Songwriter Jerry Leiber, one of the most important songwriters in the history of rock & roll has died of cardiopulmonary failure, Rolling Stone reports. He was 78.
His partnership with Mike Stoller produced “Stand By Me,” “Hound Dog,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Young Blood,” “On Broadway,” “Yakety-Yak” and many other classics. The LA native started writing with Stoller in high school. Stoller said, “as would-be songwriters, our interest was in black music and black music only. We wanted to write songs for black voices. When Jerry sang, he sounded black, so that gave us an advantage . . . His verbal vocabulary was all over the place – black, Jewish, theatrical, comical. He would paint pictures with words.”
They wrote hits for decades; their songs have been covered by everyone from Elvis Presley (“Hound Dog”) and PJ Harvey (“Is There All There Is?”) to the White Stripes (“I Don't Know What to Do With Myself.”) After the jump, five of Heard Mentality's favorite Leiber songs.
Stand By Me
Is That All There Is?
Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself
Do Wah Diddy