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Mike Stoller Awarded American Celebration Lifetime Achievement in the Arts


Mike Stoller, the Grammy Award winning composer who is one half of the legendary songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller, will be honored with Chapman University's 30th Annual American Celebration Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award at a Black-tie Gala to be held on Saturday, November 5, 2011 from 6:00 - 11:30 p.m. at Chapman Auditorium in Memorial Hall; Chapman University; One University Drive; Orange, CA 92866.

The Gala, an annual fundraiser for the Chapman Scholarship Fund, will kick off with a Champagne Reception for Event Sponsors at 6:00 p.m., followed by a fully costumed and choreographed Broadway-style show performed by students from Chapman's College of the Performing Arts at 7:00 p.m., dinner at 8:00 p.m., and dancing at 9:45 p.m. The Gala, which is open to the general public to attend, takes place in and around Chapman's Memorial Hall. Individual Tickets begin at $2,000, with tables ranging from $15,000 to $100,000. For tickets and further information, please call 714-744-7958, and visit online at

Wylie A. Aitken, Chair of the American Celebration Gala with his wife Bette Aitken, said: "I am pleased and honored to announce that Mike Stoller has been selected to receive Chapman's 2011 Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award. I cannot think of an entertainment figure more deserving of this award. Mike has accomplished so much as a songwriter. Not only has he established an incomparable legacy, but his eclectic talents continue to inspire an emerging generation of artists - many of whom attend Chapman University."

Wylie continued: "American Celebration has generated close to $20 million for student scholarships during its history, breaking all Orange County fundraising records and setting a new bar. Every dollar raised by American Celebration goes towards student scholarships. More than 85% of Chapman's students receive financial aid, and would not have access to a quality education without help."

Former recipients of the American Celebration Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award have included: Jerry Lewis, Mitzi Gaynor, Tommy Tune, Rita Moreno, Debbie Reynolds, William Friedkin and Sherry Lansing, Jane Seymore and James Keach, Doris Roberts, Gregory Hines, Nell Carter, Karl Malden, Gerald R. Molen, Natalie Cole and Donald O'Connor.

Mike Stoller is one half of the legendary songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller. Over the course of a 61 year partnership, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller created enduring classics in a variety of genres including Rhythm & Blues, Pop, Country, Jazz, Cabaret, and-perhaps most notably-Rock & Roll.

If Elvis Presley was the king of Rock & Roll, then Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller were certainly two of the most important powers behind that throne. It's impossible to think of Elvis without thinking of "Hound Dog," "Loving You," or "Jailhouse Rock"- all creations from the pen and piano of Leiber and Stoller.

To carry the analogy a step further, the court jesters of the Rock & Roll kingdom would have to be The Coasters. Leiber and Stoller wrote and produced all of The Coasters' hits, including "Searchin'," "Young Blood," "Yakety Yak," "Charlie Brown," "Along Came Jones," "Poison Ivy" and "Little Egypt."

But Elvis and The Coasters are only two of the acts whose careers skyrocketed because of Leiber and Stoller's creative partnership.

Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber began their partnership in 1950 at the age of 17 when they discovered that they had a mutual passion for Boogie Woogie and the Blues. By the time they were 20, Leiber and Stoller had seen their earliest songs recorded by such important blues artists as Jimmy Witherspoon, Little Esther, Amos Milburn, CharLes Brown, Little Willie Littlefield, Bull Moose Jackson, Linda Hopkins, Ray Charles, and Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton.

Leiber and Stoller's series of hits as both songwriters and record producers began with Big Mama Thornton's recording of "Hound Dog" in 1953. This record and others produced by them caught the attention of executives from Atlantic Records.

In 1955, Atlantic signed Leiber and Stoller to the first independent production deal, forever changing the course of the record industry. Leiber and Stoller's songs and productions were constantly on the charts during the next decade. Aside from The Coasters' many hits, there were Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," and "I (Who Have Nothing);" The Drifters' "There Goes My Baby," "Dance With Me" and "On Broadway;" as well as La Vern Baker's recording of "Saved" and Ruth Brown's "Lucky Lips."

During this same period, while Leiber and Stoller were producing The Clovers ("Love Potion # 9"), Jay and the Americans ("Only In America"), and Chuck Jackson ("I Keep Forgettin'"), other artists were having hits with Leiber and Stoller compositions. There was Wilbert Harrison with "Kansas City," The Drifters with "Fools Fall In Love," Dion DiMucchi with "Ruby Baby," Peggy Lee with "I'm A Woman" and Edith Piaf with "L'Homme a la Moto." Elvis Presley recorded more than 20 songs written by Leiber and Stoller, including "Hound Dog," "Love Me," "Loving You," "Jailhouse Rock," "Treat Me Nice," "Don't," "(You're So Square) Baby, I Don't Care," "Bossa Nova Baby," "Santa Claus Is Back In Town" and "Trouble."

In 1969, the team produced the Peggy Lee recording of their composition "Is That All There Is?" According to music critic Robert Palmer, "Is That All There Is?" was the song that "...clearly pointed to the direction their new work would take." It was this change in the creative style of Leiber and Stoller that prompted Palmer to write: "...the Golden Age of Rock & Roll had come to an end."

Leiber and Stoller have been the recipients of many awards and honors, including the following:
- 1985 - Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame
- 1987 - Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
- 1994 - Their star placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame & their handprints imbedded into the Hollywood Rockwalk
- 1995 - Grammy Award for Best Original Cast Album, Smokey Joe's Café
- 1999 - National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences Trustees Award - Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement
- 2000 - Johnny Mercer Award (National Academy of Popular Music)
- 2000 - Ivor Novello International Songwriters Award
- 2005 - World Soundtrack Award, Flanders International Film Festival

In March of 1995, Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller opened on Broadway at the Virginia Theatre. Comprised of 40 Leiber and Stoller songs, the show was nominated for seven Tony Awardsâ. Smokey Joe's Café would remain at the Virginia Theatre for over five years, becoming the longest-running musical revue in Broadway history, which it still is to this day. The show also played London's West End for two years, and has toured around the world.

In 2009, Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography, was published by Simon & Schuster. In 2010, Leiber and Stoller celebrated their 60th anniversary as a songwriting team. In April of 2011, the musical The People in the Picture, with music by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler and book and lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart, opened on Broadway at Studio 54. Mike Stoller is married to Jazz great, Corky Hale. To learn more about Mike Stoller, please visit <> .

Gala Vice Chairs are Mindy and Glenn B. Sterns. Gala Honorary Chairs are Julianne and George L. Argyros. The Gala Executive Committee includes: Marta and Raj Bhathal, Kathleen A. Bronstein, Kristin S. Crellin, Dee and Doy Henley, Donna and Dave Janes, Marybelle and S. Paul Musco and Ronald E. Soderling. The Gala Décor Committee consists of: Bette Aitken, Jill Bolton, Jim Burra, Kay Burra, Kristin S. Crellin, Shirley MacPherson, Rebecca McLarand and Mindy Stearns. The Gala Catering Committee includes: Bette Aitken, Marta Bhathal, Sally Crockett, Gina Lineberger and Mindy Stearns.

About Chapman University:
Chapman University, founded in 1861 and celebrating its 150th Anniversary this year, is one of the oldest, most prestigious private universities in California. Chapman's picturesque campus is located in the heart of Orange County - one of the nation's most exciting centers of arts, business, science and technology - and draws outstanding students from across the United States and around the world. Known for its blend of liberal arts and professional programs, Chapman University encompasses seven schools and colleges: Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences, George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics, Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, Schmid College of Science, College of Performing Arts, School of Law and College of Educational Studies. Named to the list of top universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review, Chapman University enrolls more than 6,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students. To learn more about Chapman University, please visit <> .

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