Jerry Leiber of songwriting team Leiber and Stoller dies at 78
As Leiber-Stoller biographer Robert Graham wrote, the Coasters' songs "were arguably the most enduring and hands-down funniest records of the rock ‘n' roll era."
"They corrupted us with pleasure," critic and author John Lahr wrote of the songwriters in the introduction to Graham's "Baby, That Was Rock & Roll: The Legendary Leiber and Stoller" (1978). "Dancing and laughing, we came of age to their songs."
Dozens of other artists have recorded Leiber and Stoller songs: the Beatles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Barbra Streisand, Edith Piaf, the Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin and more. The songwriters' most oft-recorded tune is the laid-back, bluesy "Kansas City," which has been sung by such performers as Little Willie Littlefield in 1952 (as "KC Lovin'"), Wilbert Harrison, whose 1959 hit with it is probably the best-known, and Paul McCartney in the late 1980s.
In 1995, a musical based on Leiber and Stoller songs, "Smokey Joe's Cafe," opened on Broadway and ran for more than 2,000 performances.