RIP Jerry Lieber, 1933-2011
They spent 12-hour days writing in Stoller’s house, turning out hits for groups like the Drifters and the Coasters. Their big break came in 1965, when Elvis Presley recorded his own version of “Hound Dog”, previously written for Big Mama Thornton in 1952.
The pair continued writing songs into the 1960s and 70s, scoring a surprise comeback hit with 1972’s “Stuck in the Middle With You”, by Stealers Wheel. The past two decades have seen revivals of Leiber and Stoller’s work, such as the 1995 jukebox musical Smokey Joe’s Cafe, and this past May’s “American Idol” night devoted to their songs.
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