EVERYONE KNOWS THE SONG

       ... NO ONE KNEW THE MAN

"Blue Moon," the classic American ballad that is one of the most universally recognized songs of the 20th century, is not what you think it is.

History tells us that it was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

In reality, "Blue Moon" was composed in 1931 by a 17-year-old, the son of Polish immigrants, after an evening of moonlit skating on a pond in upstate New York. This is the previously untold true story.

New York Times Article On Who Wrote Blue Moon
NY Times Interview On Blue Moon With Liz Roman Gallese

Blue Moon Classics

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Blue Moon. The Real Story.


Photo of Edward W. Roman with his ice skates

By Rodgers & Hart?  Not Really.

From the Memoir:

". . .the song's history, for all of its known convolutedness and remarkableness, actually begins earlier. Its unknown origins are even more remarkable and convoluted, and its agency lies at that very intersection of those final Hart lyrics being either his 'simplest or most banal.'”

". . .the lyrics weren’t written by Hart, nor the melody by Rodgers. Rather the song was composed by a 17-year-old, the son of Polish immigrants, in Troy, on the East bank of the Hudson River in upstate New York. . . The songwriter's name was Edward W. Roman."

"I know because I am his daughter, and because I have always known this story. It’s been a part of my family for all of my growing-up years, the source of whispers about 'that "Blue Moon" thing' among the adults. . .a matter of curiosity among the more curious of the youngsters, of which I was perhaps the most curious."

GO TO MEMOIR NOW

Photo of Edward W. Roman with his Desoto automobile

 

Ed, with the 1930 DeSoto,
possibly the car he bought with the settlement from “Blue Moon,” 1937.


Edward W. Roman. Other Songs.


Photo of Edward W. Roman in the mid-1930's.

Six Unknown Songs Discovered

From the Memoir:

"I’ve been asked. . .didn’t the composer of a song as immortal as 'Blue Moon' write other songs? To that question I would have had to answer, before I went through the papers in the attic, that I didn’t know."

"But he had. A young club manager and aspiring songwriter, Henry R. Dutton—whose name I had never heard until slipping his letter to my father out of its envelope—proposed shortly after The Knickerbocker Press article appeared that they collaborate." 

"Two fairly developed songs appear have originated with Dutton, who, in 1936, copyrighted the music and lyrics to one of them, 'Am I Really in Love?' and the music to the other, 'All Because of You.'"

". . .the broader point is that from penning of 'Blue Moon' in 1931 to the settlement of the lawsuit six years later. . .my father was fully engaged in his artistic pursuits."

Blue Moon. The Lawsuit.


Newspaper article on the Copyright  infringement article against Rodgers and Hart for the song "Blue Moon"

Rodgers & Hart Lawsuit Settled?  Really.

From the Memoir:

"In The Knickerbocker Press article, there is a picture of my father, young and slim and serious and handsome, in his signature wireless glasses, and wearing a jacket and tie. He’s seated and holding a document with his attorney. . ."

“Uncle Dom told me that my father had gotten 'chummy' with Chris after meeting my mother. Chris had heard the song on the radio, learned that it had made $75,000 in sheet music alone, and insisted that they sue."

"Uncle Dom said Richard Rodgers called my father, with an offer to settle for $1,200. When I countered with the $900 figure I had heard in my childhood, he said, no, the figure had been $1,200, two or three times what most people earned in a year in those days."

GO TO MEMOIR NOW


Selected Press Coverage of the Lawsuit

October 31, 1936 newspaper article talking about copyright infringement lawsuit against Rodgers and Hart
Newspaper articleon copyright infringement lawsuit by Edward W. Roman against Rodgers and Hart
1930's newspaper article talking about copyright infringement lawsuit against Rodgers and Hart by E. Stewart Jones
1930's newspaper article talking about copyright infringement lawsuit against Rodgers and Hart, Mohoney and Associates, Metro Goldwin-Meyer Corporation, and the robbins Music Corporation.