RIP: Jerry Leiber of Leiber & Stoller

Jerry Leiber of Leiber & Stoller has passed away.

It’s difficult to properly convey the cultural impact this songwriting team has had on 20th Century music, so I won’t even bother. There’s certainly others that can do a better job of writing the proper historic overview of this creative team, so I would hope you’ll do proper research, if you haven’t done so already.

Today (or tonight), as I write this quick little blog post in the early morning hours, I’d simply to remind folks of the connection that Leiber & Stoller had to the LOUIE LOUIE universe.

Richard Berry, the man who wrote LOUIE LOUIE, sang on one of the earliest hit records ever released by the Leiber & Stoller songwriting/production team.

Richard Berry was the uncredited lead singer for the Robins (who later became the Coasters) with their 1954 recording of the hit song “Riot in Cell Block #9.” At the time, Richard Berry was signed to the Bihari Brothers‘ Modern Records, so he wasn’t supposed to sing for any other record labels. As a favor to his friends Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Richard did this recording, thinking this would remain a secret.

Of course, for anyone that knew Richard’s voice, there was mistaking who the actual singer was. Richard wound up recording “The Big Break” for the Bihari Brothers, which was pretty much a sound-alike of “Riot.”

Years ago, I shot some footage of Richard Berry performing “Riot in Cell Block #9” at a little blues club in Mountain View, California. In this performance, Richard’s son Marcel Berry plays bass, and The Simplistics were the back-up band.

I dedicate this performance to Jerry Leiber with great love and appreciation for all the music he’s written in his life.

Rest in peace, Jerry.

1 comment to RIP: Jerry Leiber of Leiber & Stoller

  • Queenkrueger862

    Very sad news today that Jerry Leiber has passed away. He and Mike Stoller wrote so many of the greatest Rock and Roll songs of all time.

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