Fans of “American Idol” are familiar with the songwriting team of Lieber and Stoller; on Monday the lyrics partner of the duo Jerry Lieber died in Los Angeles from cardio-pulmanary failure at the age of 78.
He was born Jerome Lieber on April 25, 1933 in Baltimore, Maryland to Polish Jewish immigrants. After the death of his father, Lieber’s mother moved the family to Los Angeles. The duo began writing in 1950 when Lieber was still in high school. The duo worked together for over 50 years and became one of the hottest songwriting pairs in the music business.
Among the thousands of songs written by Lieber and Stoller are“Hound Dog” – a song they wrote in 12 minutes, “Jailhouse Rock”, “Yakety Yak”, “Stand By Me”, “On Broadway”, “Loving You”, “Spanish Harlem”, “Charlie Brown”, “Poison Ivy”, “Kansas City”, “Fools Fall in Love”, “Love Potion No. 9”, “Young Blood”, “Stuck in the Middle with You”, and “Along Came Jones”.
Over the years more than 1,000 artists have recorded the music of Lieber and Stoller including The Drifters, Elvis Presley, Coasters, Big Mamma Thornton, The Clovers, Peggy Lee,, Dion, Jay and the Americans, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, B.B. King, , Little Richard, , The Beach Boys, , , Frank Sinatra, , , Muddy Waters, Joe Williams, Tom Jones, Count Basie, Edith Piaf, , Willie Nelson, , John Lennon, and Aretha Franklin.
The Broadway production “Smokey Joe’s Café” was a musical that included the music of Lieber and Stoller; the production earned seven Tony Award nomination and the soundtrack won a Grammy Award for the original cast recording.
In 1985 Lieber and Stoller were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 1987 the pair were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to sit along side many of the artists that had recorded their music over the years.
Jerry Lieber is survived by his sons Jed, Oliver, and Jake; and two grandsons.