Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Jerry Leiber (April 25, 1933)

When Jerry Leiber died last summer I first heard of him. I learned from a home-town boy story in the Baltimore Sun that he was co-author with his partner, Mike Stoller of a number of very familiar songs including "Hound Dog," "Yakety Yak," "Kansas City," "Stand by Me," "There Goes My Baby," "On Broadway," and "Is That All There Is." Leiber discussed the influence of black music on his work -- he had grown up in a black neighborhood in Baltimore. He said that "traditional Jewish music shares many traits with rhythm and blues. 'Listen to any cantor, any good hazan, sing and you can hear a little bit of Ray Charles going on.'"

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