Mike Stoller

Greatly Appreciated

Jerry Leiber  (April 25, 1933 – August 22, 2011) and Mike Stoller  (born March 13, 1933) were American songwriting and record producing partners.  Leiber and Stoller’s initial successes were as the writers of such crossover hit songs as “Hound Dog” and “Kansas City”.  Later in the 1950’s, particularly through their work with The Coasters, they created a string of ground-breaking hits that are some of the most entertaining in rock and roll, by using the humorous vernacular of the teenagers sung in a style that was openly theatrical rather than personal, songs that include “Young Blood”, “Searchin’”, and “Yakety Yak”.  They were the first to surround black music with elaborate production values, enhancing its emotional power with The Drifters in “There Goes My Baby”.  In all, Leiber and Stoller wrote or co-wrote over 70 chart hits. They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.  (More from Wikipedia)



Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller are another legendary songwriting duo, with Leiber doing the music and Stoller writing the lyrics.  They wrote rock standards like Hound Dog and Kansas City, as well as the Elvis Presley hits “Love Me”, Jailhouse Rock, “Loving You”, “Don’t”, and “King Creole”. 


Also, most of the songs by one of my favorite 1960’s groups the Coasters were also by Leiber/Stoller.  I remember seeing TV interviews by R&B singers of that period who could not believe that two Jewish boys could so perfectly capture their lives. 


I heard that Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller also led a crusade to change the copyright laws on songs.  Originally, as I recall, the copyright would expire after several years and could only be renewed once.  Leiber and Stoller could not understand why songs were treated the same way as, say, inventions that might have been dreamed up by just anyone. 


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Smokey Joe’s Café is a musical revue of early rock and roll songs that was largely based on Leiber/Stoller material; it opened on Broadway in 1995 and ran for more than 2,000 performances, making it the longest running musical revue in Broadway history.  The original Broadway cast recording, Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber And Stoller won the Grammy Award in 1996 for Best Musical Show Album.  Smokey Joe’s Café had a run in London also. 


(April 2015/1)


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Items:    Mike Stoller 


Last edited: March 22, 2021