from New York, NY
March 13, 1933 (age 87)
As half of the legendary writing/production team of Leiber and Stoller, during the '50s and '60s Mike Stoller was at once a devoted follower of black culture and music and one of its defining forces. Born in Belle Harbor, Long Island, Stoller's mother had been an actress and a member of the chorus in Gershwin's +Funny Face. Nudging her son towards classical piano lessons, Stoller instead rebelled and began playing boogie woogie and bebop jazz in his teens and frequenting the RB clubs of Harlem. When he was 16 the family moved to Los Angeles and, soon after, the naturally shy Stoller met an outgoing hipster named Jerry Leiber. The two teamed up together and began writing songs, Leiber contributing lyrics while Stoller wrote the music. Dedicated to the blues and Southern RB, the pair wrote prolifically throughout the early '50s, trying to remain as authentic to the music as possible. Through a meeting with Lester Sill of Modern Records they were able to get several of their songs recorded, such as Hound Dog and Kansas City. But while they were writing in a traditional blues vein, it was Stoller whose piano licks and melodies made the songs recognizable beyond the standard 12-bar format. After accepting a job at Atlantic Records the duo moved to New York and began producing groups such as the Coasters and the Drifters, as well as writing some of the most loved songs in the pop and RB canon. Though his career is inextricably linked with Jerry Leiber's, above and beyond their association it is important to note Mike Stoller's individualistic style of piano playing and melodic approach to the blues, as it defined the sound of early-'60s rock roll. ~ Steve Kurutz, Rovi
Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller on Letterman, March 24, 1987 (full, stereo)
The Legendary Mike Stoller on His Chart-Topping Hits and the Return of SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE
The golden touch of songwriter Mike Stoller
▬ LEIBER & STOLLER - Stand By Me - BEN E. KING ▬
Mike Stoller Interview on The Paul Leslie Hour
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller Interview with Bill Boggs
Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller on "What's My Line?"
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