Mike Stoller featured in The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Poets and Prophets Series

(above) Michael Gray and Mike Stoller

The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum featured 1985 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee Mike Stoller in its in-depth interview series Poets and Prophets. The series features songwriters who have made significant contributions to country music. The program was hosted by Vice President of Museum Services Michael Gray in the museum’s Ford Theater and included vintage photos, audio and film clips from Stoller’s career. It was filmed and will premiere at a later date as part of the museum’s Live at the Hall digital programs series, available to stream on the museum’s website.

Legendary songwriter Stoller, who wrote and produced some of the most enduring classic songs of the 1950s and ’60s with his partner, the late Jerry Leiber, made a rare Nashville appearance to discuss his legendary music career.

The songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller 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, which became an enormous pop, R&B and country hit for Country Music Hall of Fame member 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.
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). Atlantic Records signed Leiber and Stoller to one of the music industry’s first independent production deals, which led to them writing and producing more than a dozen hit singles for the Coasters, including "Charlie Brown" and "Yakety Yak." A 1954 hit written for the Robins, "Smokey Joe’s Cafe," later became the title of a popular Broadway musical based on the Leiber and Stoller songbook.

Leiber and Stoller were the recipients of the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s most esteemed honor, the Johnny Mercer Award, in 2000 and are featured in “The Power of Song: A Songwriters Hall of Fame Exhibit” currently residing at Nashville’s Belmont University’s Lila D. Bunch Library through the end of April. 

In attendance were Belmont’s James Elliott and Drew Ramsey, Co-Chairs & Professiors of Songwriting, Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business and SHOF inductee Steve Dorff.