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 'Blue Moon' history, for all of its known convolutedness and remarkableness, actually begins much earlier, its unknown history even more remarkable and convoluted and its agency lying at that very intersection of those final Hart lyrics being either his “simplest or most banal.”

". . .the lyrics. . . .weren’t written by Hart; nor was the melody penned by Rodgers. Rather, the song was composed. . .by a 17-year-old, the son of Polish immigrants, in Troy, across the Hudson River from Albany in upstate New York. His 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. . .and 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 writer of a song as eternal as 'Blue Moon' write other songs? And to that question I would have had to answer, before I went through my father’s papers in the attic, that I didn’t know."

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

"Two appear to be complete: 'Am I Really in Love?' which I would later learn Dutton copyrighted in 1936, both the melody and lyrics; and 'All Because of You,' on which he copyrighted the music."

"The point is that from his skating-on-the-pond in 1931 that resulted in 'Blue Moon' to the legal statement six years later. . .that the suit had been 'settled and dismissed,' my father was fully in pursuit of his passion."

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, there’s a picture of my father, young and slim and serious and handsome, in his trademark wireless glasses and wearing a jacket and tie. He’s seated and holding a document with his attorney. . ."

“'Your father,' my Uncle Dom said. . .had gotten chummy with Chris after meeting my mother. Chris had heard the song on the radio; had learned that the sheet music alone had racked up $75,000 in sales in the first year; and insisted they sue."

"My Uncle Dom said Rodgers and Hart called my father, offering to settle for $1,200. . .I asked about the figure being the $900 that I had heard in my youth. But my Uncle Dom countered, no, it 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.