Today we celebrate the birthday of famed songwriter Jerry Leiber, and if you don’t know several of the songs that this man penned with his longtime collaborator Mike Stoller, well, you oughta know, because they penned the soundtrack to Smokey Joe’s Café and, indeed, a good chunk of the rock and soul released in the 1950s.
Born in Baltimore, Jerome “Jerry” Leiber first met Mike Stoller, who originally hailed from Long Island, in 1950. Both young men – along with their respective families – had made their way to Los Angeles: Leiber was a senior at Fairfax High, while Stoller was a freshman at Los Angeles City College. When they met, they discovered a mutual appreciation for R&B as well as a knack for writing songs together, and before the year was out, they’d had their first co-written song recorded and released by Jimmy Witherspoon. The song in question, “Real Ugly Woman,” may not have made the charts, but it certainly proved to be the start of something big
40 years ago this month, The Four Seasons released an album which had originally been intended as their swan song but ultimately only proved to be their last album for a really long time.
Yes, it’s just about that time again: we’re a day away from this year’s Record Store Day, which takes place on April 22. As ever, we’ve got a plethora of special edition releases to offer up to you fine, upstanding individuals who frequent your friendly neighborhood record store.
50 years ago this month, Carmen McRae released one of the strongest albums of her lengthy career, turning in a title track which would soon become a Stevie Wonder standard even though – and this may surprise some of you – he didn’t actually write it!
25 years ago today, Metallica released their third single from their 1991 self-titled album, ultimately securing themselves a top-40 hit with the track.
Composed by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich and produced by them as well, along with Bob Rock, “Nothing Else Matters” has a surprising origin story: it first came into existence when Hetfield was on the phone with his girlfriend.