Poets and Prophets: Salute to Songwriter Mike Stoller

Dec 05, 2020

2:00 P.M.–3:30 P.M.

Members reserve tickets here.

General Admission reserve tickets here.

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote and produced some of the most enduring pop songs of the mid-twentieth century. Leiber died in 2011. Stolller is alive and well and he will make a rare Nashville appearance December 5 to discuss his career. Stoller was born in Queens, New York, in 1933. As a child he took piano lessons for a few months with the great stride jazz pianist and composer James P. Johnson. In 1949, Stoller’s family relocated to Los Angeles. The songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller was formed in 1950, when Stoller began creating melodies and arrangements that dovetailed with Leiber’s lyrics.  In 1952, they wrote “Hound Dog” for blues singer Big Mama Thornton. The song became an enormous pop, R&B, and country hit for Elvis Presley in 1956 and made Leiber and Stoller the hottest songwriting team in rock & roll. They also wrote “Jailhouse Rock,” “Loving You,” “King Creole,” “Treat Me Nice,” “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care,” and other hits for Presley. Atlantic Records signed Leiber and Stoller to one of the music industry’s first independent production deals. This led to them writing and producing more than a dozen hit singles for the Coasters, including “Charlie Brown” and “Yakety Yak.” One of the most prolific and creative songwriting teams in popular music, Leiber and Stoller also wrote “Stand by Me” (Ben E. King), “Kansas City” (Wilbert Harrison), “Love Potion #9” (the Clovers), “On Broadway” (the Drifters), and “I’m a Woman” (Peggy Lee). “Smokey Joe’s Café,” a 1954 hit written for the Robins, later became the title of a popular Broadway musical based on the Leiber and Stoller songbook. Leiber and Stoller were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. This interview will be illustrated with archival photos, film, and recordings. Stoller will sign commemorative posters from Hatch Show Print. Presented by SunTrust. Ford Theater. Included with museum admission. Free to museum members. Program ticket required. Members reserve tickets here. Non-members reserve tickets here. The program will be streamed live at