Rock ‘n Roll Songwriting Pioneer Jerry Leiber Dead at 78

Jerry Lieber of famous songwriting duo Lieber and Stoller unexpectedly died last night at the age of 78, after cardiopulmonary failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Lieber met Mike Stoller when the two were only teenagers, and went on to write early Rock ‘n’ Roll hits such as Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock, Stand By Me and Peggy Lee’s hit Is That All There Is?.

With Leiber as the lyricist and Stoller composing, the two channelled their blues and jazz roots creating pop songs performed by such artists as Elvis Presley, Dion and the Belmonts, the Coasters, the Drifters and Ben E. King. Their writing prowess and influence over the recording industry as pioneering independent producers earned them induction into the non-performer category of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

“He was my friend, my buddy, my writing partner for 61 years,” Stoller said. “We met when we were 17 years old. He had a way with words. There was nobody better. I am going to miss him.”

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