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Poets and Prophets: Salute to Legendary Songwriter Mike Stoller


2:30-4:00 pm

1 Hr 30 Min

This event has passed.

Free for Members


Mike Stoller, who wrote and produced some of the most enduring classic songs of the 1950s and ’60s with his partner, the late Jerry Leiber, will make a rare Nashville appearance to discuss his legendary music 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 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 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, which 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. Many of their songs reached the upper end of the country charts, including Mickey Gilley’s version of “Stand by Me,” Billy “Crash” Craddock’s cover of “Ruby, Baby,” Hank Snow’s recording of “The Man Who Robbed the Bank at Santa Fe,” and six Presley sides. Wanda Jackson’s 1961 take on “Riot in Cell Block #9” is a favorite among rockabilly fans. 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 vintage photos, film, and recordings. After the program, Stoller will sign commemorative Hatch Show Print posters. Ford Theater. Included with Museum admission. Program ticket required. Free to Museum members.

Locals may call (615) 416-2001 to reserve tickets with Pay What You Want admission. All others may reserve tickets to the program by purchasing Museum admission through the “Get Tickets” button at the top of the page.



When purchasing admission:

  • select the date of this program,
  • select a gallery entry time of 1:00 p.m. or earlier,
  • select your Experience, and
  • select the Poets and Prophets program as an add-on.

Additional Details

  • Live Performance

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