You don’t need to be a genius to see that the music industry, like the other branches of the media, is driven almost entirely by desire for profit. Perhaps that is not an entirely bad thing, but with the continuing consolidation of media companies, the bottom line really means bottom, as in lowest common denominator.
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.