SHERMAN OAKS, CA / ACCESSWIRE / December 3, 2019 / Turning on the radio back in 1944 you would have heard the most celebrated jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Lionel Hampton and vocalists such as Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Dinah Washington and actress Marlene Dietrich singing the wartime song “No Love, No Nothin’.” Lyricist Leo Robin wrote the heartfelt lyrics to this song during World War II when romantic and sentimental songs about the girls left behind captured the mood of the country. In The Great Jazz and Pop Vocal Albums, Will Friedwald gives his interpretation, “this no-frills love song is refreshingly straightforward. No frills, no love, no nothin’, in fact — it’s all about the deprivation of the ‘love-sick girl’ on the home front is suffering; […] there’s an obvious parallel with wartime rationing and shortages. It was near impossible to get sugar, rubber, tires, or gasoline, among other goods and the same thing applied to love, she’s not getting any of that either.” Mirroring Robin’s perfect lyrics, Leo Robin Music has “promised Till even Hades froze” to see to it that the Hollywood Chamber honors its duty to install the star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that was awarded to Leo Robin over 29 Years Ago.
Caption: Medley of radio recordings during World War II of the ballad “No Love, No Nothin’,” composed by Harry Warren with lyrics by Leo Robin, including Judy Garland in a Command Performance hosted by Bob Hope broadcast on the Armed Forces Radio Network airing on February 12, 1944, Louis Armstrong in 1944 broadcast, Marlene Dietrich entertaining troops at the Stage Door Canteen in Paris on March 10, 1945, Frank Sinatra in 1944 broadcast of Your Hit Parade and Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra with a vocal by a Dinah Washington on June 16, 1944
More than 29 years ago, in 1988, both Cherie Robin, and actor, Bob Hope, wanted to see to it that Leo would be acknowledged for the legacy that Roy Trakin reported on in his Variety article,”Thanks for the Memory: How Leo Robin Helped Usher In the Golden Age of Song in Film;” to this end, Cherie Robin and Bob Hope sponsored Leo for a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Tragically, Cherie Robin never received the good news about Leo’s star because she passed away on May 28, 1989, a little over one year before the letter from the Hollywood Chamber was sent out on June 18, 1990 announcing that her husband had been awarded the star. As a result of these ill-fated circumstances, Leo’s star was never installed. On July 6, 2017, Leo’s grandson discovered Leo’s long-lost star when he stumbled upon it on the internet. When, later that day, the grandson called the Hollywood Chamber and spoke to Ms. Martinez, he told her about his discovery of Leo’s long-lost star; she officially confirmed it was true and said, “Nothing like this has ever happened before.”
Almost two years later on May 23, 2019, Ashley Lee from the Los Angeles Times first broke the grandson’s serendipitous discovery in her story, “Leo Robin never got his Walk of Fame star. Now his grandson is fighting for it.” When, more than 29 years ago, the acceptance letter was mailed to Mrs. Robin (deceased) and subsequently returned to sender, Ms. Lee reported what happened, “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.” The Hollywood Chamber made no attempt to notify the co-sponsor, Bob Hope, who has four stars on the Walk. In a press release issued by Leo Robin Music on June 26, 2019, the following was said about the Hollywood Chamber, “What the Chamber did after the letter was (marked) “Return to Sender” was not customary practice but smacks of disregard for the individuals honored by the Walk of Fame Committee.”
The sentimental song “No Love, No Nothin’,” composed by Harry Warren with lyrics by Leo Robin on October 8, 1943, was introduced by actress Alice Faye in the Twentieth Century Fox 1943 musical film The Gang’s All Here, also starring Carmen Miranda with an arrangement by jazz legend Benny Carter. This song became an instant wartime hit when Ella Mae Morse’s record, released in January 1944, climbed into the top 10 music charts of the day Hot Charts and Your Hit Parade, where it stayed for months. This along with all of the greatest jazz musicians and vocalists, mentioned earlier, who sang it during World War II set the tune on a fast-track path to becoming a jazz standard.
Because of the song’s popularity during the war, it has recently been featured in films set in the war period. Rosemary Clooney’s recording, from her 1991 album For the Duration covering songs popular during World War II, was played in episode 2 of George Clooney’s 2019 Hulu show “Catch-22,” a miniseries war drama that takes place in Italy during 1944 based on the novel of the same name by Joseph Heller. In addition, Ella Mae Morse’s recording could be heard in the 2019 melodrama film Aftermath which is set in postwar Germany during the reconstruction period in 1946. Another jazz song “Hi-Ya Love,” composed by Ralph Rainger with lyrics by Leo Robin, was played in this same film about the aftermath of World War II.
Caption: The songwriters who would later come together to write “No Love, No Nothin'” appeared with 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.
In The Songs that Fought the War: Popular Music and the Home Front, 1939-1945, John Bush Jones gives his insight into Robin’s poignant lyrics, “Leo Robin […] injected into a basically serious number a few moments of earthy and borderline risqué playfulness that make extremely vivid a girl’s feelings about being alone, faithful, and frustrated.” Robin’s use of Hades in his lyrics, “I promised him I’d wait for him Till even Hades froze,” originates in Greek mythology where it was both the name of the ancient god of the underworld and the name of the shadowy place below the earth which was considered the final destination for the souls of the dead. On arrival at the gates of Hades, the final destination of the souls was determined by an assessment of their actions whilst they were alive. Hades was also known as a god of hidden wealth of the earth, from the fertile soil which nourished the seed-grain to the mined precious metals of gold, silver and other minerals. This is one god that struck fear into the hearts of the ancient Greeks because he ruled the underworld. Hades was not, however, an evil god, for although he was stern, cruel, and unpitying, he was still known to be just.
Unlike Hades, the Hollywood Hall of Fame is not doing justice to those under it’s dominion. Instead we are witness to the injustice of Leo’s long-lost star and the Hollywood Chamber’s refusal to honor their commitment to Robin’s memory. Moreover, in a press release issued by Leo Robin Music on July 30, 2019, the following was said about the Hollywood Chamber, “What a strange twist in irony; the Chamber, which administers this famous sidewalk landmark and usually assists honorees, performed the opposite of its mission and public expectations. Instead of assisting, the Chamber obstructed installation by ignoring emails for a whole year and failing to honor its promise for the Walk of Fame Committee to consider the grandson’s request for the star to be placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.” In the spirit of Greek mythology, it appears that Hades takes far greater care of his rich gold-laden soil than the Hollywood Chamber of their gold-studded sidewalk landmark.
Throughout the past sixty years, the Chamber has successfully kept track of 2,682 honorees and has seen to it that each and every one of them received a star, which was then successfully installed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — except for Robin. On this 76th anniversary of the legendary lyricist’s jazz standard “No Love, No Nothin,'” one can’t help but conclude that Robin has been treated unjustly by the Hollywood Chamber. Upon the passing of Johnny Grant on January 9, 2008, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, “Angelenos will always remember Johnny as the heart of Hollywood Boulevard, the dignified guardian of its gilded prestige and the human shine behind every one of its stars…” Johnny Grant, who was Chairman of the 1990 Walk of Fame Committee and signed the acceptance letter addressed to Mrs. Robin, must be looking down at the abomination caused by the Hollywood Chamber’s unjust treatment of Robin. In the City of Angels, the Hollywood Chamber has ran out of angels since the loss of Johnny Grant but that hasn’t stopped Leo Robin Music and Leo’s grandson who have “promised Till even Hades froze” to see to it that the Hollywood Chamber shall honor its duty to install the star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that was awarded to Leo Robin over 29 Years Ago.
For more information, visit the Newsroom at the official website of Leo Robin at http://leorobin.com/.
About Leo Robin Music
Leo Robin Music owns the copyrights of songs written by Leo Robin, who was known as the “Dean of Lyric Writers.” He created lyrics that have inspired popular music and become part of the fabric of our culture. Considered to be one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th Century, he wrote many of the country’s most popular jazz standards including “Blue Hawaii,” “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” “Easy Living,” “If I Should Lose You,” “My Ideal,” “Prisoner of Love” and “Thanks for the Memory.”
Scott D. Ora
President – Leo Robin Music
Leo Robin (@LeoRobinMusic) / Twitter
SOURCE: Leo Robin Music
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