You’re probably wondering why I’m writing about pop music. How does this relate to survival on our seas, you ask? Jerry Leiber’s song writing partner is Mike Stoller, survivor of the Andrea Doria collision. In fact, when Stoller arrived as a battered survivor at a New York pier, Leiber delivered him great news. The famous dialogue has been published many times, including the Leiber-Stoller autobiography, “Hound Dog” and in my book, “Alive on the Andrea Doria”.
My friend, Mike Stoller, described the scene and the dialogue to me during an interview for a chapter in my book:In New York, my partner, Jerry, was waiting for us outside customs, along with Meryl’s (former wife) family. it was wonderful to see Jerry coming down the doctor agreed us. He grabbed me and said, “Oh, man, you’re okay! Hey, Mike, we’ve got a smash hit!” ” No kidding?” I said. ” I’m not kidding…’Hound Dog.'” ” Big Mama Thornton?” ” No, some white kid named Elvis Presley.” Our rhythm and blues song was now number one on the pop charts.
To read the article from the Los Angeles Times about Leiber’s rich contribution not only to the legendary duo, but also to the world of pop music: