"I'd never write such a dumb line," Leiber later told the Chicago Tribune.
"By 'Big Mama'?," the surprised Stoller asked. No, Leiber replied, by "some white guy."
"Hound Dog" not only placed them firmly into the early days of rock 'n' roll but Leiber-Stoller also hooked up with Presley, whom they grew to greatly admire.
"Once the rhythm section started to cook, he would just start singing," Leiber said of Presley in a conversation with Joe Smith, author of "Off the Record: An Oral History of Pop Music" (1988). "And the man never made a bad take. One was better than the other, and different than the other. He was like an Olympic champion. He could sing all day."
Leiber-Stoller wrote for several Presley movies, including "Loving You," "Jailhouse Rock" and "King Creole."
To write songs for "Jailhouse Rock," Leiber and Stoller flew to New York City, but they were having such a great time going to jazz clubs that the producer, Jean Aberbach, who with his brother Julian published Presley's music, showed up at their hotel and demanded to know where his songs were. Not satisfied with their response, Aberbach shoved a sofa in front of the door, plunked down on it and said: "I'm not leaving until I get my songs."
Five hours and four songs later, Aberbach left and Leiber and Stoller were back out on the town. The songs were "Jailhouse Rock," "Treat Me Nice," "(You're So Square) Baby, I Don't Care" and "I Want to be Free."
Presley also recorded Leiber and Stoller's "Don't," "Trouble," "Love Me," "Fools Fall in Love" and many other of their songs.
But eventually Leiber and Stoller grew tired of the imperious manner of Presley's manager, "Colonel" Tom Parker, whom Leiber later called "a foul, greedy man." While writing songs for "King Creole," they refused to sign a contract, walking away from what they called "a license to print money" that their association with Presley had meant to them.
The songwriting duo often said that they had their best time writing for the Coasters, whom they regarded as their "voice." They wrote a string of "playlets" for the group: vignettes that were full of youth, rebellion and, as Leiber would say, "making mischief."
"Charlie Brown" is about a juvenile delinquent: "He's gonna get caught — Just you wait and see." And everyone remembers Charlie's reply, delivered by bass Will "Dub" Jones': "Why's ev'rybody always pickin' on me?"
"Poison Ivy" is a sly allusion to a social disease: "You're gonna need an ocean of calamine lotion."
And the playful "Yakety Yak" captures perfectly a slacker youth who is indignant at parental authority.
"Yakety Yak" came about when Stoller was fooling around on the piano one day, and Leiber shouted out a line: "Take out the papers and the trash!"
Stoller bantered back: "Or you don't get no spendin' cash ... ."
The rest of the song came quickly, including these lyrics:
Get all that garbage out of sight,
Or you don't go out Friday night.