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Hound Dog: The Leiber & Stoller Autobiography

Hound Dog: The Leiber & Stoller Autobiography

Hound Dog: The Leiber & Stoller Autobiography

Hound Dog: The Leiber & Stoller Autobiography


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The hitmakers behind Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” recount their rise to songwriting stardom while authoring the classic American R&B sound of countless chart-topping singles.

In 1950 a couple of rhythm and blues–loving teenagers named Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller met for the first time. They discovered their mutual affection for R&B and, as Jerry and Mike put it in this fascinating autobiography, began an argument that has been going on for over fifty years with no resolution in sight.

Leiber and Stoller were still in their teens when they started working with some of the pioneers of rock and roll, writing such hits as "Hound Dog," which eventually became a #1 record for Elvis Presley. Jerry and Mike became the King’s favorite songwriters, giving him "Jailhouse Rock" and other #1 songs. Their string of hits with the Coasters, including "Yakety Yak," "Poison Ivy," and "Charlie Brown," is a part of rock ’n’ roll history. They founded their own music label and introduced novel instrumentation into their hits for the Drifters and Ben E. King, including "On Broadway" and "Stand by Me." They worked with everyone from Phil Spector to Burt Bacharach and Peggy Lee. Their smash musical Smokey Joe’s Café became the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history.

Lively, colorful, and irreverent, Hound Dog describes how two youngsters with an insatiable love of good old American R&B created the soundtrack for a generation.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416559399
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 06/01/2010
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 528,607
Product dimensions: 9.26(w) x 6.26(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Jerry Leiber was born in Baltimore, Maryland on April 25, 1933, and Mike Stoller was born in Queens, New York, on March 13, 1933. They first met in Los Angeles in 1950, moved to New York in 1957 and returned to L.A. in 1989, where they both still reside. They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

David Ritz is a songwriter who has collaborated with stars like Janet Jackson and Marvin Gaye, as well as a renowned ghostwriter who has authored more than fifty books for some of the biggest stars in music: Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles, Lenny Kravitz, Joe Perry, Smokey Robinson, Don Rickles, and Willie Nelson, to name a few. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Essence, People, Art Connoisseur, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles with Roberta, his wife of nearly fifty years.

Table of Contents

1 East Coast Roots 1

2 West Coast Convergence 15

3 Makin' the Scene 45

4 Coastin' 53

5 Absolute Harmony 57

6 Hound Dog 61

7 Spark 67

8 Hard Times 77

9 New Times 91

10 Searchin' 101

11 In the King's Court 109

12 Girdles 133

13 What's My Line? 143

14 Driftin' the City 145

15 There Goes My Baby 157

16 The Brill Building 163

17 He Wore His Ambition Like a Topcoat 169

18 Tigers and Daisies 187

19 Al and Dick's 197

20 The Bird Flies 205

21 The Magnificent Merger That Never Happened 209

22 The Bird Dies 217

23 Happenings 221

24 A New Era 233

25 Take 36 243

26 Romance and Finance 249

27 Mirrors 255

28 The Last Clean Shirt 265

29 Life and Art 271

30 Smokey Joe's 277

Appendix A The Songs 291

Appendix B The Productions 299

Acknowledgments 303

Credits 305

Photo Credits 309

Index 311

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