Red Bird Records did not end well for Leiber and Stoller. In their account in Hound Dog: The Leiber & Stoller Autobiography
, they tell the story of how George Goldner got them into deeper hot water than they could handle. After picking "Chapel Of Love
" out of a stack of demos, which went on to become Red Bird's first hit, Goldner came to dominate the operations of Red Bird. Reportedly he had a gambling problem and got into trouble with loan sharks, who eventually turned over his account to the mob. This led to Leiber one day being accosted on the street by a couple of strong guys who steered him to a meeting with his new "business partner," a threatening character named "Sal."
The second blow for Red Bird was when Atlantic executives asked for a meeting to discuss a possible merger. Goldner sabotaged the effort, and Leiber and Stoller later figured out that it was because Goldner's embezzlement might have been exposed if the deal had gone through.
The ending of Leiber and Stoller's Red Bird Records ordeal happened when they sold their share of the business to Goldner - for the humble sum of one dollar. The next day, they built a brick wall separating their offices from Goldner's. Goldner kept the company afloat for a few months, then sold out to Mercury Records producer Shelby Singleton. Singleton would go on to make his own name in the music business, including producing such hits as "Harper Valley P.T.A.
" in 1968.