Jerry Leiber writer of Elvis's Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock dies aged 78


2015-06-26 12:32:00


Jerry Leiber writer of Elvis's Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock dies aged 78

With co-writer Mike Stoller, Leiber changed music forever - and his legacy will live on in collectibles

RIP Jerry Leiber, the songwriter whose greatest works included hit singles composed for the likes of Elvis Presley, Peggy Lee and Ben E King.

According to publicist Bobbi Marcus, Leiber died on Monday (August 22) aged 78.

With co-writer and composer Mike Stoller, lyricist Leiber's words helped change the face of popular music forever.

Elvis's final handwritten setlistfrom 1977 was sold by AlexanderAutographs for $8,000 in 2004

So important were Leiber and Stoller's hits including Jailhouse Rock and Hound Dog, that the songs were played by the King throughout his career.

Both were #1 hits, and can also be seen in Elvis's set list from his last-ever show performed in Las Vegas (pictured left).

Dated to June 26, 1977, the list is penned in a rather shaky hand on a sheet of canary legal paper, as was Elvis's custom.

Sure enough, Leiber's Jailhouse Rock and Hound Dog are the lynchpins of the set.

As you can see, Jailhouse Rock bolsters the set's mid-point while Hound Dog was used as Elvis's penultimate song - becoming the second-to-last tune the King ever performed on stage.

This is even more impressive considering that, when Elvis first played in Las Vegas as young rock 'n' roller in the 1950s, audiences simply weren't ready for savage tunes like Hound Dog. The show was a flop, whose failure bothered Elvis for years afterwards.

But public perceptions had changed by 1977, when big show band treatments of both songs were regularly met with rapt applause from Elvis's Las Vegas audiences.

Although Elvis's manager Colonel Tom Parker often teamed him with songwriters unworthy of his talents throughout his career, when the King played Leiber's songs audiences saw the combined efforts of the era's greatest performer and finest songwriters.

Both Leiber and Stoller were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

While Jerry Leiber's passing is a sad day for music, his legacy is destined to live on among music fans and also collectors.

Memorabilia autographed by Leiber, with his co-writer Stoller, hasalready appeared for sale on the markets in the past

Past sales on the markets include this reissued signed piece of sheet music (pictured above) for Jailhouse Rock signed by Leiber and Stoller.

The song was originally copyrighted in 1957, the same year it held the #1 position on Billboard's Top Pop charts for seven weeks.

This reissued and autographed piece was sold for just $150 by Heritage Auctions back in 2008.

But now that Leiber is no longer around to sign autographs, it could be worth more on today's markets - as would a signed piece of sheet music from the era the song was written.

Watch this space for all the last Elvis memorabilia news.

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