Music lost one of its greats today — Jerry Leiber passed away at age 78.
Most people don’t know Jerry Leiber, or his partner Mike Stoller (or “Leiber and Stoller” as they were often credited), but they should. The music Leiber and Stoller helped shape rock and roll. The team of two — Leiber, the lyricist, and Stoller, the composer — were part of popular music from the early 1950’s into the mid-1980’s. Their first writing credit big hit was in 1952, writing “Kansas City”, which has been covered nearly every music act under the sun. Even today, their music is constantly adapted by artists in wonderful, creative ways. In addition to being songwriters, they were also producers. In my opinion, their writing influence on modern music can only be match by Holland-Dozier-Holland and topped by Lennon and McCartney. Nearly every singer, band and songwriter in rock, going all the way back to Elvis Presley, owe them some kind of debt.
But rather than write a tearful elegy or a exhaustive obituary/biography, I think the most profound statement that can be made about Leiber are the songs he was involved in making. Here is a list of just some of them (in no particular order):
- “Kansas City”
- “Hound Dog”
- “Jailhouse Rock””
- “I’m a Woman”
- “Yakety Yak”
- “Charlie Brown”
- “Stand By Me”
- “Spanish Harlem”
- “On Broadway”
- “Love Potion No. 9”
- “There Goes My Baby”
- “I’ll Be There”
- “Is That All There Is?”
- “Poison Ivy”
- “Ruby Baby”
- “King Creole”
- “Young Blood”
- “Lucky Lips”
- “Smokey Joe’s Cafe”
- “Loving You”
and “Stuck in the Middle with You” (believe it or not.).
I think that list speaks for itself.
© 2011 D. C. Mills Consulting LLC
Thanks for stopping by (and hopefully sticking around for more posts).
I guess the best way to start is to take it from the top…
I think every casual to fanatical music fan has a moment, an experience or an epiphany that crystallizes their love of music. It might come from an older sibling who had a music collection and one particular song sticks in your head. Or the radio may have been on and certain hook in a song grabbed you. You then drove everyone else — your family, friends, the neighbors — by playing it over and over because you couldn’t get enough of it.
The music that grab and stay with me were rock, blues, country, jazz. My hope is to write about those genres, and music in general, from the perspective of a fan who actively listens to music, attends concert in dives, clubs, arenas, “music barns” and stadiums and follows how music is presented to the public. As this site evolves, it’ll contain some music news, reminiscences, concert reviews, suggested listening, and a little history. One area I look forward to reviewing is great bands from the recent and not so recent past that disappeared from view for a while and have come back from their “hiatus” (that seems to be the word of the day for it). A perfect example of this is The Feelies, a bandwhich took 15 years off, only to reappear for a few concerts in 2008, and then snowballed into a series of East Coast tours and a damn good new “album”.
As this blog develops, it’ll expand beyond music, to cover travel and other forms of entertainment. As it does, I hope to give the site, among other things, a more relevant name and a better design. But, for now, just the basics will suffice.
© 2011 D. C. Mills Consulting LLC