In early 2001, a member of the Fred Astaire Mailing List wrote:
My friend wrote to a record company last week about re-releasing an old LP on CD called, "Astairable Fred." It was a 1987 compilation of rarities.
The response to his letter was: "Sorry but Mrs. Astaire forbids it. Thanks for your interest in our company."
Once again, the heavy hand of Fred's second wife and widow Robyn Smith Astaire ("the jockey")was felt. Every aspect of Fred's work that she has been able to control has been withheld by her for purely profit motives under the guise of protecting her late husband's image. She has blocked the use of Fred's image to such diverse parties as Ginger Rogers (for her Kennedy Center Honors) and Fred's daughter Ava Astaire MacKenzie (for a tribute to Fred in benefit of charity), while allowing its use by the DirtDevil company for use in advertising their vacuum cleaners in return for a hefty sum.
It is quite clear she does not care about Fred's image, or how he is remembered, or who uses his image. She is merely out to make a buck.
In response, another member wrote:
Outrageous! Whatever is the woman thinking of? The censure of these vocals is particularly offensive because it includes a number of songs that Fred wrote himself, and as we know, he was very much interested in song writing. Why does Robyn make it difficult for fans to enjoy the fruits of his labors?
I am so annoyed over this that I promise to send an audio cassette of "Astairable Fred" to any one on this list who requests it and agrees to cover my expenses for materials and shipping. The recording will be off of a CD pressing that was released in 1987.
Thanks to them, AlsoDances.Net is proud to defy the jockey and provide for you the tracks to Astairable Fred. The tracks provided below form the bulk of the album, and are all the tracks that are unavailable on any other commercial release. The recordings are unfortunately third generation (recorded from a tape of a CD) but are of good quality. You may wish to turn your volume up. They are composed by Fred where noted. Enjoy!
Hello, Baby, music by Fred Astaire, lyrics by Moe Jaffe, Walter Ruick, recorded with Buddy Bregman Orchestra, 30 March 1956. 2.55 MB
There's No Time Like The Present, music by Fred Astaire, lyrics by Walter Ruick, 1952; Recorded with Buddy Bregman Orchestra, 30 March 1956. 1.86 MB
Sweet Sorrow, music by Fred Astaire, lyrics by Gladys Shelley, 1940; Recorded with Buddy Bregman Orchestra, 30 March 1956. 2.13 MB
Just Like Taking Candy From A Baby, music by Fred Astaire, lyrics by Gladys Shelley, Recorded with the Buddy Bregman Orchestra, 30 March 1956. 1.86 MB
Calypso Hooray, music and lyrics by Fred Astaire, recorded with Buddy Bregman Orchestra, 30 March, 1956. 1.95 MB
The Notorious Landlady, Recorded 16 May 1962 with the Dick Hazard Orchestra. 2.06 MB
The Martini, Recorded 16 May 1962 with the Dick Hazard Orchestra. 1.65 MB
It Happens Every Spring, Recorded 15 November 1962 with the Dick Hazard Orchestra. 2.45 MB
You Worry Me, lyrics by Fred Astaire, recorded with the Dick Hazard Orchestra, 15 November 1962. 2.39 MB
That Face, Recorded 27 March 1957 with the Buddy Bregman Orchestra. 2.23 MB