Elvis songwriter Jerry Leiber dies in Los Angeles

By Jennifer Lipman, August 23, 2011
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

The man who wrote the lyrics for famous hits by Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones has died at the age of 78.

Jerry Leiber and composer Mike Stoller were behind some of the most memorable songs of the 1950s and 1960s, including Presley's Jailhouse Rock and Hound Dog, both of which topped the charts.

They also wrote Stand By Me, which has since been recorded at least 400 times, been used as the theme for a film of the same name and in an advert for Levi jeans.

Mr Leiber, who was born in Baltimore to Jewish immigrant parents and who grew up in a poor neighbourhood, died in Los Angeles following a long illness.

As a partnership, Leiber and Stoller had more than 200 songs to their names and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Mr Leiber once told the Jewish Chronicle that Presley was "very easy to work with. He added: "Socially we didn't have a lot to do with him. Even then, he was physically and mentally cordoned off."

The duo began working together as teenagers after meeting at a party and carried on for six decades.

Mr Stoller said he would miss his friend, buddy, and writing partner. "He had a way with words," he said. "There was nobody better."

Last updated: 1:10pm, August 23 2011