Tuesday, April 06, 2010


American composer, lyricist and songwriter Leo Robin was born on April 6, 1900 in Pittsburgh, Pennnsylvania, and he is probably best known for collaborating with Ralph Rainger on the 1938 Oscar-winning song "Thanks for the Memory" sung by Bob Hope in the film The Big Broadcast of 1938.

Robin studied at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Carnegie Tech's drama school. He later worked as a reporter and as a publicist.
He moved to New York and began writing lyrics for songs by various composers. His first success came with the song “Looking Around”, with composer Richard Myers. Robin soon turned his attention to the Broadway stage and with composers like Vincent Youmans, produced Just Fancy, Alley Oop and Hit the Deck.
In 1930, Robin had another hit song featured in the Broadway revue Tattle Tales, entitled “I'll Take an Option on You”, composed by Ralph Rainger. This was the beginning of a great Robin and Rainger team. Under contract with Paramount Studios, Robin and Rainger moved to Hollywood and produced some of the most memorable film scores from the era, including "She Done Him Wrong", "She Loves Me Not", "Shoot the Works", "Here is My Heart", "The Big Broadcast of 1937", "The Big Broadcast of 1938", "Waikiki Wedding", "Give Me A Sailor" and "Paris Honeymoon".
In 1939, Robin and Rainger left Paramount and signed with 20th Century Fox, where they continued to contribute songs to films. Robin and Rainger wrote some of the greatest standards from the era, including “Please”, “I Have to Have You”, “Beyond the Blue Horizon”, “June in January”, “I Don’t Want to Make History, I Just Want to Make Love”, “A Rhyme for Love”, “Here Lies Love”, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Love”, “With Every Breath I Take”, “Here’s Love in Your Eye” and “Blue Hawaii.”
In 1938, the pair received the Academy Award for Best Song for “Thanks For the Memory”. Robin's first hits came in 1926 with the Broadway production "By the Way", with hits in several other musicals immediately following, such as Bubbling Over (1926), Hit the Deck, Judy (1927), and Hello Yourself (1928). In 1932, Robin went out to Hollywood to work for Paramounty Pictures.

His principal collaborator was composer Ralph Rainger, together they became one of the leading film songwriting duos of the 1930s and early 1940s, writing over 50 hits. Robin & Rainger worked together until Rainger's untimely death in a plane crash on 23 October 1942.

Robin collaborated on the score for the 1955 musical film "My Sister Eileen" with Jule Styne, then officially retired from the movie industry. He is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 1972. Robin wrote many popular songs, mostly for film and television, including "Louise," "Beyond the Blue Horizon," (written for the film "Monte Carlo"), "Prisoner of Love," "Blue Hawaii" and Bob Hope's signature tune, "Thanks for the Memory".

Robin died of heart failure in Woodland Hills, California on December 1984 at the age of 84.

Bob Hope sings "Thanks for the Memory"

Reference - Wikipédia

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