Rock 'n' roll was born in the 1950s through the give-and-take relationship between black and white culture in the segregated United States. Though Elvis Presley, a Southern white with a gift for singing black rhythm & blues, emerged in 1955 as rock's first great star, the foundation for rock's explosion was built a few years earlier by two Los Angeles teenagers, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. They became rock 'n' roll's first great, and its most important, songwriting and record producing team.