Leiber, the lyricist behind "Jailhouse Rock," "Yakety Yak" and "Stand By Me," died Monday. He was 78. Fresh Air remembers the songwriter with excerpts from a 1991 interview with Leiber and his songwriting partner Mike Stoller.
Elvis Presley is constantly being discovered by new generations, and by older fans in new stages of life. Critic Milo Miles talks about the surprise rewards he found while listening to the new reissue Elvis Is Back! — and during his first visit to Graceland in Memphis.
Elvis Presley confidant Jerry Schilling talks about his new book, Me and a Guy Named Elvis: My Lifelong Friendship with Elvis Presley. When Schilling was 12 years old, he met the teenaged Elvis Presley at a north Memphis pickup football game. As Presley rose to fame, Schilling joined him on the rise, eventually becoming creative affairs director for Elvis Presley Enterprises.
Music writer Peter Guralnick has written volume two of his biography of Elvis Presley. "Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley." (Little, Brown and Company). Part One of his biography is, "Last Train to Memphis."
Guitarist and record producer Scotty Moore, was Elvis Presley's first guitarist and manager and one of the early influences of the rock guitar sound. He has co-written an account of his work with the King of Rock'n'Roll, entitled "That's Alright, Elvis." (Schirmer Books) He also has a new CD out of collaborations he and drummer DJ Fontana did with various musicians including Keith Richards, Tracy Nelson and Cheap Trick, among others. The CD is entitled "All the King's Men." (RCA)
Rock historian Ed Ward takes us behind the scenes of the Million Dollar Quartet session, which featured Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and others playing in the Sun Records studios in 1956.
Author Peter Guralnick has written the first of a two part biography of Elvis Presley, retelling the story of the King's childhood "soberly, thoroughly and unsensationally" (says the ALA Booklist). "Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley" tells much of the story through quotes both from Elvis and people who knew him then. It attempts to portray Elvis' human side, rather than the mythical figure he has become.
Rock musician Marshall Crenshaw. According to The New York Times, many critics have ranked Crenshaw"among the finest rock artists of the last dozen years." Now he has written a book. It's a reference guide to Rock 'n' Roll in the movies ("Hollywood Rock" HarperPerennial). According to his longtime bass player Graham Maby, Crenshaw has an encyclopedic knowledge of rock music. And he knows about the rock and roll movie genre from first-hand experience. He played Buddy Holly in the 1987 movie "La Bamba" about musician Ritchie Valens.
Singer, actress, dancer, Ann-Margret (no last name necessary) has written her autobiography, "Ann-Margret: My Story," (with Todd Gold, Putnam). In the book she writes about her relationship with Elvis Presley, her battle with alcohol abuse, and the stage accident that almost ended her career. Ann-Margret has appeared in the movies, "Bye Bye Birdie," "Carnal Knowledge," "Tommy," and others.
Record Producer Ernst Jorgensen. He's just put together a 5-CD box set of Elvis recordings from the 1950s, called "Elvis: The King of Rock 'n' Roll--The Complete '50's Masters." It includes several alternate takes, early demos, and some previously unreleased tracks.
Rock and roll songwriting team Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. They're responsible for many of the greatest hits in rock history, among them "Hound Dog," "Yakity Yak," and "Stand By Me." Rhino records has just released a collection of their songs, called "There's A Riot Goin' On."
Terry interviews writer Greil Marcus about his new book, "Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of a Cultural Obsession." (see above) Marcus has written a biography of Presley that begins at his death. He documents the many-faceted cultural obsession with Elvis that has arisen since his death.
Television critic David Bianculli goes out on a limb, and reviews two live shows before they air..."Paul Simon Live in Central Park," which airs Thursday night on HBO, and "The Elvis Files," a syndicated show that tries to prove that Elvis Presley is still alive.
Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews the new albums from The Residents and Kris Kristofferson. The Residents are a bizarre California-based art band, who make spooky, dreary, multi-layered music. Recently, the Residents have been releasing a series of albums paying homage to great American composers and performers. After having covered artists such as John Phillip Sousa and Hank Wiliams, the group has just issued "The King and I," their homage to Elvis Presley (it's on Enigma). Kristofferson's new album is called "Third World Warrior," (on Mercury).
Television critic David Bianculli previews "Elvis," the new ABC series based on the life of the King of rock and roll. David says you would expect it to be horrible, but it turns out to be pretty good.