Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend
Lyricist Leo Robin with composer Jule Styne working together on the score of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at the time of the original production in 1949.
A review of opening night, “First Night at the Theatre,” by Brooks Atkinson, which appeared in the New York Times on December 9, 1949.
Backstage on the set of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in 1949. From left to right: Carol Channing, Alice Pearce, lyricist Leo Robin, show producer Herman Levin, and other members of the cast -- Manny Sachs, Eric Brotherson, Jack McCauley, and George S. Irving listening to Jule Styne at the microphone.
And the winner is -- Leo Robin crowns the diamond tiara on Princess Carol Channing during the tremendous run of the Broadway smash hit Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Leo Robin with Carol Channing during the run of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Marilyn Monroe singing "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" in the 1953 film adaptation of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Lyricist Leo Robin with famed author Anita Loos who wrote the 1925 best seller Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She along with Joseph Fields wrote the script for the 1949 musical. It opened on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Theatre where it ran for 740 performances. Jule Styne and Leo Robin wrote the score.
Lyricist Leo Robin with composer Jule Styne in 1949 working on the score for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
A 1954 photograph from the Museum of the City Of New York of an elite group of theatrical legends with songwriter Leo Robin. Standing is lyricist Leo Robin and sitting around the table from left to right: playwright and stage director Joseph Fields, dancer and choreographer Agnes De Mille (Her father William C. deMille and her uncle Cecil B. DeMille were both Hollywood directors.), playwright and librettist Jerome Chodorov and stage director and producer Shepard Traube
Herman Levin’s telegram to Leo to tell him how perfect Leo’s lyrics were for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
On opening night, December 8, 1949, Leo wired everyone connected with the show of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes –“ good luck, thanks and best wishes.” Two days later, Anita Loos responded affectionately, thanking Leo for “those sensational lyrics.”
Behind the Scenes: Letter from George S. Kaufman to Herman Levin, dated Thursday, September 7, 1948, declining the opportunity to write the lyrics for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. When producers Herman Levin and Oliver Smith approached Anita Loos about turning her novel into a musical, she recalled: “I had never heard of Herman or his then-partner, Oliver Smith. Suddenly they appeared out of nowhere with the idea of making a musical out of my book, 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.' [Initially unenthusiastic, by the time rehearsals started], I realized it would be one of the brightest phases of my career.”
Behind the Scenes: Jule Styne sent a telegram to Herman Levin, dated October 17, 1948, recommending either Leo Robin or Yip Harburg (who wrote the score for The Wizard of Oz) to write the lyrics for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Behind the Scenes: Herman Levin’s letter to Leo Robin, dated December 12, 1948, expressing his delight at the prospect of Leo coming on board to write the lyrics for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Behind the Scenes: Four days later, Leo Robin replied, favorably, to Herman Levin, to discuss writing the lyrics for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.