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Biography

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Overview (2)

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart failure)

Mini Bio (1)

Prolific American lyricist, best known for his collaborative efforts with the composer Ralph Rainger. His many popular standards include "Prisoner of Love", "Louise", "Beyond the Blue Horizon", "No Love no Nothing", "Moonlight and Shadows", "My Ideal", "If I Should Lose You", "Blue Hawaii", the 1938 Oscar-winning "Thanks for the Memory" and two numbers fondly remembered for Marilyn Monroe's rendition: "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" and "A Little Girl from Little Rock" (written for the 1949 original Broadway score of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes").

Robin was educated at the University of Pittsburgh Law School and Carnegie Tech's drama school. He worked for two years as a newspaperman and then as a publicist. Though his ambition was to be a playwright, he achieved his first measure of success writing hits for Broadway musicals. His 1930 lyrics for the Rainger composition "I'll Take an Option on You" commenced a celebrated partnership. In 1932, the duo joined Paramount in Hollywood as staff composers. Within three years, the innovative Robin had become the favorite lyricist of legendary director Ernst Lubitsch. Through the following decade, first at Paramount then at 20th Century Fox, Robin and Rainger wrote for many of the top singing stars of the period, including Bing Crosby, Alice Faye, and Rita Hayworth. After Rainger's tragic death in a mid-air plane collision in 1942, Robin continued working and enjoyed fruitful collaborations with other prominent composers, including Sam Coslow, Jule Styne and Nacio Herb Brown.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (1)

Cherie Volman (? - 29 December 1984) ( his death)

Trivia (1)

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972.

Personal Quotes (6)

[on Ernst Lubitsch] He once used a phrase to me that I've never forgotten. I was back in New York, and he he sent for me to come out and fix up some lyrics that some other fellows had written. I'm not going to mention their names, but they were very fine songwriters. When I got out there, I said to Lubitsch, 'Why did you have to send to New York for a guy like me when right here on the Paramount lot you have these great writers?' Lubitsch said, 'I like your style of writing because you don't turn my characters into performers'. Isn't that a great line?
The song of today appeals mostly to just one section of the public. It's aimed at the young, it expresses feelings of the young, and the young can identify. But the over-thirty people can't. I'm sure you can't fault these kids for their attitudes. Not the way you could fault some hack Tin Pan Alley songwriter back in 1925 who was writing second-rate mechanical songs about how sweet it would be to be back in dear old Dixie with his dear old mammy or his lovely little tootsie-wootsie baby. He was peddling a totally false picture.
[on the song 'Thanks for the Memory'] The censor at Paramount came to me and said, 'Leo, you can't say "That weekend in Niagara when we never saw the falls". Uh-uh.' So I said, 'Okay, what can I say?' He comes back after a while and says, 'Say "That weekend at Niagara when we hardly saw the falls'. Which is dirtier, I think.
One day Ralph [Rainger] came in and said, 'I hit on a little jingle tune, maybe you'll like it'. He started to play this thing, one of those kind of bouncy schottisches, and I said, 'Let me think about it', and as usual, I went out and started to walk around the Paramount lot. That was the way I used to concentrate during the day. When I came back, I said, 'Gee, I've got a great title' - no, I never said that, because I never thought any of those things were great. In fact, my dear wife used to say, if I had the Number One song on the Hit Parade - I would still say, 'Well, if they'd given me more time, I could have done it better'. So I just said, 'It's 'June in January'. Ralph said, 'You'te crazy - 'June in January'?' ...Well, now, whenever the weather out here gets unusually hot in January, all the headlines use the phrase ''June-in-January weather'.
In those days [1928] if the girl in the picture was named Susie, you wrote a song called 'Susie'. Well, the song in this picture ['Innocents of Paris'] happened to be Louise. Se we called the song 'Louise'. Incidentally when 'Louise' became a hit, one of the trade papers ran a list of the hit songs of the week, and they topped it with 'Louise'. But through a typo they left the 'i' out, so it was billed as 'Louse'.
[on meeting Richard Whiting, a future long-time song collaborator] I walked into Max Dreyfus' office one day and he said, 'How would you like to go to Hollywood?'. Well, I was footloose and free, unmarried as yet, and I said, 'Sure.' Well he said, 'You're going to write with a guy named Dick Whiting'. Well I nearly fell over, because to me - practically a beginner in the business - the name of Richard Whiting had a prestige and a glamor and an aura that floored me. ..So I get to the Sherman Hotel, and I don't even know what Dick looks like. There I am in the lobby, and it suddenly dawned on me to have him paged. Pretty soon, a bellboy brings Dick over and says, 'Mr. Robin, meet Mr. Whiting'. Here we are, two strangers, introduced by a bellboy!

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