SHERMAN OAKS, CA / ACCESSWIRE / August 11, 2020 / Dear Ellen K., I, Leo Robin’s grandson, sent you an open letter on July 14, 2020 via FedEx, almost a month ago, but assume that you never received it since I haven’t heard back from you. I am enclosing it once more so you will better understand the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the long-standing mistake made by the Hollywood Walk of Fame more than 30 years ago. The 1990 Walk of Fame Committee awarded a star to lyricist Leo Robin and then the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and subsequent Walk of Fame Committees would take it back. These actions over the years that resulted in the failure to install the star awarded to Robin are manifest of a moral wrong.
To borrow the lyrics from the song “Faithful Forever,” composed by Ralph Rainger with lyrics by Leo Robin, introduced in the 1939 animated film Gulliver’s Travels, which was recorded by many jazz artists such as vocalists Mildred Bailey and Perry Como and the orchestras in their heyday including Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman and Guy Lombardo: “Faithful forever I promise to be” certain that the Hollywood Chamber finally installs the star awarded to Leo Robin for all the visitors of the Hollywood Walk of Fame to see.
Scene from the animated film Gulliver’s Travels with the song “Faithful Forever,”
composed by Ralph Rainger with lyrics by Leo Robin, sung by Jessica Dragonette, Lanny Ross and chorus in 1939
Each year, Leo Robin Music awaits with great interest the release of the annual announcement by the Hollywood Chamber of the new class of honorees to have their stars unveiled and installed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to see if the star awarded to lyricist Leo Robin more than 30 years ago but never installed finally appears on this list. For Leo Robin, this annual ritual is known as “Pass Over.” I am outraged by the Hollywood Chamber’s recent announcement to once again “Pass Over” the installation of the star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that was awarded to Robin more than 30 years ago.
In a Facebook live session on Thursday, June 18, you as chair of the Walk of Fame’s Selection Panel, announced the honorees from the Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2021. “The Walk of Fame Selection Panel is pleased to announce 35 new honorees to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Selection Panel, made up of fellow Walk of Famers, hand-picks a group of honorees each year that represent various genres of the entertainment world,” said Ellen K. “The Panel has done an exemplary job in choosing very talented people. We can’t wait to see each and every honoree’s face as they realize that they are becoming a part of Hollywood’s history as we unveil their star on the world’s most famous walkway!”, Ellen K added.
The “Pass Over” of Robin by the Hollywood Chamber and Walk of Fame Committee on the list of honorees to have their stars installed and unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a moral wrong. Ellen K., you have a perfect pitch voice on your morning radio program on KOST 103.5 FM. as well as the voice of the Grammy Awards and the Academy Awards. The recent announcement by you would be tantamount to announcing a winner at the Grammy Awards or at the Academy Awards and then not giving the winner a Grammy or an Oscar to take home.
Can you imagine if multi-Grammy winner Tony Bennett winning the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance in 1997 for his album Here’s to the Ladies — which theme of the album was songs made famous by female singers and included “My Ideal” with lyrics by Robin to pay tribute to Margaret Whiting for performing her theme song — but not being given the Grammy to take home or multi-Oscar winner Robert De Niro winning for Best Actor the Oscar in 1980 for the film Raging Bull — which used a few songs with lyrics by Robin including “Prisoner of Love” performed by Perry Como (1946), “Prisoner of Love” performed by Russ Columbo (1934) and “Bye, Bye Baby” performed by Marilyn Monroe (1953) — but not being given the Oscar to take home.
In the wake of the release of the story Leo Robin never got his Walk of Fame star. Now his grandson is fighting for it, which first broke on May 23, 2019 by Ashley Lee from the Los Angeles Times, we learned 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 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.”
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. 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 the “Passover” of Robin. 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 Hollywood Chamber and the Walk Of Fame Committee chaired by you.
The failure of the Hollywood Chamber to install the star awarded to Robin is hard to fathom but remember that my grandmother who was the sponsor passed away before receiving notification and that the co-sponsor, actor Bob Hope, was never notified. It is high time for the Hollywood Chamber and the 2020 Walk of Fame Committee to preserve their integrity and honor the decision of the 1990 Walk of Fame Committee and its obligation to put Leo’s long-lost star in its rightful place on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is my hope that you, as Chair of the Walk of Fame Committee, will take the necessary steps to correct this moral wrong and award my grandfather, the legendary songwriter, Leo Robin, his long-overdue star.
I hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy. As difficult as these extraordinary times are, I am hopeful about the power of music to inspire action, to heal and lift us up, and to liberate our minds and hearts. I remember Bob Hope in his eulogy of my beloved grandfather on January 2, 1985, when he said, “His lyrics struck such a positive note…such hopeful themes…The feelings of joy he conveyed will lift hearts for generations to come. And if you don’t believe that, just hum the lyrics of “Beyond the Blue Horizon” a few times. I guarantee you’ll never have to visit an analyst.” Be inspired with this sample, “Blue horizon Waits a beautiful day Goodbye to things that bore me Joy is waiting for me.”
In Leo Robin’s lyrics from Gulliver’s Travels -1939,
“Faithful Forever,” Leo Robin Music
cc: copy sent FedEx overnight to Ellen K.
For more information, visit the official website of Leo Robin at http://leorobin.com/
SOURCE: Leo Robin Music
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