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Kitty Dunn

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R.I.P. 2 great songwriters

Back before anybody ever heard of "singer-songwriters," there were very talented folks who wrote the songs, but rarely  sang them where any one could hear. We lost two greats on Monday when Jerry Leiber died of cardiopulmonary failure at the age of 78, and Nick Ashford died of throat cancer at age 69. Leiber, along with his writing partner Mike Stoller, came up with some songs that were something more than "classic," if there were a word for that. Leiber was barely out of high school when he co-wrote Hound Dog for Big Mama Thornton, that Elvis eventually made a hit. Leiber said it was written in 12 minutes flat!  Other songs with the Jerry Leiber credit include Stand By Me,  Jailhouse Rock, Spanish Harlem, On Broadway, and even a novelty hit or two, including Yakety Yak for the Coasters. Nick Ashford was one-half of the songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson. He and his wife Valerie wrote lots of great Motown hits, including Aint No Mountain High Enough and Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand) for Diana Ross. They had a hit that they sang in the in the 1980's. Remember Solid As A Rock? Do you think maybe Leiber and Ashford will team up and write some songs for a new demographic, on the other side?

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08/23/2011 11:51AM
R.I.P. 2 great songwriters
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