Monday, September 06, 2010

Music Monday ~ Leiber & Stoller, songwriters

It's a pity that songwriters are often forgotten by the general public. Some, of the legendary variety, have managed to embed themselves into our communal memory bank: Johnnie Mercer, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and others from past decades. Today Paul Simon, Neil Diamond, Bruce Springsteen, Lennon & McCartney, Elton John& Bernie Taupin, and numerous others have their names already engraved as legends in their own lifetimes, because they perform as well as write most of their songs.

It's the names of "back-room" songwriters that tend to be forgotten. A good example of this: the songwriting duo of Leiber and Stoller (Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller). Even my music-soaked husband looked puzzled when I asked what he knew of them.

Time to give Leiber and Stoller a wee fanfare here! And to see whether there's any astrological connection to reflect their many years of collaboration.

They met in 1950, aged 17. A shared passion for the Blues drew them together and they began songwriting straight away. Eventually they created enduring classics in a variety of genres: Rhythm & Blues, Pop, Jazz, Cabaret and, of course, Rock & Roll. Most of their major hits came after Elvis put the duo on the map in 1956 with their song Hound Dog.

A reminder of some of their best-known songs, words by Leiber, music by Stoller: Jailhouse Rock; Hound Dog; Kansas City; Stand By Me; I'm a Woman W-O-M-A-N; Is That All There Is? Poison Ivy; Love Potion Number 9, and many others, recorded by some of the biggest names in the music business.

Jerry Leiber was born 25 April 1933 in Baltimore, MD.

Mike Stoller was born 13 March 1933 in Long Island, NY.

12 noon charts (no times of birth known)

As they were born 6 weeks apart, the outer planets lay in very similar positions, sign-wise and degree-wise for both men. Natal Suns differ: Taurus for Leiber, Pisces for Stoller, Earth and Water. Compatible enough. Both have Venus, planet of the arts, in the same sign as their Suns, both have Mercury in Aries at 7 or 8 degrees - so both are enthusiastic go-getters, sharp communicators in their chosen field. Both men have Mars, Neptune and Jupiter close together in Virgo (one of the Mercury-ruled signs linked to writing). This cluster translates to tell us that the two men share boundless and energetic creative ability, communicated to the masses with ease.

Without times of birth it's not possible to calculate their ascending sins or exact Moon degree, though because at noon Moon was mid-sign for both men we can be pretty certain that Leiber's natal Moon was in Taurus and Stoller's in Libra - two sharing a common ruler: Venus, planet of the arts.

From their natal charts it's very easy to recognise compatibility!

Samples of their works ~~~~~

Ben E. King & STAND BY ME

Fats Domino & KANSAS CITY




anyjazz said...

We have said many times that the songwriters, composer and poet, get too little credit in today’s music world. Of course much of today’s “music” doesn’t deserve much credit. But in bygone times when there were melodies and poetry involved, these artists are relegated to the last-name-only mention just below the title on record labels or jacket notes.

“Hound Dog” is too often credited to Elvis Presley and he wasn’t even the first to record the Leiber/Stoller song.

Some of the poet/composer combinations are legendary and as you point out, there has to be some kind of compatibility: Rogers and Hart, Lerner and Lowe, Gilbert and Sullivan, Lennon and McCartney and many others.

Wisewebwoman said...

Well done, T! More should be written of these 'hidden' talents.
Is that All There Is remains one of my favourite songs of all time. Peggy is on my Ipod doing her bit with it, and what a bit!
I would disagree with Himself on the modern music, Grandgirl has introduced me to some awesome composers and some great music.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~~~ Yes we're in broad agreement on this - and we both get annoyed when presenters or DJs announce a song as though the performer wrote it (unless he/she did, of course). That happens a lot, the perception spreads, and before you know it the writers' names have disappeared without trace.

The pairs are interesting - I'll probably look at some others. I think I've already featured a few, bthough way back in early blog days. :-)

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ "Is that all there is" is my favourite of Leiber & Stoller too. Peggy Lee was just superb singing anything, and that's a song quite hard to put over well I imagine.

Re modern music - well, we are probably out of the loop. What we've seen on TV in the past few years doesn't impress, and relies more on visual antics than melody and poetry.

The only songs I can think of, that I like, written fairly recently (last 10 years)and not by one of the legends, are "Starlight" by Muse and "Human" by The Killers.

Beyond that, I haven't caught up with the trend yet - even Adam Lambert's cd isn't really my cup of tea, and doesn't do his talent credit - though I still like him for his potentialities. :-)