Twenty-nine years ago, Brooklynite Nate Sheff went on his first date with a girl named Mimi. He took her to The Bottom Line Cabaret, a hip, intimate and affordable new venue for live music on the corner of West Fourth Street, in the then-desolate West Village. Folk-rocker Eric Anderson was headlining. There was no drink minimum.
A few weeks ago, Sheff took his and Mimi's elder daughter Shana and her husband to the Bottom Line for a WFUV-FM listening party. Sheff spotted Bottom Line co-owner and Brooklyn native Allan Pepper at the door.
When two Jewish songwriters teamed up with a former “Shabbos goy” in 1956, it helped change the face of popular music.
The “Shabbos goy” was Elvis Presley (who died 24 years ago last week).
When Elvis covered “Hound Dog,” a rhythm-and-blues song composed by Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber — originally recorded in 1953 by Big Mama Thornton — it propelled the young Presley’s career to new heights.
But perhaps equally as important, it brought Leiber and Stoller to the attention of top music executives.