Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography

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Click for availability and more informationHound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography, by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
If you like the music of the 50s and 60s, or just want a look at the inside of the music industry, then Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography is just the book for you. No two people could have been more diametrically opposed than lyricist Jerry Lieber and musician Mike Stoller. Yet, they clicked right from the beginning. This duo wrote many well-known songs performed by such artists as the Drifters, Peggy Lee, the Chiffons and even Elvis. Their titles include "Hound Dog", "Yakety Yak", "Is That All There Is?", "Kansas City", and "Ruby Baby". They hit it big when they were only in their twenties, and rubbed elbows with the likes of Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, and Frank Sinatra. Lieber and Stoller worked in the famous Brill Building in New York, home to such song writers as Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond and Bobby Darin, just to mention a few. It was not all wine and roses, as they got hooked up with some very shady characters, who tried to take advantage of them. They also got hooked up with the very strange Phil Spector, who managed to get sole credit for some of their work. Yet, in this very competitive industry, they were able to survive and flourish despite the setbacks. Interestingly enough, they state that they felt very lucky to be involved in the industry as the music changed and evolved. The composers felt they were in the right place at the right time. I contend that it wasn't luck, but their talent that changed the music. If you read this book, you'll see exactly what I mean. It's written in a very unusual format - in tandem. That is, Leiber speaks, then Stoller gives his version of the same incident. You won't want to put this book down!

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This page contains a single entry published on September 21, 2009 2:43 PM.

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