“Thanks for the Memory“ is a popular song composed by Ralph Rainger with lyrics by Leo Robin. Which was introduced in the 1938 film The Big Broadcast of 1938 ….while being sung by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross…..and recorded by Shep Fields and His Orchestra….which featured John Serry Sr. on accordion in the film….and vocals by Bob Goday on Bluebird Records from 1938. Dorothy Lamour’s solo recording of the song was also very popular….which has led to many folks mistakenly believing over the years that it was she who sang the tune with Hope in the film….especially since Lamour also appeared in the film.
In the film, Ross and Hope’s characters are a divorced couple….who encounter each other aboard a ship. Near the film’s end, they poignantly sing one of the many versions of this song….while recalling the ups and downs of their relationship….and then they decide to get back together.
The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song….and became Hope’s signature tune, with many different lyrics adapted to any situation. In 2004, it finished at # 63 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.
The song is often regarded as a companion piece to “Two Sleepy People”….which was written in September 1938 by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Frank Loesser….and also performed by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross in the movie Thanks for the Memory….which appeared in 1939, taking its title from the success of the song.