Jerry Leiber R.I.P.

He was a tremendous songwriter and it’s hard to pick his best, but I know my favorite, which he wrote with Ben E. King. I played stand up bass and bass guitar for many years, and Stand by Me has a simple but fun baseline and great lyrics. It was used perfectly in the excellent film of the same name. It’s one of many, many Leiber songs that will be joyfully sung, played and danced to a century from now.

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College Lonon. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over ten thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

4 thoughts on “Jerry Leiber R.I.P.”

  1. Jerry Leiber, along with his partner Mike Stoller, not only virtually created Rock and Roll by infusing pop music with a powerful blast of Rhythm and Blues, they remained vital, creative forces for a decades in a business where careers are often measured in months. In addition to their own formidable creative output, Leiber and Stoller acted as generous mentors to a whole generation of aspiring song writers and producers: Carol King and Gerry Goffin, Ellie Greenwich, and many others. And judging from their interviews, they had a great time doing it.

  2. A person could have a lot of talent, and spend his waking hours doing nothing but writing music for the rest of his life, and still, he would almost certainly never write anything as good, or with as much universal appeal, as “Stand by Me.”

  3. “A person could have a lot of talent, and spend his waking hours doing nothing but writing music for the rest of his life, and still, he would almost certainly never write anything as good, or with as much universal appeal, as “Stand by Me.””

    Amen.

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