On this April Fools' Day to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce: Don't Play Us For A Fool! Install the Star, "#LeosLostStar," on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that was Awarded to the "Thanks for the Memory" Oscar-Winning Lyricist More Than 30 Years Ago
*SHERMAN OAKS, CA / ACCESSWIRE / April 1, 2021 /* On this April Fools' Day, Leo Robin Music will not be played for a fool by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in the controversy between Leo Robin Music and the Hollywood Chamber over the star awarded to lyricist Leo Robin on the Hollywood Walk of Fame more than 30 years ago but never installed. This dispute arises because the Hollywood Chamber is not honoring the decision made by the 1990 Walk of Fame Committee to award a star to Leo Robin. This follies on the Hollywood Walk of Fame reminds us of an old film. Hal Skelly plays a clown who performs in his bicycle riding act the usual comedic role of a fool with distinctive makeup and costume, ludicrous antics and buffoonery while he sings the obscure gem "Never Say Die-Dee-Die, Dum-Dee-Dum, Do-Dee-Do" (aka "Never Say Die"), composed by Newell Chase with lyrics by Leo Robin, in the 1930 film Behind the Make-Up.
Hal Skelly plays a clown who performs in his bicycle riding act the usual comedic role of a fool with distinctive makeup and costume,
ludicrous antics and buffoonery while he sings the obscure gem "Never Say Die-Dee-Die, Dum-Dee-Dum, Do-Dee-Do" (aka "Never Say Die"),
composed by Newell Chase with lyrics by Leo Robin, in the 1930 film Behind the Make-Up
This follies on the Hollywood Walk of Fame began more than 30 years ago, in 1988, when both Cherie Robin, and actor, Bob Hope, wanted to see to it that Leo would be acknowledged for the legacy that Roy Trakin, who is the crème de la crème of entertainment journalism, reported on September 30, 2019 in his Variety article, "Thanks for the Memory: How Leo Robin Helped Usher In the Golden Age of Song in Film." To this end, Cherie Robin and Bob Hope sponsored Leo for a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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. . "I do think it was meant to be," said the grandson of discovering the star. "It's important to me because it was important to my grandmother to pay tribute to Leo's career in this way. And she took the time, she followed all the rules. My grandmother did everything right except live long enough."
Ashley Lee from the Los Angeles Times first broke on May 23, 2019 this intriguing story, Leo Robin never got his Walk of Fame star. Now his grandson is fighting for it, about the grandson's serendipitous discovery on July 6, 2017 of Leo's long-lost star which he believe got lost because "[The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce]...made this 30-year-old mistake," Ms. Lee quoting him. In 1988, both Robin's wife, Cherie Robin, and actor, Bob Hope, sponsored Leo for a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They followed the instructions and mailed in the application approximately five years after Robin's passing so that he would be eligible to be nominated for a star as soon as possible. But all too soon after that, Cherie, herself, already grief-stricken, was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
In the wake of the release of this story last year by The Times, Leo Robin Music was outraged to learn that the Hollywood Chamber made a mistake with handling their own mail more than 30 years ago. Ms. Lee reported, "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." Ms. Lee explained the Chamber's view, "A mistake it was not, noted (Ana) Martinez to The Times. Back in 1989, before the ease of email and cell phones, honorees were not as repeatedly and actively pursued to secure their star as they are today. That means no follow-up letters and no calls to co-signers, even if Robin's application was co-signed by (Bob) Hope, who has four stars on the Walk." *Leo Robin Music will not be played for a fool with such excuses!*
Roy Trakin, in his crisp and inimitable style, gives perspective when Leo Robin first came to Hollywood, "In 1928, Robin was recruited by Hollywood as a certified "hit-maker" at the dawn of the sound era, hired by Paramount Pictures, and paired with Richard Whiting (Margaret's father) for the studio's first musical, "Innocents of Paris," released in 1929, which also marked the American debut for French crooner Maurice Chevalier. The dapper entertainer's U.S. career was launched with what would become his signature song, "Louise," featuring those memorable Leo Robin lyrics… "Every little breeze seems to whisper Louise." Soon afterwards, Robin would write the score with the gem "Never Say Die-Dee-Die, Dum-Dee-Dum, Do-Dee-Do" for the 1930 drama film Behind the Make-Up starring Hal Skelly, William Powell, Kay Francis, and Fay Wray, and based on the short story "The Feeder" by Mildred Cram. This was the first of seven in which Powell and Francis co-starred.
Meanwhile, in contradiction to its mission, the Hollywood Chamber is not doing justice to the nomination of Leo 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. It has always been true when a letter has been "Return to Sender," the sender will verify the address and resend it. In 1990, the Hollywood Chamber obstructed installation of the star when it placed the acceptance letter that was returned to sender in its files and made no attempt to resend it. The Hollywood Chamber made no attempt to notify the sponsor, Bob Hope, who was one of the most famous entertainers in the world at the time. The Hollywood Chamber must have had Bob Hope's number from their own dealings with him. What the Hollywood Chamber did after the letter was "Return to Sender" was not customary practice but smacks of disregard for the individuals honored by the Walk of Fame Committee.* Don't play us for a fool with such buffoonery!*
What happened after the grandson spoke to the Hollywood Chamber over the past three years - where it obstructed installation by ignoring emails from him for a whole year and failing to honor its promise for the Walk of Fame Committee to consider his request for the star to be placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and toying with him - is just plain wrong. What happened 30 years ago - when the acceptance letter was returned to sender and there was no follow-up letters and no calls to notify co-sponsor Bob Hope - is wrong as wrong can be. The 1990 Walk of Fame Committee awarded a star to a deserved honoree and then the Hollywood Chamber and subsequent Walk of Fame Committees would take it back. *Don't play us for a fool with such ludicrous acts!*
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 at the follies caused by the Hollywood Chamber for spurning the decision by the 1990 Walk of Fame Committee to award a star to Leo Robin. *Don't play us for A fool!*
Throughout the past sixty years, the Hollywood Chamber has successfully kept track of 2,694 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 Leo Robin. One would think that today's Hollywood Walk of Fame would honor the decisions made by those who served before them. At this point, one can't help but conclude that Leo Robin has been treated unjustly by the Hollywood Chamber. It's now time for the Hollywood Chamber to *Stop playing us for a Fool! *And honor the decision made by the 1990 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 official website of Leo Robin at http://leorobin.com/
*About Leo Robin Music*
Leo Robin Music manages 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
Leo Robin (@LeoRobinMusic) / Twitter
*SOURCE*: Leo Robin Media
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