Jerry Leiber

Tim Jonze “Songwriter Jerry Leiber dies aged 78”
Richard Williams “Jerry Leiber obituary”
WILLIAM GRIMES “Jerry Leiber, Prolific Writer of 1950s Hits, Dies at 78”
STEPHEN HOLDEN “Igniting a Revolution, Starting with ‘Hound Dog’”

作曲家のMike Stollerと組んで、エルヴィス・プレスリー*1の「ハウンド・ドッグ*2、「監獄ロック」、ベン・E・キングの「スタンド・バイ・ミー」、それから「カンザス・シティ」などを作詞したJerry Leiber*3が逝去した。享年78歳。
Richard Williamsの記事はJerry Leiberの生い立ちと黒人音楽との接点について言及している;

Leiber was born in Baltimore to Jewish parents whose origins were in Poland and Russia. The family lived in a Polish Catholic district, where Leiber encountered antisemitism; his mother's grocery shop was on the edge of the black quarter. "Of the two areas, I dug the ghetto more," he said. "That for me was where it was happening. I identified with the blacks. I felt very sympathetic to them, and they were sympathetic to me." He was five years old when his father died, and 12 when the family – including his two older sisters – moved to Los Angeles. As a 16-year-old pupil at Fairfax high school, he began scribbling down lyrics, and at 17 he was introduced by a schoolmate to Stoller, whose own family had moved from New York, where he had taken piano lessons with the great James P Johnson and hung out in the jazz bars of 52nd Street.
Stephen Holdenの記事からは、「ハウンド・ドッグ」の衝撃について書かれている部分をカットしておく;

Nowadays it’s hard to imagine how shocked and offended a large segment of middle-class America, not to mention the traditional songwriting establishment, was by Jerry Leiber’s slangy, ungrammatical lyric to his writing partner Mike Stoller’s rough-hewn blues melody. In a Rodgers and Hammerstein world, this wasn’t polished songwriting, sniffed the guardians of polite pop culture; it was musical barbarism, its sinister, possibly lewd hidden meanings flaunted by a gyrating star who in 1956 seemed as dangerously compelling as a sexy alien who had just dropped down to Earth from outer space.

For “Hound Dog” alone, Mr. Leiber, who died on Monday at 78, will always be remembered in the annals of rock ’n’ roll as a revolutionary catalyst. Years before the term “generation gap” was coined, “Hound Dog” drew the line between the new and the old. When it was performed on “The Steve Allen Show,” the host, who despised rock ’n’ roll, had Presley, dressed in a tuxedo, sing the song to a basset hound in a top hat. Ridicule couldn’t stop either “Hound Dog” or Elvis. The reverberations have continued steadily into the hip-hop era.

Mr. Leiber was only about 20 when the original version of “Hound Dog” was a No. 1 R&B hit for Willie Mae Thornton, known as Big Mama, in early 1953, with slightly different lyrics.

それから、Jerry Leiberの死に触れたLAWRENCE DOWNES “An American Songbook”*4米国音楽マルティカルチュラルな起源を明らかにしている。
ところで、あのフィル・スペクターはLieber & Stollerの弟子筋にあたるんだね。「ハウンド・ドッグ」よりも「スタンド・バイ・ミー」の方が個人的に印象が強いのは、去年ジョン・レノンがカヴァーする「スタンド・バイ・ミー」を久々に聴いたからにすぎない。Lieberの死について、大友康平はどうコメントするか。


さて、Jerry Leiberの死だけでも凄いことなのだが、同じ日にやはり大物ソングライターであるNick Ashford*5が亡くなっている!

BEN SISARIO “Nick Ashford, of Motown Writing Duo, Dies at 70”
Dave Laing “Nick Ashford obituary”


Alison Flood “Jorge Luis Borges' Google doodle celebrates the master of magical realism”