.
Leiber was born in Baltimore in 1933 and met Stoller after he moved to Los Angeles. Strangely enough, Leiber went to Fairfax High, the same school later attended by Anthony Kiedis and Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Steven Adler of Guns N' Roses and notorious studio whiz Phil Spector. In fact, Leiber later struck up a creative partnership with Spector.
In addition to writing songs, Leiber and Stoller were producers, famously helming Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle with You." They also co-founded Spark Records in the early '50s, which was later purchased by Atlantic.
Earlier this year, American Idol devoted an entire episode to their songbook.
Thanks to Rolling Stone for the heads-up.