Several upstate New York newspapers picked up the story of Troy resident Edward W. Roman's lawsuit against songwriters Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart at the time of the filing in October 1936.
In the nearby state capital, Albany, the major afternoon daily, The Knickerbocker Press, published a comprehensive article that featured a photograph of the young Ed Roman and his prominent Troy attorney. This was discovered in the attic along with a handful of clips missing dates and publication names, some of which have since been sourced. Another three articles subsequently surfaced from our research.
Also found in the attic was a half page from a magazine article in a national weekly that concerned songwriter claims against music publishers. Published 16 years later, in 1952, its reference to the "Blue Moon" suit reads as if it were common knowledge in the industry.
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.
This clip emerged from the attic with no identifying information. We've sourced it to The Troy Record, then the major morning daily (it's now a tabloid called The Record) in Ed Roman's hometown, and the date to October 21, 1936.
Its placement and treatment indicates news of more significance than suggested by the clip alone. The article was centered and positioned "above the fold," i.e. on the upper half of the page. Unlike all of the others on the page, it ran under an attention-grabbing (and cheekily irreverent) two-column headline. (SEE IMAGE OF ORIGINAL PAGE)
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.
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.
It was also found in the attic with no identifying information. We've sourced it to Albany's Times-Union, and the date to October 21, 1936. The morning daily (it's still publishing) had jumped on the story the day before, running an item headlined "Claims 'Blue Moon' and Asks Accounting." (Clip can be found on the bottom of this page, far left.)
SELECT IMAGE TO VIEW CLIP
This clip is from the half-page found in the attic from an article in a major national publication, Sunday Mirror Magazine (King Features Syndicate, Inc.), about songwriter claims against music publishers. Although it 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 publication's name and the date were noted on the backside 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.
Select image to view the Full Front Page where this article appeared in the Cohoes American on October 21, 1936.