CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 27, 2011 |
Gil Bernal, a tenor saxophonist who during his long career played a variety of styles with artists such as Spike Jones, Lionel Hampton and Ry Cooder , has died. He was 80. Bernal died of congestive heart failure July 17 at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, his family said. Adept at playing pop, jazz or blues, Bernal sang and played with Hampton's big band and had memorable sax parts on such 1950s songs as Duane Eddy's "Rebel Rouser" and the Robins' "Smokey Joe's Cafe.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2009 |
Ellie Greenwich, the New York songwriter behind a string of 1960s hits that gave effervescent voice to unbridled teen romance including "Da Doo Ron Ron," "Chapel of Love" and "Be My Baby," many of them in collaboration with producer Phil Spector, died Wednesday of a heart attack, according to her niece, Jessica Weiner. She was 68. She was being treated for pneumonia and "some other heart issues" at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York when she suffered the heart attack, Weiner said.
June 17, 2009 |
They met cute. Jerry Leiber was an animated teenage tunesmith. Because he lacked the skill of putting notes on paper, however, a friend told him to call a piano player named Mike. Jerry dialed the number he'd been given. "Hi, my name is Jerome Leiber. Are you Mike Stoller?" "Yup." "Did you play a dance in East L.A. last week?" "Yup." "Can you write music?" "Yup." "Can you write music on paper?" "Yup." "Would you like to write songs with me?" "Nope." "How come?" "I don't like songs."
December 17, 2008 |
In 1950, a couple of nice Jewish boys with a passion for black culture met up in Hollywood and changed popular music forever. Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller not only found the sweet spot between smooth pop and raw blues, they were also among the first songwriters to produce their own songs. The duo's control over their material inspired everyone from Burt Bacharach to the Beatles: "We don't write songs," Leiber famously said. "We write records." Now their wildly successful revue, "Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller," which ran for more than 2,000 performances on Broadway, plays in a terrific revival at the El Portal.
April 9, 2006
I was out strolling during lunch in New York City about 10 years ago when I saw Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in the courtyard of a building on Park Avenue ("Inseparable," by Zev Chafets, March 19). Being very familiar with their catalog of early rock 'n' roll songs and a great admirer, I was too intimidated to say hello, thank you and ask for an autograph. I still kick myself for being so shy. Shelby Asch Vista Leiber and Stoller are to R&B what D.W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille were to the Golden Age of Hollywood: the architectural visionaries of a vastly popular entertainment.
April 2, 2006
The article on songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller was one of the best pieces I've ever read ("Inseparable," by Zev Chafets, March 19). Chafets couldn't have picked better subjects. But I wish the story had been longer. Just like their songs, I couldn't get enough. Ed Masciana Torrance Kudos on your enjoyable piece on Leiber and Stoller. I'm of a similar age and background and can appreciate the history of the times Chafets wrote about. When I was younger, I really enjoyed their earlier music and loved seeing "Smokey Joe's Cafe" when it played here.