GRAMMY Winner Jerry Leiber Dies
GRAMMY-winning songwriter/producer and Recording Academy Trustees Award recipient Jerry Leiber died today of cardiopulmonary failure. He was 78. Considered one of the most important songwriters in the history of rock and roll, Leiber, together with Mike Stoller, crafted hits such as the Coasters' "Yakety Yak" and "Young Blood," Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," and Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock," among many others. In 1995 the duo's catalog of hits was turned into a Broadway musical with "Smokey Joe's Cafe — The Songs Of Leiber & Stoller," which that same year garnered Leiber a GRAMMY Award for Best Musical Show Album. "With a career that spanned musicals to R&B and rock and roll, Leiber's lyrical talent along with Stoller's composing skill helped shape the music of the '50s and '60s," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "Together, they were an extraordinary team that generated a rich and diverse musical catalog that leaves an indelible imprint on our cultural history." (8/22)
Bronfman, Cooper Switch Roles At WMG
Edgar Bronfman Jr. is stepping down from his role as CEO of Warner Music Group and will move into the position of chairman, replacing Stephen Cooper, who will assume CEO responsibilities, according to Billboard.biz. As a new result, Lyor Cohen, chairman and CEO of WMG's recorded music division, and Cameron Strang, chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell Music, will report directly to Cooper. In related news, Thomas H. Lee, chairman and CEO of Thomas H. Lee Capital Management LLC, has been elected as a new director to the WMG board. (8/22)
RIM To Launch BlackBerry Music Service?
Research in Motion is in discussions with record labels to launch a BlackBerry music service, according to multiple sources reported by Billboard.biz. The music service would run on the smart phone's instant messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger, and would offer subscribers approximately 50 songs at a time, which they could access on their phones and share with other subscribers through the messaging service. According to the report, Research in Motion is in at least late-stage negotiations with all four major labels, and may have already signed on at least one of them. (8/22)