Prolific American pop and show tunes lyricist Leo Robin was active from the mid-'20s through the early '50s, and is most noted for his work with composer Ralph Rainger. Born in Pittsburgh, in 1895, Robin studied at the University of Pittsburgh Law School and Carnegie Tech's drama school, and later worked as a reporter and as a publicist. His first hits came in 1926 with the Broadway production By the Way, with work in several more musicals immediately following, such as Bubbling Over (1926), Hit the Deck, Judy (1927), and Hello Yourself (1928). In 1932, Robin went out to Hollywood to work for Paramount Pictures, and he and Rainger became the leading film songwriting duo of the '30s and early '40s, with over 50 hits. During his time at Paramount (until 1928), Robin & Rainger wrote songs for Bing Crosby, Jeanette MacDonald, Shirley Temple, and more. The songwriting duo then worked for 20th Century Fox, where they composed for Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable, and Alice Faye, among others. Robin & Rainger worked together until Rainger's death in a plane crash in October 1942. Robin collaborated with many other composers over the years, including Vincent Youmans, Sam Coslow, Richard Whiting, and Nacio Herb Brown. Some of the best-known songs with lyrics by Robin are "Hallelujah" (1927), "Louise" (1929), "Beyond the Blue Horizon" (1930), "Prisoner of Love" (1931), "Please" (1932), "Love in Bloom" (1934), "With Every Breath I Take," "If I Should Lose You" (1935), "Blue Hawaii" (1937), Academy Award winner "Thanks for the Memory" (1938), and "In Love in Vain" (1946). Robin worked for Universal, Warner Brothers, and MGM studios before the end of his career; wrote for two more successful Broadway shows, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949) and The Girl in Pink Tights (1954); and officially retired from the movie industry in 1955. Leo Robin is a member of the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.
by Joslyn Layne