On this Valentine’s Day: The “Thanks for the Memory” Oscar-Winning Lyricist who Wrote Heartfelt Love Songs Was Awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame over 29 Years Ago But, the Wicked-Hearted Hollywood Chamber Refuses to Install “#LeosLostStar”

SHERMAN OAKS, CA / ACCESSWIRE / February 11, 2020 / On the eve of Saint Valentine’s Day, Leo Robin Music wishes everyone true romantic love like that celebrated in the heartfelt lyrics of legendary lyricist Leo Robin’s hit songs he wrote with great composers including “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” with Jule Styne, “Easy Living” with Ralph Rainger, “For Every Man There’s a Woman” with Harold Arlen, “In Love in Vain” with Jerome Kern, “Love Is Just around the Corner” with Lew E. Gensler, “My Heart Won’t Say Goodbye” with Sigmund Romberg, “My Ideal” with Richard A. Whiting, “No Love, No Nothin'” with Harry Warren, “Oh, but I Do!” with Arthur Schwartz and “Prisoner of Love” with Russ Columbo.

Robin lived a lifetime of love through his work and his marriages. In 1916, he became a cub reporter for the Pittsburgh Chronicle-Telegraph where he wrote an “Advice to the Lovelorn” column, which he later said helped him with his love songs. Cherie Redmond once confessed that she fell in love with Leo’s lyrics before falling in love with him. “I knew I had to marry the man who wrote such wonderful love songs,” Cherie once said about him. After being together for more than 25 years, what one could call a lengthy courtship, on August 26, 1979, Leo married Cherie. Unfortunately, on December 29, 1984, after having been married only a little over five years, Cherie would lose Leo and the world would lose a giant.

This Hollywood couple experienced requited love throughout their years together that would endure for the remainder of their lives, an unusual feat for any couple let alone a Hollywood one. It’s only human for anyone to want to be in love But who wants to be in love in vain?” These searing lyrics written by lyricist Leo Robin from his ballad “In Love in Vain” perfectly describe the conundrum between love and unrequited love. Cherie’s love of Leo and his music drove her desire to ensure that Leo would be acknowledged for his many achievements. Her last act of love for Leo was to cement his legacy in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1988, both Cherie Robin, and actor, Bob Hope, sponsored Leo for a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But all too soon after that, Cherie, herself, already grief-stricken, was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Lena Horne singing the ballad “In Love in Vain,” composed by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Leo Robin,
from her 1966 studio album Lena in Hollywood, arranged by Ray Ellis

Tragically, Cherie Robin never received the good news about Leo’s star because she passed away on May 28, 1989, a little over one year before the letter from the Hollywood Chamber was sent out on June 18, 1990 announcing that her husband had been awarded the star. As a result of these ill-fated circumstances, Leo’s star was never installed. On July 6, 2017, Leo’s grandson discovered Leo’s long-lost star when he stumbled upon it on the internet. When, later that day, the grandson called the Hollywood Chamber and spoke to Ms. Martinez, he told her about his discovery of Leo’s long-lost star; she officially confirmed it was true and said, “Nothing like this has ever happened before.” Almost two years later on May 23, 2019, Ashley Lee from the Los Angeles Times first broke the grandson’s serendipitous discovery in her story, “Leo Robin never got his Walk of Fame star. Now his grandson is fighting for it.”

When, more than 29 years ago, the acceptance letter was mailed to Mrs. Robin (deceased) and subsequently returned to sender, Ms. Lee reported what happened, “The envelope was returned to its sender and has since remained in the Chamber of Commerce’s records.” She also tweeted, “at first I didn’t believe that Leo Robin’s star had really slipped through the cracks” with a photo of that acceptance letter and the envelope stamped “RETURN TO SENDER.” The Hollywood Chamber made no attempt to notify the co-sponsor, Bob Hope, who has four stars on the Walk. In a press release issued by Leo Robin Music on June 26, 2019, the following was said about the Hollywood Chamber, “What the Chamber did after the letter was (marked) “Return to Sender” was not customary practice but smacks of disregard for the individuals honored by the Walk of Fame Committee.”

Caption: Leo Robin and wife Cherie Redmond at their wedding on August 26, 1979. (Scott Ora / Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Leo Robin wrote the lyrics to the torchy ballad “In Love in Vain,” composed by Jerome Kern, which was introduced by Louanne Hogan dubbing for the star Jeanne Crain in the 1946 musical film Centennial Summer directed by Otto Preminger. It was produced in response to the hugely successful 1944 MGM musical film Meet Me in St. Louis, which starred Judy Garland. In the Best Years: Going to the Movies, 1945-1946, Charles Affron and Mirella Jona Affron give their critique of the scene with this song, “Centennial Summer did not, however, boast a Deanna Durbin or a Judy Garland, leading ladies of spectacular musical talent. Moviegoers had to make do with Jeanne Crain lip-synching Kern’s [and Robin’s] wonderful ballad “In Love in Vain.””

This song whose heartfelt lyrics about the aspirations of love have been performed through the ages by a wide spectrum of entertainers from the most celebrated jazz musicians such as pianists Bill Evans and Nina Simone and vocalists such as Bobby Darin, Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan, Lena Horne, Margaret Whiting, Eydie Gorme, Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest to actresses such as Diahann Carroll, Doris Day and Jane Powell.

Because everyone loved Robin and his works, he experienced outpourings of love during his lifetime and posthumously. However, after giving so much to Hollywood – which some might call Leo’s first true love, he would finally experience unrequited love from the black-hearted officials at the Hollywood Chamber who are wrongfully refusing to install Robin’s star. In contradiction of its mission, the Hollywood Chamber is not doing justice to the nomination of Robin. Instead we are witness to the injustice of Leo’s long-lost star and the Hollywood Chamber’s refusal to honor their commitment to Robin’s memory. Moreover, in a press release issued by Leo Robin Music on July 30, 2019, the following was said about the Hollywood Chamber, “What a strange twist in irony; the Chamber, which administers this famous sidewalk landmark and usually assists honorees, performed the opposite of its mission and public expectations. Instead of assisting, the Chamber obstructed installation by ignoring emails for a whole year and failing to honor its promise for the Walk of Fame Committee to consider the grandson’s request for the star to be placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”

Throughout the past sixty years, the Chamber has successfully kept track of 2,686 honorees and has seen to it that each and every one of them received a star, which was then successfully installed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — except for Robin. On this day of the hearts, one can’t help but conclude that the good-hearted Robin has been treated unjustly by the Hollywood Chamber. Upon the passing of Johnny Grant on January 9, 2008, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, “Angelenos will always remember Johnny as the heart of Hollywood Boulevard, the dignified guardian of its gilded prestige and the human shine behind every one of its stars…” Johnny Grant, who was Chairman of the 1990 Walk of Fame Committee and signed the acceptance letter addressed to Mrs. Robin, must be looking down and brokenhearted by the wickedness with which the Hollywood Chamber is spurning the decision by the 1990 Walk of Fame Committee to award a star to Leo Robin. It’s time for the Hollywood Chamber to respect the decision made by the Walk of Fame Committee and honor its obligation to put Leo’s long-lost star in its rightful place on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

For more information, visit the Newsroom at the official website of Leo Robin at http://leorobin.com/.

About Leo Robin Music

Leo Robin Music owns the copyrights of songs written by Leo Robin, who was known as the “Dean of Lyric Writers.” He created lyrics that have inspired popular music and become part of the fabric of our culture. Considered to be one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th Century, he wrote many of the country’s most popular jazz standards including “Blue Hawaii,” “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” “Easy Living,” “If I Should Lose You,” “My Ideal,” “Prisoner of Love” and “Thanks for the Memory.”


Scott D. Ora
President – Leo Robin Music
(818) 618-2572
Leo Robin (@LeoRobinMusic) / Twitter

SOURCE: Leo Robin Music

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