Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Video Tribute to Jerry Lieber

Leiber on the left, Stoller on the right, some
singer they apparently worked with in the middle.
I didn't seriously get into rock 'n' roll until I was much older  -- third grade -- but the very first songs I remember as a toddler -- yes, I remember hearing them back in the '50s -- were "Charlie Brown" and "Yackety Yak" by The Coasters and "Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holley.

Two out of three of those were written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. As the years went by, I realized Leiber & Stoller were perhaps the greatest songwriter team to ever grace popular music. They had soul, they had humor, and they wrote songs that still stand today.

Leiber died Monday at the age of  78. If there's a Heaven, Leiber and Carl Gardner of The Coasters, who died in June are causing a lot of yakety yak.

Here's the New York Times obit 

And below are some of his immortal compositions.

On a hitchhiking trip in the summer of 1975 I visited my pals Dick and Joe who were in Kansas City. I convinced them to take me to the corner of 12th Street and Vine. Unfortunately, it didn't exist. Vine intersected with other nearby numbered streets, but there was a housing project where the intersection of 12th and Vine should have been. (I later forgave Leiber & Stoller for that.) Now there's some kind of park there commemorating the song and the hot jazz scene that was centered there all those decades ago.

Shout out to the Twin Eagle Drum Group of Zuni Pueblo, NM who appear on this.

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