Mike Stoller of the famous Lieber-Stoller songwriting team survives the Andrea Doria sinking 60 years ago

July 25, 2016

On July 25th of 1956 at 11:10pm

The Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria collides in a heavy fog

with the Swedish American Line's icebreaker Stockholm

in the Atlantic 45 miles south of Nantucket Island

The event kills 52 instantly and causes the Andrea Doria

to sink by morning at 10:09 a.m. on July 26


The Stockholm went into service in 1948

was a more modest ocean liner and less than half the tonnage

It carried 747 passengers and crew on its fateful voyage

The Andrea Doria held 1,706 passengers and crew in its final journey


Fortunately the Stockholm which had suffered a nonfatal blow

was able to lend its lifeboats to the evacuation effort


Several ships heard the Doria‘s mayday and came to assist


At 2:00 a.m. on July 26, the Ile de France another great ocean liner

arrived and took charge of the rescue effort

It was the greatest civilian maritime rescue in history

and 1,660 lives were saved

The Stockholm limped back to New York


On board is Mike Stoller

who would go on to become

one of the famous Lieber-Stoller songwriting team


Lyricist Jerome "Jerry" Leiber (April 25, 1933 - August 22, 2011)

and composer Mike Stoller (born March 13, 1933)

were American songwritings and record producing partners

Jerry and Mike found initial successes as the writers

of such crossover hit songs as "Hound Dog" (1952) and "Kansas City" (1952)


Later in the 1950s particularly through their work with The Coasters

they created a string of ground-breaking hits

including "Young Blood" (1957) "Searchin'" (1957) and "Yakety Yak" (1958) that are some of the most entertaining songs in rock and roll

Jerry and Mike were the first to surround black music

with elaborate production values enhancing its emotional power

with The Drifters in "There Goes My Baby" (1958)

which influenced Phil Spector

who studied their productions while playing guitar on their sessions


Leiber and Stoller wrote hits for Elvis Presley including "Love Me" (1956) "Jailhouse Rock" (1957) "Loving You" "Don't" and "King Creole"

They also collaborated with other writers on such songs as

"On Broadway" written with Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil

"Stand By Me" written with Ben E. King

"Young Blood" written with Doc Pomus

"Spanish Harlem" co-written by Leiber and Phil Spector

They were sometimes credited under the pseudonym 'Elmo Glick'

In 1964 they launched Red Bird Records with George Goldner

and focusing on the "girl group" sound

released some of the greatest classics of the Brill Building period

Leiber and Stoller wrote or co-wrote over 70 chart hits

They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985

and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987

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