Hit The Deck – Call To Action
Darryl Zanuck, Chief Executive of Twentieth Century Fox, sent this letter to Leo on May 13, 1941 urging him to write to FDR.
A carbon copy of the letter Leo drafted to FDR three days later, on May 16, 1941. In his signature style, Leo recommended changing FDR’s slogan from: “Everything short of war,” to “Nothing short of victory.”
Patriotic Contribution from "Uncle Sam Gets Around:" Letter to Leo dated September 18, 1941 from Kitty Carlisle asking if she could use Leo’s song, “Uncle Sam Gets Around,” to add a patriotic note to her cabaret show at the Versailles. Kitty had known Leo ever since they had worked together back in 1934 on the Paramount movie, Here Is My Heart.
Patriotic Contribution from "Uncle Sam Gets Around:" Carbon copy of Leo’s response to Kitty granting her permission to use “Uncle Sam Gets Around."
Patriotic Contribution from "Uncle Sam Gets Around:" Based on Ira Gershwin’s and Oscar Levant’s enthusiasm, Leo’s old boss, Max Dreyfus, the person responsible for sending him out to Hollywood all those years ago, requests a copy of “Uncle Sam Gets Around."
Leo was certified on April 7, 1942, the day after his 47th birthday, by the American National Red Cross. In addition to using his god-given talent as a lyricist by writing such patriotic songs as "Uncle Sam Gets Around," he also served The American National Red Cross during World War 2.
Letter from Leo to Oscar Hammerstein, II, dated September 3, 1943, bringing Oscar up to speed on the West Coast Branch’s search for songs to support the war effort. Leo also tells Oscar that the West Coast Branch has officially decided to call themselves “the Hollywood Office of the Music War Council of the American Theatre Wing.”
Letter from Leo to Oscar Hammerstein, II, dated September 3, 1943, regarding the search for songs. In attendance at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel that Leo hosted and paid for, were Harold Arlen, Ira Gershwin, Mr. Coleson of the War Department, Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne among others including ‘yours truly.’
It is interesting to note that as early as 1941, Leo had already written lyrics for several ‘war songs’ including “Uncle Sam Gets Around,” which appeared in the film, Cadet Girl and “I’m Saving a Dime Out of Every Dollar,” with music by Ralph Rainger and recorded by Bing Crosby for the benefit of the Treasury Department.
Letter from Oscar Hammerstein, II to Leo, dated September 14, 1943, updating him on the Music War Committee’s activities. Oscar, who represented the East Coast branch, (aka The New York Organization), reports to Leo, who represented the West Coast branch (aka The Hollywood Office), that although ten major publishers met and presented their song suggestions to the War Department, they came up short. He then ends his letter to Leo with a challenge and a wink: “All we need is that great song. If it comes from California, it won’t make me mad.”