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Jerry Leiber

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R.I.P.

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  • Jim Lynch

    I can’t recall if it was Lieber or Stoller, but one of them was on the Achille Lauro when it sunk off NYC. It was on the dock immediately after the rescue when the survivor was told by the other that they had hit the charts big with Hound Dog. He was surprised, because a couple of years had gone by since Big Mama Thorton had recorded it. And then (straight out of a Hollywood musical) he heard the words, “No, it’s by some kid named Elvis Presley”.

  • Hogan

    He ain’t gonna rock and roll no more.

    (Jim: It was the Andrea Doria. I wasn’t going to have a quiet moment until I looked that up.)

  • Yosemite Semite

    I remember hearing an interview with Leiber ten years ago or so on the radio. After running through the history of “Hound Dog” with Leiber — written for Big Mama Thornton, then picked up by Elvis who had a hit with it — the interviewer (Terry Gross?) asked Leiber what he thought of Elvis. Leiber replied that “he was inauthentic.” I thought, how ironic: One of two New York Jews writing blues for a Southern black woman calling Elvis inauthentic. Leiber seems to have been a prententious, self-serving, back-stabbing part of the music machine.

  • Yosemite Semite

    I remember hearing an interview with Leiber ten years ago or so on the radio. After running through the history of “Hound Dog” with Leiber — written for Big Mama Thornton, then picked up by Elvis who had a hit with it — the interviewer (Terry Gross?) asked Leiber what he thought of Elvis. Leiber replied that “he was inauthentic.” I thought, how ironic: One of two New York Jews writing blues for a Southern black woman calling Elvis inauthentic. Leiber seems to have been a pretentious, self-serving, back-stabbing part of the music machine.

    • Richard

      I think that’s a very short sighted view of Lieber. He was a very complex guy with a lot of opinions. I think he was saying that he first found Elvis inauthentic but since he wrote over a dozen songs for Elvis after Hound Dog I don’t think he stayed with that opinion..I had the pleasure of meeting him once and he was neither pretentious nor self serving. But aside from his personality he was a giant among songwriter and his influence on our culture was huge

  • Jim Lynch

    To my credit, Hogan, I did not cite the Lusitania as being the ship in question.

    Inauthentic?

    “All music is rehash”…. John Lennon

    • Hogan

      Authenticity may be the most overrated category in artistic commentary, including cooking as an art. If I like it, why do I care?

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