Leo Robin Music is Outraged over the Hollywood Walk of Fame’s Decision to Not Install Leo’s Long-Lost Star (“#LeosLostStar”) Awarded to the “Thanks for the Memory” Oscar-Winning Lyricist 30 Years Ago

SHERMAN OAKS, CA / ACCESSWIRE / June 23, 2020 / Leo Robin Music is outraged over the Hollywood Walk of Fame’s decision at their annual meeting and subsequent announcement last week to once again deny the installation of the star that was awarded to lyricist, Leo Robin, 30 years ago. Ashley Lee from the Los Angeles Times first broke on May 23, 2019 this fascinating story, Leo Robin never got his Walk of Fame star. Now his grandson is fighting for it, about his grandson’s serendipitous discovery of Leo’s long-lost star which he believes got lost because “[The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce]…made this 30-year-old mistake.” Leo Robin’s wife, Cherie Robin, and actor, Bob Hope, sponsored Leo for a star in 1988 but, sadly, Mrs. Robin passed away slightly more than one year before the letter was sent out from the Hollywood Chamber announcing that her husband had been awarded the star and so, unfortunately, it was never installed.

In the wake of the release of this story last year by The Times, Leo Robin Music was infuriated to learn what happened 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 [Producer of the Walk Of Fame] 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.”

The Chamber should live, love and learn the lyrics of the Elvis Presley 1962 hit “Return to Sender,” a song about a man sending a letter by post to his girlfriend after an argument. She continually writes “Return to Sender” and he keeps mailing letters including “sent it special D” and “This time I’m gonna take it myself and put it right in her hand.” Elvis, who recorded “Blue Hawaii,” a classic written by Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger, for his film of the same name and the soundtrack of which stayed at #1 on the album chart for twenty consecutive weeks, would be rock ‘n’ rolling in his grave and singing “Suspicious Minds” upon learning that the Hollywood Chamber only sent one letter with no follow-up letter or call to co-sponsor, Bob Hope. No matter when or where — whether it be 1962 when Elvis sang about it or 1990 when the Chamber obstructed delivery of the letter or even today — it has always been true when a letter has been marked “Return to sender,” the sender will verify the address and resend it. What the Chamber did after the letter was returned to sender was not customary practice but smacks of disregard for the individuals honored by the Walk of Fame Committee.

Elvis Presley singing “Blue Hawaii,” composed by Ralph Rainger with lyrics by Leo Robin, in connection with the groundbreaking concert,
Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite
, headlined by the “King of Rock and Roll” that took place in Honolulu on January 14, 1973

The official blog of Graceland says, “Elvis loved the beauty of Hawaii and the state’s laid-back atmosphere so much that he brought it home to Graceland.” The beginning of the blog entry on July 14, 2017 captures this feeling inspired by the islands with these perfect lyrics written by Leo Robin, “Dreams come true in blue Hawaii…” “Blue Hawaii” was introduced by the stars Bing Crosby and Shirley Ross in the 1937 Paramount Pictures film Waikiki Wedding. Crosby subsequently recorded a version that was released in 1937 andit was recorded that same year by Al Bowlly. Elvis Presley made it famous all over again in 1961 in the movie of the same name. The song received numerous cover versions through the years ranging from jazz to country artists such as Frank Sinatra’s 1958 album Come Fly With Me, Andy Williams 1959 albums Two Time Winners and To You Sweetheart, Ray Charles’ 1960 album The Genius Hits The Road, on which every song was about a specific place in the United States, Pat Boone with his wife Shirley Boone on their 1962 album I Love You Truly, Dolly Parton with Al Harrington on the episode My Hawaii of her 1988 TV variety show Dolly and Willie Nelson’s 1992 album Honeymoon in Vegas.

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Chamber has exercised wanton disregard of its own rules for the star awarded to Robin but never installed. In contradiction to 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 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.”

When Robin’s grandson called the Chamber and spoke to Ms. Martinez on July 6, 2017, almost three years ago, he told her about his discovery of Leo’s long-lost star. She confirmed it was true and said, “Nothing like this has ever happened before.” Throughout the past sixty years, the Chamber has successfully kept track of 2,690 honorees and has seen to it that each and every one of them received a star and had it successfully installed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame with their name on it — except for Leo. At this point, one can’t help but conclude that Robin, his sponsors, his family and the 1990 Walk of Fame Committee, itself, have been treated unjustly by the 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 with contempt at the Hollywood Chamber for spurning the decision by the 1990 Walk of Fame Committee to award a star to Leo Robin. It is high time for the Hollywood Chamber to preserve its integrity and honor the decision of the Walk of Fame Committee and 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 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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