Honorary Unsubscribe

Randy Cassingham’s Honorary Unsubscribe Recognizes the Unknown, the Forgotten and the Often Obscure People who Had an Impact on Our Lives.
These are the people you will wish you had known.

Songwriter

Jerry Leiber

A lyricist, Leiber worked with composer Mike Stoller. When Leiber and Stoller met in Los Angeles in the 1950s as teenagers, they called their synergy “spontaneous combustion” — they started writing together the day they met. Together, they wrote songs for a wide assortment of early rockers, including the Clovers (“Love Potion No. 9”), the Drifters (“There Goes My Baby”), and a group that Leiber and Stoller helped create, the Coasters (“Yakety Yak (Don’t Talk Back)”). Oh, and they were prolific writers for a solo act: their “Hound Dog”, which they wrote for Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, became a hit when Elvis sang it. (They wrote “Jailhouse Rock” and more for Elvis, even though Leiber, especially, was upset at the way Elvis messed up the lyrics of “Hound Dog” — “You ain’t never caught a rabbit, and you ain’t no friend of mine.” — “I’d never write such a dumb line,” Leiber said.) Another song they wrote: the classic “Stand by Me”, for Ben E. King, formerly of the Drifters. Leiber and Stoller (their names were never reversed in any credits) were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Songwriters in 1996. Unlike many partners, Leiber and Stoller were friends until the end, when Leiber died August 22 from cardiopulmonary failure. He was 78.

From This is True for 21 August 2011


Honorary Unsubscribe Books

HU BooksThe Early Writeups from This is True's popular Honorary Unsubscribe feature are now available for your Kindle (or Kindle software for your smartphone, tablet, or computer) as low-cost ebooks.

See details on Volume 1 (covering 1998 through 2000), Volume 2 (2001 through 2003), Volume 3 (2004 through 2006), and Volume 4 (2007 through 2009).

The honorees truly are the people you wish you had known.

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