Thanks For The Memory
Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger with glamorous film star Rita Hayworth working on My Gal Sal in their bungalow on the Paramount lot in 1942.
Rehearsing in the studio around the piano in 1951 for Two Tickets to Broadway. Clockwise: film actress Barbara Lawrence, Leo Robin and Jule Styne at the piano.
Rehearsing in the studio in 1955 for My Sister Eileen. Clockwise: Jule Styne at the piano; choreographer Gower Champion who was working on a different film for Columbia nearby and apparently dropped by that day to say hi; film actress Janet Leigh and lyricist Leo Robin; Gower and Janet already knew each other since he had helped her with her dancing four years earlier on Two Tickets to Broadway.
Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger at work. A classic shot.
Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger, contemplatively, working with the newly invented tune typing machine
Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger with their friend, Ann Ronell, one of the few women songwriters in Hollywood at that time, who wrote "Willow Weep for Me" and "Whose Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf."
A slice of birthday cake. Actress-Singer Dorothy Lamour and Paramount's music director Boris Morros at Leo Robin's surprise birthday party on April 6, 1938
"Ooooh That Kiss!" Actress-singer Dorothy Lamour kissing lyricist Leo Robin.
“Faithful Forever:” Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger in Miami in 1941 when they wrote the score for Gulliver’s Travels.
Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger with singer-actress Dinah Shore rehearsing at a recording studio.
Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger at the piano with actress and dancer, Eleanore Whitney, in their bungalow on the Paramount lot, rehearsing a song for College Holiday, 1936.
On April 6, 1936, ironically, Leo Robin's Birthday, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports: Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger with actress and dancer, Eleanore Whitney, merrily, working around the tune typing machine
Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger present film actress Dorothy Dell with the song "Down Home" which she performed in the film Wharf Angel in 1934.
Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger working together in the early days
On the set of Casbah. Around the piano, from left to right: producer Nat Goldstone, actor-singer Tony Martin, lyricist Leo Robin and composer Harold Arlen.
An impressive congregation of songwriters at Hollywood’s famed Trocadero nightclub on the Sunset Strip in 1938. Front row from left to right: Lorenz Hart and Hoagy Carmichael. Back row from left to right: Al Dubin, Mack Gordon, Leo Robin, Harry Revel and Harry Warren.
Marilyn Monroe singing “Happy Birthday” and “Thanks for the Memory” to President John F. Kennedy at an early birthday celebration in Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962. She segued from “Happy Birthday” into her own original rendition of “Thanks for the Memory:” “Thanks, Mr. President/For all the things you've done/The battles that you've won/ The way you deal with U.S. Steel/And our problems by the ton/We thank you so much...”
In 1938, Leo Robin and Ralph Rainger received the Academy Award for Best Song for “Thanks for the Memory.”
Inspiration for "Thanks for the Memory" – What inspired Leo Robin to write the lyrics to "Thanks for the Memory" has been a mystery! Robin said after he wrote the song "that the challenge was to write a song showing that the characters accepted the reality of their divorce but had a large residue of nostalgia and a strong mutual affection." According to this article, in the far right column, apparently "Robin began getting letters from ladies in his past inquiring whether they had not inspired it." Whether it was a lady from Leo's past or some other influence, it is one of the most romantic songs ever written, so much so that you forget it’s about a break up. When Ralph and Leo first played it for the executives at Paramount, it made everybody, even the toughest of the tough cry and although it was written for a comedian, Bob Hope, to sing, they fell in love with the song and used it anyway.
A thoughtful Leo Robin during his Paramount days.