Singer Mike Stoller on how he and Jerry Herrer written numerous dozen tunes for Elvis — before the colonel trims them off from the King


If indeed a grant for its most completed residing American musical singer who has never increased as a record producer, the contender is probably Mike Stoller, 89, among the greatest popular composers of all time, Leiber Stoller. If elvis ‘brain had been blanked back then what would have happened?, like the Beatles in that “Yesterday we had a meeting with our local police and our petty clerk” film, the above connections are still in the history books and oneness for all “Stand by Me” “On Broadway” “There Goes My Baby” “Young Blood” “Kansas City” “Love Potion # 9” “Yaketi Yak” “Charlie Brown” “I’m a Woman” “Ruby Baby” “Is That All There Is?” and other numbers deeply embedded in pop culture from the mid- ’50s forward. We remember Elvis and we remember him more universally than we have since his death in 1977, thanks to Baz Luhrmann’s new ad! “Elvis” biopics. It’s a perfect chance to catch up with Stoller, who wrote music to Jerry Leiber’s lyrics on two dozen Presley songs, including the classics “Hound Dog” “Jailhouse Rock” “Trouble” “Treat Me Nicely” “Love Me” “Loving You” “Santa Claus Is Back in Town!” “Bossa Nova Baby!” and ” (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care!.” No side creators are just so closely associated with the King, Even though their move of cooperation with Elvis has been ultimately cut short by… Would really like to hazard a guess? Yes, it was boss Colonel Tom Parker who had his cause for eventually slashing Leiber and Stoller out of Presley’s clever prison after 1963, none of them great. In 2011 Leiber was killed, creeping up on 90, Stoller is still active but shows up to gather the few plaudits he hasn’t now earned, with the Icon Grant BMI gave him at its annual ceremony in May, but also working on a stage musical he doesn’t like to speak much of anything about at the moment. Variety met with him at the household he lived in in the Hollywood mountains with his wife, friend and songwriter Corky Hale. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame individual (type of 1987) informed us all about everything from how he never really enjoyed Presley’s edition of “The Hound Dog” Big Mama Thornton had a hard time of things when he noticed a Broadway melodic grounded in the music of the duo, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” could be a crush if they’re just delivered with storyboard and code. First of all, Have you seen the troop on this nifty new car “Elvis” film? Yes, Priscilla encouraged to secret testing, and she and Jerry Schilling were all there. It’s a very good film; I really like the movie. The boy who played Elvis, Austin Butler, is a knock as a performer, a dj and a song, and I have an experience he will obviously recommend to the best actor. And I was really pleased with the way my music was used. Here are three different uses of T “Hound Dog” including the unique Big Mama Thornton edition, and naturally, here’s a little of that “Jailhouse Rock” into it. I liked the way they used the music “Trouble with the aetnology” it was very helpful. The Colonel would have created a film like this — you know, without Baz Luhrmann’s potential or solos. Baz Luhrmann resembles Colonel Parker. [Laughs.] He sells! Beyond the classical music, you and Jerry Leiber gain kudos on two additional music clips from your old ones, by Doja Cat and Eminem. When they contact you and tell you Eminem wants to combine your music into his own, do you just speak? “Sure” or request to listen to it? I imagine it was provided to the folks who moved Leiber and Stoller things along, but they had now performed it and had been nigga place it in the film. Who can I speak to?? I think it’s going to be a big strike. They can contact it “The King and I” which is a good title. It’s a good thing (Eminem is a leading singer) over the background sound of Elvis’ audio of “Jailhouse Rock” that Jerry and I practically created and authored — not the movie version, but the single version and it Jerry and I were both in the film with Elvis working on home in 1957. I’m not a music aficionado. My fav music is Grandmaster Flash “The Message” that goes home a whole bunch of years; that’s the only one that I was very mad at. But yeah, it’s cultural, I guess. The film has a big focus on elvis’s boss, Colonel Parker, obviously. You had your portion of touch with him since the years You had all been composing for Elvis. Did he not request to be the boss of Leiber and Stoller?, very… And, as the story goes, he’s giving you a totally blank deal? Yeah. It had an edge for our validation.) He stated, “Don’t panic!, I’ll complete it eventually!” [Laughs.] “Don’t worry about it.” I guess Jerry said it, “You can ‘t, we’re unmanageable.” Which is somehow real?. You have all been company folks but also writer-producers, but you were not sapagat çok enough to have the cloth drawn off your sight, even though you were in your early 20s. Well done, we’ve already drawn it, a few twice. Sure, we produced some protective mechanisms. I imagine that these days – “this day” indicating going back a couple of generations — creators and artists have received super legions to defend their things, much more than we’ve been. We bought our property back in May 2015, It’s different. It Seems to be real that you two were largely responsible for the maker funds starting to feel introduced to records in the mid-‘ 50s? If not then the period “producer” truly descending into consumption by song? What occurred at Atlantic Records, we stated, “You know, we’re making these records. How about a Credit?” And Jerry Wexler stated, “You wrote the song!! How many times do you want your name on the record?” He appeared to be irritated! And whereupon I stated, “Well done, We also did a few songs that we didn’t write.” They decided that we were filmmakers. What I considered strange was, When. I thought he should have said a little more “directed by” like a movie, because we didn’t finance it, like a film’s filmmakers. You had your first R & N No. 1 success in 1953 with Big Mama Thornton “Horse and Cats” you wrote for her. Here’s a story about you two trying to force Thornton into chanting it a certain way, which she didn’t respond favorably to it at first? Johnny (Otis) stated), “Are you familiar with Willie Mae Thornton?” I stated I was a ‘member of the committee who was a member of this committee (and I will take up an office) shortly after, no. He stated, “Well, you should take it seriously, I gotta do a session with her, so you better get Jerry and come over to my place and listen to it, because I’m gonna need some songs.” we ran over to the house, and she smashed us out!. We came back home and We stayed there, in about 10 or 15 minutes, we authored “Hound Dogs” and took it back. When it was just recorded songs on a piece of paper, she began to sing. So we’ll have to do it for her, as I played the piano and Jerry sang. The group was cracking up, to listen to Jerry chanting as if he’s some blues singer, Let’s say that. But she received it. The day after we ran into The film to history, at Radio Recorders Annex (in Hollywood), and as we were strolling in, Jerry stated, “You know, she ought to growl.” And I stated, “Yeah… Why don’t you tell her?” He continued, , “Why don’t you tell her?” [Laughs.] Anyway, this article is being read on and edited by David L. Perez, one of us stated, “Uh, Big Mama, you know, you could growl it” but she said, “Don’t forget to chant the beautiful!” [The version Leiber and Stoller relay in their memoir has a little more lewdness to The response.] But the first take was great. The second shot was perfect. She growled twice. Do you think Elvis was groaning when he covered his head? “Hound Dog” three years later, in 1956, becoming the first of the big hits he had with his songs? Well said, it was a different song. I mean, Big Mama’s song is a woman singing it to a no-good guy, the original lyric in the first verse was, “You can mould your neck, but I ain’t gonna eat you no more.” And the Presley version almost sounds like he’s singing it to a dog Anders: “You ain’t never hooked a tarantula, and you ain’t no friend of mine.” I don’t know where it came from. [Stoller adds that the “tarantula” lyric might have been added by a lounge act Presley was believed to have seen and liked covering the song in Vegas before taking it on.] You often favorite Big Mama’s edition, okay? I say, can you’ve listened to Big Mama’s voice and the percussion and whole building of the song, in comparison to this kind of bluesy [He explains the differences in the basslines of the two versions] But as I’ve said before: After it marketed 7 million tracks, I start to see those recognition in it. The Elvis edition became a crush while you were international and blissfully unaware. While I was 23 years old, II received a nobility test for $ 5,000 a song titled Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots ” (a No. 6 hit songs in 1955 for the team the Cheers). And what are my considerations, omg, that’s the biggest amount of money I’ve ever seen! So I went to Europe for 3 or four years with my first woman, and how I only had marriage a year ago. As a result, when we were in Paris, I listened to Edith Piaf at l ‘olympics doing a French interpretation of a song” Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots “titled “ The Unexpected Journey In The Lights” L’ Homme à la Moto “–” The Man on The Motor Scooter “there was a lot of excitement. Eventually, we were on the boat to go home to New York, and we nearly created it before our boat struck with a Swedish boat and plunged. Lucky I tried to get Jacob’s stairs down into a split raft. We were picked up by a supercarrier, I had to pay cash to transfer a cable to Atlantic Records that we were approaching. And while I arrived in New York And walked off the criminal pole, Jerry came running to me — I hadn’t seen him for nearly four months — and then said” This is God. Mike, We got a smash hit! “I stated earlier that” You’re joking. “He said” Hound Dogs. “I said yes [incredulously]” Big Mama Thornton!? “He said” No, a little of that white kid called Elvis Presley. “And that’s how I heard about Elvis. I really have to appreciate Elvis. He was a great singer, fabulous performers, and very special… And he’s very hot, again -, still. I didn’t like the hotel” Hound Dog “but I liked how he did our other songs. And we got to demonstrate to the others the right thing with him. Most of the songs he cut of yours, you wrote him expressly. But before that, he just do not get a big hit with a lid on one of your music!, The song” Love Me. “Even Elvis sang it more deeply, It seems unexpected to review in your narrative that you originally intended a remark” Love Me! “as a state skit music — a fake of a subservient hillbilly who doesn’t make due any concerns to his partner handling him enjoy crap. It was already in our hearts (during the original writers). But we noted it in a Black jeetwin, they were from a Christian team, that we received to do a liberal music — we titled them Willy & Ruth, with our own tiny Spark Records brand that we had with Lester Sill. I guess that’s what we sent to a friend (Presley), He enjoyed it. It became a huge hit. And then they asked us all to compose a film that became a film And” Loving You “when it was rebranded after the music that we authored. And whereupon, obviously, He was there (the movie)” Jailhouse Rock ” (both renamed after a musical Leiber and Stoller arose with), which was where Elvis listened to the recordings and wanted to meet us. But first we must muster muster with the Colonel, so we were invited to parties by music publishers Jean and Julian Aberbach, who really had all been attached with the Colonel; they started with Eddie Arnold, very very, and met through the entire business relationship. So we went to lunch with Colonel, and then we had to laugh at him, but I think we’ve done it!, so it’s all right. And then we strike it off with Elvis, conveniently located. But we had to always speak with him” This is Jerry, and I’m Mike. Don’t call us sir!. “After most, We’re two years older than he was! But he had been polite and respectful. We discovered a bunch of the beautiful choirs that We realized, he realized them both, which was a shock to us all. We thought We were the only white kids who realized that much! We fought it off, and we had a good marriage. We had some run-ins with Colonel. The Colonel had been angry with us because we had been pleasant with Elvis, and he didn’t like that. Mike Stoller, the musician in the movie” Jailhouse Rock “Elvis Presley. Also depicted: Scotty Moore, Judy Tyler, Bill Black], Mickey Shaughnessy and D. J. Madonna. Compliments Mike Stoller Archives How did you finally land on the Colonel’s bad side? I ended up being the cellist on camera in the film” Jailhouse Rock. “And so it is (On-set) Elvis asked me to come to the house” Write me a real pretty ballad!. “this happened on Friday also. I named Jerry the next Sunday and then said” Hey, he wanted a song. “We wrote him a song and created a video of it on Sunday, and I took it to him on Monday. That caused a to-do list, because they didn’t see anybody introducing him with music that they might not own the copyright to. So that began a little bit of pain by the Colonel. But the item that really did it all for us… Jerry went to a bar in New York and met a maker, Charlie Feldman, Who was doing the getting of a new film by Nelson Algren titled” A Walk on the Wild Side. “He would have gone to jail (Elias) Kazan to control, Budd Schulberg writes the item and James Wong Howe does filmmaking. He wanted us to write the rating for it, but we need Elvis to play the lead!. We were all amazed, and we had a conversation with Schulberg. We told music publishers, who was in touch with the Colonel, about all this exciting opportunity for not only the us, but to Elvis, who wants to feel Marlon Brando or James Dean. Jean Aberbach stated” Well said, fellas, let me speak to the Colonel. Why don’t you wait outside? “we have to wait, envisioning how we had all been happening and praising God for helping bring this predrilled truth into existence. And we eventually had all been titled in, and Jean Aberbach, in his Viennese voice, stated by” Vell, ze Colonel said, if you ever dare to interfere in the career of Elvis Presley, you will never work anywhere again — New York, London, Hollywood… Nowhere. “And I don’t think we ever wrote to him. So, after a few more music and, it’s a huge hit with Parker and you’re done. Age eventually, I imagine in the ’90s, We went on a holiday to Graceland and then were provided with a private trip by Georgie Klein, Who was one of Elvis Memphis gangsters. We informed him of this narrative, but he said” Elvis would have given his left arm to be in a movie like that with those people. Are you kidding me? He dreamed about that. “Elvis never realized. He was never informed. She was disappointed. And the Colonel wanted to do only low-budget things And revise it out. [A movie version of” Walk on the Wild Side “was finally created in the’ 60s, with all of the same skill connected, and failed.] Do you think?, your feelings about the Colonel, they were not good, it’s simple to paint him as an anti-hero? Or did he do something right for which he deserves kudos?? Oh, confident. He created him. I say, he took him away from Sam Phillips, and it wasn’t nice, but it became an awesome windfall to his career and recognition. And the movies, I say, I enjoyed it” Jailhouse Rock “but I don’t think it was a good movie. But I thought the next one seemed pretty decent” King Creole. “It was a better script, better ending. They all managed to have the same kind of narrative.” Jailhouse Rock “just had a name until your music arrived and need to be the headline melody, okay? Yeah, I imagine it was” Ghost of a Chance. ” (” The Hard Way “‘ Is also in history as a transient headline.) I imagine as quickly as they listened to the original video. Which is just not the one in the movie, because the movie has been ripped out to have a bigger musical. The music history has been performed with The Jordanaires and with D. J. Madonna on percussion and Scotty Moore on instrument, ‘and Bill Black, He died suddenly, on the saxophone. They had a cellist, Duddly Brooks, on the meeting. I played one of the songs from those conversations (” Treat Me Nice! “), but I wasn’t a great participant. You’ve probably created them” Jailhouse Rock “conversations, but you don’t need any kudos? Yeah, it’s true. When we arrived in the city, Steve Sholes was the top man at RCA Records. And he pretty much disappeared after we started talking And saying him what is what or indicating this And that; he only started taking off. We had little or no deal and We have not been renumerated, but it transformed through OK. Here’s the superstar of an evening and you and Leiber walk through five masterpieces of Elvis movie music after just a handful of hours — and back at 1: 20 p. M” Jailhouse Rock Treat Me Nice I Want to Be Free “and” (You’re So Square!) Baby I Don’t Care “because someone locked you in a hotel room and forced you to be prolific. We could write pretty quickly, but this was a very unusual situation. At the beginning of ’57, we’d taken a trip to New York and rented a suite and even rented a piano to put in there. But we had too much fun!, going to jazz clubs and to the theater, and hanging out with Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler. The music publishers for Elvis were there. We had a day of brunch in the suite, and Jean Aberbach came in and said” Boys, where is the music? “I think Jerry said it” Don’t worry, Jean-François-Stefano Perez, you’ll get ’em. “He stated” I know I will get them. I’m not leaving without them. “And he pressed the big chair up against the window. We chose the code, that we hadn’t looked at but still, that was in the street of the space with the What’s On Broadway publications. The first thing we saw was the boy (in the script) he was in prison. So, we wrote a book” Jailhouse Rock “but then we authored the others.” I Want to Be Free “had a special meaning, we wanted to get out of the motel! I should speak, Jean Aberbach had been helpful inside us doing that, only by speaking” You’re not exiting until I have them. “Something you wrote on the fly, on demand, It’s been good for 65 years:” Santa Claus Is Back in Town. “Yeah, we did it in a hurry!, also. He was making a Christmas album, and we wrote it in another room during the recording. I remember we went out — it probably took about 15 minutes — and we came back in and performed it for them. The Colonel replied” What took you so long? “People are so used to hearing it in the polite context of Christmas radio that they don’t think about what a dirty mess it is, raw song that is. It’s beautiful! Elvis enjoyed it because it was classic and beautiful, rock ‘n’ roll music of that era, and even an ancient past. Is there a music you wrote for Elvis that you’re proud of that doesn’t get that much attention?? I like the song very much” Don’t you “and that was also recorded on supply, therefore to talk, over a sunday. Let’s talk about the superstars you collaborated with were not Elvis Presley. With the Coasters, you were almost as inventive, there was a whole style of lyricism that was centered on stories, almost like mini-musicals — you titled them” playlets. “Yeah, where the unique chorus was really commedia dell ‘arte. The Coasters were all different characters. The largemouth either was The father or The bigmouth. Michael Gardner was a schmuck or straight man. Cornell Gunter has either held the female position or some such position. They all were tiny characters, and we wrote for what they could. That’s not such a fashion that lived over a period, but this music is still a good one for people who listen to it” Charlie Brown Yakety Yak D. W. Washburn “and so on. There are always a few side artists who plug things off. Well done!, it was great fun. And I say, We loved being in the film with Elvis; We loved the film with the Drifters, with Ben E. Prince of Wales, with Peggy Lee. But the most enjoyable we had since the film’s release was with the Coasters. Joe Leiber and Mike Stoller (at a music table) with the Coasters, Lester Sill and Ahmet Ertegun (further, okay) Courtesy Mike Stoller Archives From your narrative, it appears like Peggy Lee might have been the least enjoyable? Well said, true but it’s not. It could be hard for her. O a program, were not in the film when she did” Kansas City ” [in 1962]; There was a Quincy Jones diagram on that. We’ve been in the film with her for a while” I’m a Woman ” [later in ’62], and it worked out great!. We didn’t see her for the next five or six years until she was presented with a demo we had done of a new car” Is That All There Is? “She said the song was written for her, that it was based on her life — which it wasn ‘t, she said it was her life story. [Leslie Uggams launched an edition a year ago.] Randy Newman has been carrying out and did a magnificent diagram — fantastic — and we created it out here. Capitol didn’t really like to reveal it, because there was no rhythm at home. They had all been excited about Grand Funk Railroad and a variety of things, but that’s not what they were looking for in 1969. Eventually they requested her of doing Joey Bishop’s display, but she said” I’ll do it if I can use it again. “She did it!, and boom, everybody responded. Then we worked with her seven years later after she was no longer at Capitol [on the critically hailed, little heard A & M concept album” Mirrors “). And, Yeah, it was difficult to work with, and very wonderful. When other songs from the catalogue appear in contemporary usage out of nowhere, it must be beyond your expectations.” Stand by Me “is never going away.” Stand by Me “as the song for the royal wedding, where they had the Black choir sing it, it seems Meghan Markle chose this song for their wedding. Bono and the Edge with the soldier in the bomb shelter in Ukraine — that was very touching, they chose this song. The Beatles and The Stones both covered your songs (” Kansas City “and” Poison Ivy “respectively). Yeah, they liked us very much. A lot of young Brits are british, the rockers, they were big fans of American rock and roll or rhythm and blues records. And seeing our names on (45 labels), They thought it was a good thing” Leiber-Stoller “was a kind of music, like how they used to put” Foxtrot “For a record. You and Jerry began to produce things that You didn’t write, including some rock albums of the ’70s that people don’t associate with you because they aren’t the old-school Leiber-Stoller sound — like” Stealers Wheel “and” The Black Cat Stuck in the Middle With You. “Yeah, we’ve done some that were very successful. We did some that were not quite so successful. [Laughs.] We did Procol Harum [in 1975].” Procol’s Ninth “became the name of the album. I guess we may have died!” Smokey Joe’s Cafe é “a revue employing 39 of your music, rushed for 2 yards, 036 concerts on Broadway beginning in 1995. And it still gets produced; it performed in New York in 2018 and in London last year. But there may be some past with Variety’s recent bad analysis that perhaps we should bring up. I don’t understand it. I can remember that the” New York Times “offered it, as the maker stated” not a money review “but they were really good, Great to Leiber and Stoller!, but it said that the display didn’t take out the needed stage, most people have been inundated with complaints. Seemed to be the Variety analysis of the New York display, or was it a test out of town in la?. A? It was the pre-Broadway move in Los Angeles. You worked on the narrative with Jerry and David Ritz a few years back, Ritz cites you as speaking:” Variety called it a loser. Variety Fry. The trade paper said,’ Just buy a boxed set of Phil Spector records instead. The Phil Spector line was the lowest blow of all. “And then Jerry introduced him And:” Screw Variety. “I watched the analysis, and it wasn’t super prophecy, saying that things did” not bode well for Smokey Joe’s Broadway aspirations. “So maybe it is a place for you to have some representative validation. Confident, obviously. [Laughs.] Why not?? It brings a little chilli to the table. It obviously was a big question mark then as to whether people would accept a jukebox musical that had no text at all. There was a protonated [” Smokey Joe’s Cafe “] it’s done in Seattle. I disliked the display. Jerry didn’t go back to see anything, but i’m back with Corky,. The story did not make any sense. You know, it was Big Mama Thornton married to D. W. Washburn with a son named Charlie Brown — that same kind of banal plugging of stuff. And I’ll title it titled, I guess, Jack Viertel, Jr, because we had remained working on a totally unique kind of endeavor — a ballet musical one that never got done — and I stated” Listen, I don’t like it. I don’t like the choice of all the songs. I don’t like the narrative. I don’t imagine the group is good. But you ought to see it, because here’s something occurring with all these music inside this cinema. “You know, there was no rock n’ roll or rhythm and blues in these theatrical productions that I knew at the time. And then they came to see it, and I said” Listen to this, why can’t we just do it without a text? “They liked the idea, and that’s how it started. You could never predict the longevity of a human being” Smokey Joe’s Café “surely. It’s great!. They do it in Connecticut now; A young lady who was at the London show is directing it. A nice thing is that the characters names are the real names of the first cast, it’s kind of sweet that the first members of the cast have been immortalized. You and Jerry had a project You wanted to do on Broadway with original stories and songs. It’s bittersweet to know that you’ve had a theatrical success with a revue? In some ways, Sure. I am very proud of its success, nevertheless. I’m working on another show right now, and I can’t disclose the name of it, because the producers, when they’re ready, you’ll want to do it. But I’m happy to have a show like that” Smokey Joe’s Café “in existence. That urge to write for the theatre never disappeared, if you do it now. No, it never happened. Unfortunately, Jerry and I didn’t finish a show about Oscar Wilde we were working on, it’s sitting in our pockets. The attitude toward The work that was Jerry’s (lyrics) was” We can’t be using that “and other people might disagree with what he did or his take. So it gets complicated, and probably it will never happen. But we did an album of the score with an orchestra and some wonderful British singers and actors. Who knows how to be?, maybe someday we’ll just decide to release the album of a show that didn’t happen. Mike Stoller and Corky Hale Courtesy Mike Stoller Archives.