"I Don't Want to Make History": The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce's Failure to Install the Star, ("#Leosloststar"), Awarded to the "Thanks For The Memory" Oscar-Winning Lyricist on the Hollywood Walk of Fame More Than 30 Years Ago
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"I Don't Want to Make History": The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce's Failure to Install the Star, ("#Leosloststar"), Awarded to the "Thanks For The Memory" Oscar-Winning Lyricist on the Hollywood Walk of Fame More Than 30 Years Ago

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 9:35 AM
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SHERMAN OAKS, CA / ACCESSWIRE / February 23, 2021 / "I Don't Want to Make History," the title and lyrics of the song by Leo Robin, describes the checkered history of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in regard to the star awarded to lyricist Leo Robin on the Hollywood Walk of Fame more than 30 years ago but never installed. This controversy arises because the Hollywood Chamber is not honoring the decision made by the 1990 Walk of Fame Committee to award a star to Leo Robin. Leo's long-lost star clock, which began running on July 18, 1990 when the star was awarded to Leo Robin on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but never installed, continues to count.

Time began running on June 18, 1990 when the star was awarded to Leo Robin
on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but never installed

Frances Langford starred and introduced the song "I Don't Want to Make History (I Just Want to Make Love)" in the 1936 film Palm Springs. It was recorded by Frances Langford, Eddie Cantor and many of the orchestras and bands in its heyday including Hal Kemp & His Orchestra, Stuff Smith & His Onyx Boys Club, Bob Crosby & His Orchestra and Carroll Gibbons & The Savoy Orchestra. They all recorded the song "I Don't Want to Make History," which could describe the strange history of an honoree who was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame but never installed.

A Max Fleischer Screen Song with the famous bouncing ball to "I Don't Want to Make History,"
which was composed by Ralph Rainger with lyrics by Leo Robin, performed by Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra in 1936

Ashley Lee from the Los Angeles Times first broke on May 23, 2019 this intriguing story, Leo Robin never got his Walk of Fame star. Now his grandson is fighting for it, about the grandson's serendipitous discovery on July 6, 2017 of Leo's long-lost star which he believe got lost because "[The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce]...made this 30-year-old mistake," Ms. Lee quoting him. In 1988, both Robin's wife, Cherie Robin, and actor, Bob Hope, sponsored Leo for a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They followed the instructions and mailed in the application approximately five years after Robin's passing so that he would be eligible to be nominated for a star as soon as possible. But all too soon after that, Cherie, herself, already grief-stricken, was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Tragically, Cherie Robin never received the good news about Robin'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. "I do think it was meant to be," said the grandson of discovering the star. "It's important to me because it was important to my grandmother to pay tribute to Leo's career in this way. And she took the time, she followed all the rules. My grandmother did everything right except live long enough."

In the wake of the release of this story last year by The Times, Leo Robin Music was outraged to learn that the Hollywood Chamber made a mistake with handling their own mail more than 30 years ago. Ms. Lee reported, "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." Ms. Lee explained the Chamber's view, "A mistake it was not, noted (Ana) Martinez to The Times. Back in 1989, before the ease of email and cell phones, honorees were not as repeatedly and actively pursued to secure their star as they are today. That means no follow-up letters and no calls to co-signers, even if Robin's application was co-signed by (Bob) Hope, who has four stars on the Walk."

Max Fleischer, who was an animator, inventor, film director and producer, was a pioneer in the development of the animated cartoon and served as the head of Fleischer Studios. He brought such animated characters as Koko the Clown, Betty Boop, Popeye, Superman and Gulliver to the movie screen and was responsible for a number of technological innovations including the Rotoscope, the "Bouncing Ball" song films, and "The Stereoptical Process."

Screen Songs is the name of a series of animated cartoons produced by the Fleischer Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures between 1929 and 1938. They are sing-along shorts featuring the famous "bouncing ball", a sort of precursor to modern karaoke videos. They often featured popular melodies of the day, which included a great many of the songs composed by Ralph Rainger with lyrics by Leo Robin including "Blue Hawaii," "I Can't Escape from You," "I Don't Want to Make History," "Talking through My Heart," "Thanks for the Memory," "Whispers in the Dark" and "You Took the Words Right Out of My Heart."

Meanwhile, in contradiction to its mission, the Hollywood Chamber is not doing justice to the nomination of Robin. 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. It has always been true when a letter has been "Return to Sender," the sender will verify the address and resend it. In 1990, the Hollywood Chamber obstructed installation of the star when it placed the acceptance letter that was returned to sender in its files and made no attempt to resend it. The Hollywood Chamber made no attempt to notify the sponsor, Bob Hope, who was one of the most famous entertainers in the world at the time. The Hollywood Chamber must have had Bob Hope's number from their own dealings with him. "I Don't Want to Make History" captures the strange history of what the Hollywood Chamber did after the letter was "Return to Sender," which was not customary practice but smacks of disregard for the individuals honored by the Walk of Fame Committee.

What happened after the grandson spoke to the Hollywood Chamber over the past three years - where it obstructed installation by ignoring emails from him for a whole year and failing to honor its promise for the Walk of Fame Committee to consider his request for the star to be placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and toying with him - is just plain wrong. What happened 30 years ago - when the acceptance letter was returned to sender and there was no follow-up letters and no calls to notify co-sponsor Bob Hope - is wrong as wrong can be. The 1990 Walk of Fame Committee awarded a star to a deserved honoree and then the Hollywood Chamber and subsequent Walk of Fame Committees would take it back. "I Don't Want to Make History" succinctly describes the history of the conduct by the Hollywood Chamber over the past 30 years that resulted in the failure to install the star awarded to Leo Robin.

Throughout the past sixty years, the Hollywood Chamber has successfully kept track of 2,693 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 Leo Robin. One would think that today's Hollywood Walk of Fame would honor the decisions made by those who served before them. At this point, one can't help but conclude that Robin, his sponsors, his family and the 1990 Walk of Fame Committee, itself, have been treated unjustly by the Hollywood Chamber. "I Don't Want to Make History" pithily sums the Hollywood Chamber's dubious history of the past 30 years but it's now time for the Hollywood Chamber to clean up their past and honor the decision made by the 1990 Walk of Fame Committee and its obligation to put Leo's long-lost star in its rightful place on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

For more information, visit the official website of Leo Robin at http://leorobin.com/

CONTACT:

Scott D. Ora
President - Leo Robin Music
[email protected]
(818) 618-2572
Leo Robin (@LeoRobinMusic) / Twitter

SOURCE: Leo Robin Media

Leo Robin Media
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