Jerry Leiber, one half of the the great Leiber-Stoller songwriting partnership that produced timeless gems like “Stand by me” and hits for Elvis like “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock”, has died. He was 78.
Leiber’s partnership with Mike Stoller is often mentioned as on par with that of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
According to Rolling Stone, Leiber was irritated by changes Elvis made to the lyrics of “Hound Dog”:
“To this day I have no idea what that rabbit business is about,” he said in 2009. “The song is not about a dog; it’s about a man, a freeloading gigolo. Elvis’ version makes no sense to me, and, even more irritatingly, it is not the song that Mike and I wrote. Of course, the fact that it sold more than seven million copies took the sting out of what seemed to be a capricious changes of lyrics.”
Rest in peace, music man. Sing with me now, folks – “When the night has come, and the laaaaaand is dark….”