After "knocking it out of the park" in the 1930s at the age of 17 with his first song, "Blue Moon," how did Ed Roman just disappear? Didn't this young man write other songs?
The first clue were the poems, written by Ed and found eight decades later in a portfolio in the attic. They read as if they could be set to music.
Then came the songs, melodies on sheet music as well as lyrics on paper. And finally, an actual collaboration.
Enter Henry R. Dutton. . .
From the Memoir:
"A young club manager and amateur songwriter, Henry R. Dutton. . .proposed right after the article about the lawsuit appeared in The Knickerbocker Press that they collaborate. He empathized with my father’s 'difficulties,' and bemoaned 'this vicious circle that steals artistic effort so brazenly.'”
"In a letter of agreement, they agree that Dutton was to write the melodies and my father the lyrics, although some of the songs appear with my father’s name. . .on the music as well."
As a point of interest, the tantalizing photo (left) of Henry Dutton with Gregory Peck (from the 1948 Brown University Alumni Monthly) is included, as it is the only picture we have come across so far in our ongoing research. This photo was 12 years after the known collaboration.
The collaboration of Ed Roman and Henry Dutton produced two fully developed songs: "All Because of You" and "Are You Really in Love?"
The latter is a duet, the lyrics as well as the music penned by Dutton. An accompanying set of lyrics, "I Am Really in Love," was written by Roman as the response to the query posed by the song's title.
Dutton copyrighted the music of both songs in 1936, as well as the lyrics to "Are You Really in Love?" Roman holds the copyright on the lyrics, "I Am Really in Love."
Two more songs are part of the collaboration between Ed Roman and Henry Dutton, and an additional two may or may not have been. These four songs aren't dated, but had to have been written no earlier than the end of 1936 and likely into 1937. They are:
"I Gambled and Lost" cited music by Dutton, although none was found amid the papers in the attic. But the lyrics by Ed Roman are complete, which intensifies this mystery. Did the sheet music get heaved into some trash bin? What other songs have been lost?
"A New Star Was Born" is a song that presents as a work-in-progress with music by Dutton and lyrics by Roman.
“Broken Hearts That Weep at Evening" is also a work-in-progress. But it cites Roman—rather than Dutton—as the composer of the music as well as the lyrics. Tantilizingly, Ed's beau is listed as co-author on the melody.
“Stains of Love," is the only other composition known to exist by Ed Roman. His name is cited on both the music and the lyrics.