SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE Plays the State Theatre in Easton Tonight
Smokey Joe's Café is a compelling rock 'n' roll musical revue that encompasses the timeless songs of the inventors of this music genre, Leiber and Stoller. Featuring nearly 40 of the greatest songs ever recorded including hits as: On Broadway, Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock, Stand By Me, Spanish Harlem, Love Potion #9, and Young Blood, Yakety Yak, I'm A Woman. Smokey Joe's Café transforms classic pop music into compelling musical theatre and each song is a trip down the corridors of American culture.
The show will play tonight, February 8 at 7:30 PM. at the State Theatre in Easton, PA. Tickets are $50 & $45 and can be purchased by visiting the State Theatre Box Office, 453 Northampton Street, Easton, by calling 1-800-999-STATE, 610-252-3132 or online at www.statetheatre.org.
Nominated for 7 Tony Awards, Best Musical, Best Featured Actor in a Musical, three nominations for Best Featured Actress In a Musical, Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical, Smokey Joe's Cafe is a musical revue showcasing 39 pop standards written by songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller won a Grammy award in 1996. In revue format with no unifying theme the songs are presented by various members of the cast in various combinations, with no dialogue.
Leiber and Stoller's initial successes were as the writers of such crossover hit songs as "Hound Dog" and "Kansas City." Later in the 1950s, particularly through their work with The Coasters, they created a string of ground-breaking hits that are some of the most entertaining in rock and roll, by using the humorous vernacular of the teenagers sung in a style that was openly theatrical rather than personal, songs that include "Young Blood," "Searchin'," and "Yakety Yak." They were the first to surround black music with elaborate production values, enhancing its emotional power with The Drifters in "There Goes My Baby" and influencing Phil Spector who worked with them on recordings of the Drifters and Ben E. King. Leiber and Stoller went into the record business and, focusing on the "girl group" sound, released some of the greatest classics of the Brill Building period.
They wrote hits including "Love Me", "Loving You", "Don't", "Jailhouse Rock", and "King Creole", among others, for Elvis Presley.
The pair were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
In the 1950s the rhythm and blues of the black entertainment world, up to then restricted to black clubs, was increasing its audience-share in areas previously reserved for traditional pop music, and the phenomenon now known as "crossover" became apparent.
Leiber and Stoller affected the course of modern popular music in 1957 when they wrote and produced the crossover double-sided hit by The Coasters, "Young Blood"/"Searchin'." They released "Yakety Yak," which was a mainstream hit, as was the follow-up, "Charlie Brown." This was followed by "Along Came Jones," "Poison Ivy," "Shoppin' for Clothes," and "Little Egypt (Ying-Yang)."
They produced and co-wrote "There Goes My Baby," a hit for The Drifters in 1959, which introduced the use of strings for saxophone-like riffs, a tympani for the Brazilian baion rhythm they incorporated, and lavish production values into the established black R&B sound, laying the groundwork for the soul music that would follow.
In 2009, Simon & Schuster published Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography, written by Leiber and Stoller with David Ritz.