The timeless music of The Leo Robin Songbook remains fresh today. The songs have been immortalized by Hollywood and Broadway in films and on the stage. The songs written by Leo Robin from his collection in The Great American Songbook continue to be used in movies today.
The outstanding contributions Leo Robin has made to The Great American Songbook are celebrated time and again with contemporary covers by artists such as Bill Evans, Michael Feinstein, Megan Hilty, Diana Krall, Rod Stewart, Beyoncé and Madonna.
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Breaking News: Ashley Lee from the Los Angeles Times just broke this amazing story “Leo Robin never got his Walk of Fame star. Now his grandson is fighting for it”
Leo Robin’s niece Ann was inspired to write her untold story when she heard about the movie The United States vs. Billie Holiday on The View, her favorite daytime talk show. The guest that day was Andra Day, who played Billie and received a Golden Globe and nominated for best actress at the Oscars. The movie reminded her that she also had a Leo-Billie Holiday story that took place in the same period as the film, when Billie got arrested in 1947 for possession of heroin and she was banned from NYC. Ann shares with us the adventure Leo went on secretly one night to see Billie Holiday. To view this fascinating story by Leo’s niece never told before, click on this image.
The Mirrorball champions on the 29th season of Dancing With the Stars are crowned after their perfect score on freestyle dance to “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend”
Dancing with the Stars wrapped up its 2020 series and its 29th overall on November 23 crowning a new Mirrorball Trophy winner. Former “Bachelorette” Kaitlyn Bristowe and her partner Artem Chigvintsev were crowned the Mirrorball Champions of “Dancing With the Stars” after they performed their freestyle dance to the “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” version from the musical “Moulin Rouge.” When host Tyra Banks announced the news, Kaitlyn and Artem were absolutely thrilled and so were their fans. They received a perfect score of 30/30 on this dance from the judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough, and Bruno Tonioli in the last night of the competition. To access more details of this show and view their dance to “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”on Dancing With the Stars, click on this image.
HBO’s new drama series Lovecraft Country, developed and executive produced by showrunner Misha Green and based on and serving as a continuation of the 2016 novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, winds up with final episode on October 18, 2020 of the season “Full Circle.” The television series, starring Jurnee Smollett and Jonathan Majors, premiered on August 16, 2020 and is produced by Monkeypaw Productions, Bad Robot Productions, and Warner Bros. Television Studios. The HBO horror series, Lovecraft Country, is at its best when it blends history with horror. The show has been a critical darling in its first season for HBO and its music has caught viewers’ ears with jazz classics like Billie Holiday performing “Easy Living.” To access more details of this series including Billie Holiday performing “Easy Living,” click on the image:
Sky’s original dark comedy drama series I Hate Suzie was created by Lucy Prebble and Billie Piper and produced by Bad Wolf in association with Sky Studios. The series premiered in the U.K. on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV in August of 2020 and it made its US debut on HBO Max on November of 2020. I Hate Suzie follows the life of actress Suzie Pickles (Piper) whose life is thrown into turmoil when her phone is hacked and compromising photographs of her are leaked. The viewers see the unraveling of its main character’s life in eight sharply drawn episodes, each named, more or less, after a stage of grief. During her stage of Denial, the name of episode 2 of season 1, the classic “Bye Bye, Baby” is featured. Kristen Baldwin in her review for Entertainment Weekly gave the series an “A” rating, calling it a “bloody brilliant exploration of modern womanhood” that “tells a wholly unique story about the liberation that comes from total exposure.” To access more details of this series including about the featured jazz standard “Bye Bye, Baby,” click on the image:
The new 2020 action-adventure video game Mafia: Definitive Edition has tunes of Leo Robin to fill your ears — “Beyond the Blue Horizon” and “Thanks for the Memory”
Mafia: Definitive Edition is a 2020 action-adventure video game, developed by Hangar 13 and published by 2K Games. Set within the fictional city of Lost Heaven, based on Chicago during the organized crime 1930s era, the story follows the rise and fall of taxi driver turned mobster Tommy Angelo within the Salieri crime family. Mafia: Definitive Edition will make you feel right at home in the prohibition-era Midwestern city of Lost Heaven with jazz music from that era. The songs will recapture this era which features classic jazz hits composed by Ralph Rainger with lyrics by Leo Robin including “Beyond the Blue Horizon,” performed by Jeanette MacDonald and the Rounders, and “Thanks for the Memory,” performed by Mildred Bailey. To learn more about this exciting game with its old-timey jazz tunes, click on this image:
Uprooted, a documentary about the history of Jazz Dance from Transmission, LLC, is a cinematic exploration of the art form of jazz through movement. Jazz Dance, with its history rooted in enslaved peoples, is a metaphor for struggle, resistance and acceptance. The film highlights the diversity of its practitioners within an examination of American history; paying homage to its lineage, while celebrating its many re-interpretations and inspiring the dancer of tomorrow to keep the art form alive. Marilyn Monroe performs the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and song plays under montage of footage and interviews describing qualities of jazz dance. To access more details of this film including the iconic performance by Marilyn with insightful analysis, click on the image:
The Play Spatz and Engel Celebrates Marlene Dietrich’s and Edith Piaf’s Friendship
The play Spatz and Engeltells a merely known story about two of the most famous divas of the twenty-first century. The stage play is filled with music, many humorous, tragic and moving moments about two of the biggest chanteuse of all time. The play Spatz and Engel, which meansThe Angel And The Sparrow, focuses story wise on this friendship. A range of songs – among both the biggest hits of both of them and hidden treasures – have been concretely integrated into the plays dramaturgy and benefit the act. One of these songs is a gem — “Awake in a Dream,” composed by Frederick Hollander with lyrics by Leo Robin — first featured in Desire, a 1936 romanticcomedy-drama film starring Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper, and produced by Ernst Lubitsch. To learn more about this story about Marlene Dietrich’s and Edith Piaf’s friendship and view Marlene Dietrich singing and playing piano to “Awake in a Dream” with Gary Cooper gazing at her, click on this image.
The HBO Period Drama Perry Mason Finale “Chapter 8“ Wraps Without a “Perry Mason moment” But Has Great Moments including the Jazz Classic “Beyond the Blue Horizon”
The HBO period drama television series Perry Mason stars Matthew Rhys in the title role and premiered on June 21, 2020. The series focuses on the origin story of American Fiction’s most legendary criminal defense lawyer Perry Mason. In the finale episode, “Chapter 8,“ we never quite get that famed “Perry Mason moment.” What we did get was a great moment to hear the jazz classic “Beyond the Blue Horizon,” composed by Richard A. Whiting and W. Franke Harling with lyrics by Leo Robin. To access more details of this series including the jazz standard “Beyond the Blue Horizon,” click on the image:
The Masked Singer is a reality singing competition television series on Fox. It features celebrities facing off against one another with one major twist: each singer is shrouded from head to toe in an elaborate costume, complete with full face mask to conceal his or her identity. Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke serve on the panel and play detective, alongside host Nick Cannon. To access more details of this show and view the Kitty performing “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” during “The Battle of The Sixes: The Final 6” on The Masked Singer, click on this image.
The CW’s Legacies is a fantasy drama television series, created by Julie Plec and a spin-off of The Originals and features characters from both that series and its predecessor, The Vampire Diaries. Legacies follows Hope Mikaelson, who is descended from some of the most powerful vampire, werewolf, and witch bloodlines. “There’s A Place Where The Lost Things Go” is the fourteenth episode of the second season of Legacies. This episode starts when Emma (Karen David) suggests the characters participate in a group simulation that transports them to a black and white film noir world. Emma made the setting perfect when she sang “Thanks for the Memory,” composed by Ralph Rainger with lyrics by Leo Robin. To access more details of this series including Emma performing “Thanks for the Memory,” click on the image:
The Fox Show Simpsons featured a parody of the song “Thanks for the Memory”
In episode 13 of season 31 of the Fox hit show the Simpsons, entitled Frinkcoin, which aired on February 23, 2020, Homer hangs out with the Frink. The Simpsons, an animated sitcom on the Fox Broadcasting Company, is a satirical depiction of working-class life, epitomized by the Simpson family. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition. “Thanks for the Currency” is a parody of the song “Thanks for the Memory,” composed by Ralph Rainger with lyrics by Leo Robin. To access more details of this episode including the performance of the song “Thanks for the Currency,” click on the image:
All-female superhero team in Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (“Birds of Prey”) is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics team Birds of Prey. Birds of Prey is named for DC Comics’ premiere all-female superhero team. The highly anticipated film features a scene that may look familiar because you’ve seen the sequence that inspired them, from Marilyn Monroe’s performance of the musical number “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” composed by Jule Styne with lyrics by Leo Robin, in 1953’s Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Birds of Prey is scheduled to hit theaters on February 7, 2020. To access more details of this film including the film’s trailer, click on the image:
Variety reports Oscar-Winning Songwriter “Leo Robin Helped Usher In the Golden Age of Song in Film”
On September 30, 2019 Variety, the premier source of entertainment news, featured an article by Ray Trakin, titled, “Thanks for the Memory: How Leo Robin Helped Usher In the Golden Age of Song in Film.” In his crisp and inimitable style, Mr. Trakin tells about when Leo 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 […] for the studio’s first musical, “Innocents of Paris,” released in 1929, which also marked the American debut for French crooner Maurice Chevalier. Mr. Trakin credits Robin with helping turn Hollywood into what it is today with “his legacy (that) just happens to define the modern sound era of motion pictures.” To access more details about the article by Roy Trakin, click on the Image:
George Clooney’s satirical dark comedy “Catch-22” on Hulu
Catch-22 is a satirical dark comedy miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Joseph Heller. The series stars George Clooney, who is also an executive producer and director for two episodes. The events occur in the Mediterranean theatre of World War II. The film makers frequently select the music with lyrics written by Leo Robin for these period films. In this film is the popular wartime song “No Love, No Nothin’” performed by Rosemary Clooney, composed by Harry Warren with lyrics written by Leo Robin. To access more details of this film including a portion of a review from RollingStone about the music and see the scene with the song “No Love, No Nothin’,” click on the Image:
A Rainy Day in New York features Marilyn Monroe classic “Bye Bye, Baby”
A Rainy Day in New York is a 2019 romantic comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen. It stars Timothée Chalamet, Elle Fanning, Selena Gomez, Jude Law, Diego Luna, and Liev Schreiber. The film follows the romantic exploits of a young college student (Chalamet) on a weekend trip in his hometown of New York City, trying to further bond with his college girlfriend (Fanning) while she is in the city to interview a famous film director (Schreiber). A Rainy Day in New York features Marilyn Monroe classic “Bye Bye, Baby.” To find out more details about the film and view the scene in the film A Rainy Day in New York with the song “Bye Bye, Baby.”
Hulu’s True CrimeDramaThe Act Blends Reality and Fantasy Worlds — like Gulliver’s Travels Featuring the Song “Forever”
The Act is a true crimedramaweb television series that premiered in eight parts on March 20, 2019, on Hulu. The first season is based on the real life of Gypsy Rose Blanchard and her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard, who was accused of abusing her daughter by fabricating illness and disabilities as a direct consequence of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Joey King portrayed Gypsy, while Patricia Arquette played her mother, Dee Dee Blanchard. Disney like stories, princesses and fairy-tale ideals played a large role in Dee Dee and Gypsy’s lives. There is a scene where Gypsy watches the movie based on Jonathan Swift’s 18th century novel Gulliver’s Travels that contains the song “Forever,” composed by Ralph Rainger with lyrics by Leo Robin. To learn more about this story and view the scene with the song “Forever,” click on this image.
James Kent’s period melodrama The Aftermath
The Aftermath is a 2019 drama film starring Keira Knightley, directed by James Kent and written by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Rhidian Brook. The Aftermath is set in postwar Germany in 1946. In the aftermath of World War II, a British colonel and his wife are assigned to live in Hamburg during the post-war reconstruction. In this period film, there were two songs chosen with lyrics written by Leo Robin including the popular song “No Love, No Nothin'” performed by Ella Mae Morse, composed by Harry Warren, and the jazz song “Hi-Ya Love”, composed by Ralph Rainger. To access more details of this film including a portion of a review from The Guardian about the setting of this period and see a couple of scenes with these songs, click on the Image:
Megan Hilty in Concert Live From Lincoln Center
Stars in Concert shines the spotlight on the iconic leading lady Megan Hilty in Concert Live From Lincoln Center by PBS on May 24, 2019. Filmed in the beautiful Appel Room overlooking Central Park, this powerhouse vocalist celebrates the musical traditions of Broadway and beyond, performing signature songs, such as “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” that have shaped her life, accompanied by a world-class band. To view her passionate rendition of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” click on this image.
Smart Blonde Celebrates Judy Holliday‘s Life
The New York premiere of Willy Holtzman’s Smart Blonde, starring Andréa Burns as Judy Holliday, opens at 59E59’s Theater B on March 16 for a limited engagement and runs through Saturday, April 13, 2019. Memory and song converge as the “dumb blonde” with a genius IQ charts her experiences from Greenwich Village to Broadway and beyond in the new off-Broadway musical. To learn more about how Judy Holliday began her show business career in Greenwich Village as part of a nightclub act called The Revuers and get a sneak peek of the show Smart Blonde with highlights including the cast singing and dancing to the song written by Nacio Herb Brown and Leo Robin, “It’s All for Art’s Sake,” click on the image.
Delray Beach Playhouse presents Thanks for the Memories! – The Songs of Leo Robin
The historic Delray Beach Playhouse, located on beautiful Lake Ida, has been known for its exceptional community theater offerings since it was established in 1947. The Playhouse continues its highly popular Musical Memories Series, hosted by Artistic Director Randolph DelLago, and the series leads off with the show Thanks for the Memories! – The Songs of Leo Robin. this October 15-24. “Leo Robin wrote his first Broadway show in 1926, and he continued writing great songs for Broadway and Hollywood for the next three decades!…“Thanks for the Memory” for Bob Hope, he also created signature songs for Hollywood legends like Jeannette MacDonald (“Beyond the Blue Horizon”), Tony Martin (“Hooray for Love”), Perry Como (“Prisoner of Love”) and Bing Crosby (“June in January” and “Love in Bloom”). Elvis Presley even had a hit with his song “Blue Hawaii.”…Marilyn Monroe…with “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” To access more details of this special event held at the Delray Beach Playhouse, click on the image:
Feinstein and Ebersole will take a summer stroll through classic standards
Michael Feinstein, ambassador of the Great American Songbook and two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole introduce a program of duets and medleys from the Golden Age at the New York theater district nightclub that bears Feinstein’s name, Feinstein’s/54 Below. Feinstein and Ebersole will take a summer stroll through classic standards such as “Thanks for the Memory,” in a resplendent celebration of the Great American Songbook. This show is part of Feinstein’s/54 Below’s Summer 2018 concert series: Duo Shows at 54! From partners to siblings to co-stars and beyond, these evenings will celebrate the special collaboration of two artists brought together. To access more details of this cabaret show held at Feinstein’s/54 Below, click on the image:
The world premiere of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, based on Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 beloved motion picture, will play at Boston’s crown jewel Emerson Colonial Theatre this summer of 2018. The pre-Broadway engagement features a book by John Logan, direction by Alex Timbers and choreography by Sonya Tayeh. The film Moulin Rouge starred Nicole Kidman in an Oscar-nominated turn as Satine and Ewan McGregor as Christian. Dates and venue for the Broadway run of Moulin Rouge! The Musical will be announced. Set in Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France at the turn of the century, Moulin Rouge! The Musical tells the fictional story of an ambitious, lovesick writer, Christian (Aaron Tveit), and a dazzling, entrancing chanteuse, Satine (Karen Olivo). Their lives collide at the Moulin Rouge with its many characters including the host of the Moulin Rouge, Harold Zidler (Danny Burstein). As in the film, Moulin Rouge! The Musical celebrates some of the greatest popular music of the last 50 years like “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” To access more details of the show, click on the image:
Seth MacFarlane’s new album In Full Swing receives lofty praises
Grammy-nominated artist Seth MacFarlane’s love affair with standards continues with his fourth album, In Full Swing, set for release on September 15 on Verve Label Group/ Republic Records. The album was highly acclaimed by many critics. In a review on August 18, 2017 by the Music News Desk on broadwayworld.com, the album receives lofty praises for Seth MacFarlane’s rich, expressive baritone voice, his masterful selection of upbeat tunes from the era and brilliant arrangements that “make familiar songs new again.” One of the tracks on the album is “A Kiss Or Two,” a tune from the smash 1927 Broadway show Hit the Deck, written by Leo Robin (W), Clifford Grey (W) and Vincent Youmans (M). For your enjoyment, click on the image for a view of a critical acclaim of Seth MacFarlane’s new album In Full Swing, a look at his passion for singing, a magical musical moment of him singing “A Kiss Or Two” and more.
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill opened on Broadway at Circle in the Square during April 2014. The play takes place in March 1959 in South Philadelphia where Billie Holiday is performing in a run-down bar, recounting some events in her life, during one of her last performances before her passing in July 1959. Directed by Lonny Price, the production starred Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday and featured Shelton Becton as pianist Jimmy Powers. Lady Day originally premiered in 1986 at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, and played both off and on Broadway. McDonald will reprise her role as Lady Day in the West End at the Wyndham’s Theatre, from June 17, 2017 through September 9, 2017. To access more details of the opening on Broadway and debut at the West End along with The Journey of Billie Holiday and more, click on the image:
The 92nd Street Y Celebrates The Classics of Leo Robin
The 92nd Street Y celebrated Songbook Classics By Unsung Lyricists with a wonderful ensemble of actors from Broadway shows and an orchestra on May 6, 7 and 8, 2017. Many of the popular standards penned by songwriter Leo Robin were covered including “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” and “Bye Bye, Baby” from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The show was exquisite with its mission to pay special tribute to all the great songwriters who went out to Hollywood and created some of the greatest songs ever written. Leo Robin moved from New York, where he was working on Broadway shows, to Hollywood where he wrote some of the most memorable scores for films and became the Dean of Lyricists in Hollywood. The 92nd Street Y honored Leo Robin on many occasions over the years and he attended “The Lyrics and Lyricists: Lyrics For Film” Program when it presented an evening at The 92nd Street Y in 1982 to honor Leo Robin’s unforgettable contribution to musical film. To access more details of this event held at the 92nd Street Y, click on the image:
Madonna’s adoring fans sing-a-long with her to “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” on Rebel Heart Tour
A concert special on Showtime of Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour features the iconic superstar as she performs in packed arenas around the globe. The concert features new hits and beloved classics including “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” written by Jule Styne and Leo Robin that was first introduced in the 1949 Broadway show Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The concert showcases Madonna’s signature visual theatrics, exquisite costumes and awe-inspiring choreography creating an astonishing arena show celebrated by fans around the world. For your enjoyment, click on the image to view Madonna’s adoring fans sing-a-long with her to “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” at a concert on the Rebel Heart Tour.