(AP)-Jerry Leiber, who with longtime partner Mike Stoller wrote “Hound Dog,”
“Jailhouse Rock,” “Yakety Yak” and other hit songs that came to define early
rock `n’ roll, died Monday. He was 78.
He was surrounded by family when he died unexpectedly of cardiopulmonary
failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said his longtime publicist, Bobbi Marcus.
With Leiber as lyricist and Stoller as composer, the team channeled their blues
and jazz backgrounds into pop songs performed by such artists as Elvis Presley,
Dion and the Belmonts, the Coasters, the Drifters and Ben E. King in a way that
would help create a joyous new musical style.
From their breakout hit, blues great Big Mama Thornton’s 1953 rendition of “Hound
Dog,” until their songwriting took a more serious turn in 1969 with Peggy Lee’s
recording of “Is That All There Is?” the pair remained one of the most successful
teams in pop music history.