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.
Chilton, who died Wednesday from a heart attack, was the lead singer of the '60s teenage band the Box Tops and the '70s power pop group Big Star. He joined Fresh Air for two interview, first in 1991 and again in 2000. Today, we remember the cult musician.
Vic Chesnutt was paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 18, but he's still a massively productive songwriter. Chesnutt has fifteen albums under his belt and his songs have been covered by Madonna, Smashing Pumpkins, and R.E.M. His new album, At The Cut, is a collaboration with Guy Picciotto of the band Fugazi. (
Guitarist Link Wray died on November 5 at the age of 76. He's credited with inventing the power chord in the 1950s. His first big recording hit was the 1958 instrumental Rumble. When he went to record the song, he wasn't happy with the sound on the amp, so he pierced holes in the speaker cone to create additional distortion. Guitarists including Pete Townshend and John Lennon were influenced by his work. Wray's other hits include Rawhide and the Batman theme.
He died of cancer Saturday, Sept. 27. He was best known for his groundbreaking 1950s work in the Rock 'n' Roll Trio and recorded many rockabilly classics including: Tear It Up, Honey Hush, Lonesome Train (On a Lonesome Track) and The Train Kept A-Rollin'.
Singer, songwriter and guitarist Carl Perkins died yesterday at the age of 65. He died of complications from a series of strokes. Perkins is the pioneer of a style of music called Rockabilly, which is described as "a country man's song with a black man's rhythm." He's the man who wrote "Blue Suede Shoes," the hit song sung by Elvis Presley which became the first Sun label record to sell over a million copies.
Today, we remember Sonny Bono. He died yesterday afternoon in a skiing accident. He was 62. Bono was completing his second term in the U.S. Congress. He was the second most-requested speaker at House members events during the 1996 campaign season. Although he ended up in politics, many of his know him best for his work in music and show business. Terry Gross spoke with him in 1991, three years before he was elected to Congress. (Rebroadcast of 7/17 and 7/18 1991).