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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leiber & Stoller autobiography
The two great names of 50 & 60s American songwriters, the late Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, tell their story. But this isn't a dry autobiography; it's a conversation with the two composers taking it in turns to recount anecdotes from significant points in their story. If you're into this type of music, you'll love it.
Published on 28 Sep 2011 by amartin365@netscapeonline.co.uk

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Leiber and Stoller story
As a teenager in the 60s when I heard the original version of the blues song 'Hound dog' by Big Mama Thornton I couldn't believe how good it was, especially in comparison to the Elvis Presley version and I was even more amazed when I later heard that this seminal R&B record had been written not by two old Southern black bluesmen but by two Jewish teenagers from Los...
Published 16 months ago by G. E. Harrison


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool Cats and a Hound Dog., 12 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography (Paperback)
Of all the Jewish songwriters that inhabited New York's Brill Building just off Times Square in the 50-60s Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller are probably the most well known. In this book in collaboration with David Ritz each tells their story a couple of alternate pages at a time .How they met ,fortuitous meetings with Lester Sill ,The Bihari Brothers etc and about their song Hound Dog which had been originally recorded by, Big Mama Thornton and almost forgotten about till Elvis hit the charts with it.
.The stories come cascading out ,how they were warned off from getting too close to Presley ,their runaway success with a slew of hits with R&B group The Coasters ,their involvement with other music big guns of the time such as Phil Spector ,Don Robey ,Hi Weiss Shadow Morton,Jerry Wexler to name a few.
.They had to tread lightly when dealing with complications with the Mob also lightly in another manner in their handling of the tantrums of singer Peggy Lee.
.Naturally they give a good few pages over to the formation and running of the Red Bird label which they owned along with George Goldner ,,heavily involved was producer Shadow Morton and fellow Brill,writers Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. Of interest to the reader will be a proposed but failed merger with Ahmet Ertegun's Atlantic records and then the demise of Red Bird with the duo virtually handing ownership to Goldner on a plate only for him to let it then slide ,ending up with him then selling all the master recordings to Nashville's Shelby Singleton.
This autobiography is very easy to read but I feel for myself and probably other readers who have a great interest in this period of American Popular music culture,there does not appear to be any startling revelations,nothing new that we have not gleaned before from other sources.but don't be put off by that ,its all here in one volume and with it's index, plentiful black and white photos and a list of their many compositions it is an interesting story,and a worthy addition to your Rock n Roll library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leiber & Stoller autobiography, 28 Sep 2011
This review is from: Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography (Paperback)
The two great names of 50 & 60s American songwriters, the late Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, tell their story. But this isn't a dry autobiography; it's a conversation with the two composers taking it in turns to recount anecdotes from significant points in their story. If you're into this type of music, you'll love it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just what my wife wanted, 19 April 2013
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This review is from: Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography (Paperback)
As the title Just what my wife wanted. Mostly because she worked in the music industry during the 60's and 70's
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hound Dog - Lieber and Stoller, 7 Jan 2012
This review is from: Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography (Paperback)
For readers who lived through the 50's and 60's, this is a fascinating read for those with an interest in the history of popular music of all types.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Leiber and Stoller story, 19 April 2013
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G. E. Harrison (Cheltenham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography (Paperback)
As a teenager in the 60s when I heard the original version of the blues song 'Hound dog' by Big Mama Thornton I couldn't believe how good it was, especially in comparison to the Elvis Presley version and I was even more amazed when I later heard that this seminal R&B record had been written not by two old Southern black bluesmen but by two Jewish teenagers from Los Angeles - Messrs Leiber and Stoller. They wrote many other classic R&B, rock and roll and pop songs and were only rivalled by Chuck Berry in writing mini-soap operas celebrating modern American teenage life. They also worked as producers with many other R&B and pop acts including the Coasters, the Drifters, the Clovers, the Shangri-Las, the Dixie Cups etc as well as later working on more 'mature' material with Peggy Lee. You can hear examples of all these songs in the musical 'Smokey Joe's Cafe' which is a thoroughly enjoyable celebration of the writers' craft.

I really admire their song writing which totally captured the spirit of teenage America with wit and real insight and therefore I was a bit disappointed by this book, written in collaboration with David Ritz, which I didn't think matched the high standard of their songs. It does tell the story of their meeting and early attempts at songwriting in LA, their association with Speciality Records and how their early songs were covered by Jimmy Witherspoon, Charles Brown, Little Willie Littlefield and Wilbert Harrison. Then the move to New York where they worked in the Brill Building, with Atlantic Records and started their own Red Bird record label. However, while the book is certainly interesting I didn't think that it had the insight of the songs and was just a straightforward telling of their (admittedly unique) story without any real style or magic - perhaps the 'distillation' required for songwriting doesn't equate to writing longer non-fiction books, or perhaps it's to do with the book comprising of pieces written by the two men separately. Although I'm glad to have read the book and learned more about their story I did expect the book to have have been a little more enjoyable.
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2 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Purchased for someone else, 1 Dec 2009
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Mrs. B. Dawes (England UK) - See all my reviews
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I bought this for someone else and they seemed very pleased with it. No complaints.
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Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography
Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography by David Ritz (Paperback - 30 Sep 2010)
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