At the time of the filing in October 1936, news about Edward W. Roman’s lawsuit against songwriters Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, as well as MGM, its music publisher Jack Robbins, and song broker Jack Mahoney, circulated widely in upstate New York newspapers.
The clippings were found in the attic after Roman’s death in 1992 and aren’t accessible via modern online sources. Several were missing dates and the names of the publications in which they had run, although some have subsequently been sourced. The most comprehensive, featuring a byline and a professional photo of Roman and his attorney, appeared in The Knickerbocker Press, the major afternoon daily in the capital city of Albany, a handful of miles southwest of Troy.
Another three articles have since surfaced via online sources. Also in the attic was a clipping from a national magazine, published in 1952, about songwriter claims against music publishers. It references Roman’s “Blue Moon” lawsuit as if it were common knowledge in the industry.
The Knickerbocker Press
October 21, 1936
This by-lined feature is invaluable for its portrayal of the young Ed Roman as a poet and local musician. It references Roman’s evening of moonlit ice-skating on the pond in Troy as the inspiration for “Blue Moon,” and is the primary piece of written evidence we have for that aspect of the song’s creation. It quotes Roman directly about his dealings with New York music broker, Jack Mahoney.
Albany’s erstwhile P.M. daily (it folded in 1988), commonly called “The Knick,” was known for its aggressive reporting, strong political coverage, and readable style.
The Troy Record
October 21, 1936
This clipping from the attic with no identifying information was eventually sourced to The Troy Record, then the major morning daily (it’s now a tabloid called The Record) in Ed Roman’s hometown of Troy, New York. It was published October 21, 1936.
Its placement and treatment indicate news of more significance than suggested by the clipping alone. The article is centered on the page and placed “above the fold,” meaning on the upper half. Unlike all of the others on that page, it ran under an attention-grabbing (and cheekily irreverent) two-column headline.
This detailed article paints a vivid picture of the role played by New York music broker, Jack Mahoney, in bringing Ed Roman’s song to the attention of composers Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.
Not yet sourced, this piece appears to have been published locally and at the time of the filing, although not necessarily on the day of.
October 21, 1936
This news story points out that with the filing of the lawsuit, Ed Roman’s original manuscript for “Blue Moon” had been turned over to his attorney.
Also found in the attic with no identifying information, it has since been sourced to Albany’s Times-Union. It ran in the October 21, 1936, edition. The morning daily (it’s still publishing) had jumped on the story the day before, with an item headlined “Claims ‘Blue Moon’ and Asks Accounting.” (This clipping can be found on the bottom of this page, far left.)
SELECT IMAGE TO VIEW ARTICLE
Sunday Mirror Magazine (Knight Features Syndicate, Inc.)
March 16, 1952.
This clipping is from a half-page, also found in the attic, of an article published in a major national publication, Sunday Mirror Magazine (King Features Syndicate, Inc.), about songwriter claims against music publishers. Although the article ran 16 years after the filing of the “Blue Moon” lawsuit, it references Ed Roman by name and is the only published account we have to date of the amount of the settlement.
The name of the publication and the date the piece was published were noted on the back of the half-page, enabling us to source the complete article.
Three additional news accounts regarding Ed Roman’s lawsuit surfaced during the course of our research. All were published at the time of the filing in upstate New York newspapers, two of the three on the Front Page.
Select image to view the Full Page where this item appeared in Albany’s Times-Union on October 20, 1936. The paper published a full story the following day. (See clip above)
Select image to view the Full Front Page where this article appeared in the Ballston Spa Daily Journal on October 21, 1936.