Information about Edward W. Roman's lawsuit against songwriters Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart circulated widely in upstate New York newspapers at the time of the filing in October 1936.
Five press clips were found in the attic upon Roman's death in 1992, and others have since surfaced from our research. Only one from the attic was fully intact. This was a comprehensive article in Albany's Knickerbocker Press, a popular afternoon daily publishing in the state capital for nearly a century. It featured an engaging photograph of the young composer and his prominent attorney.
Three clips were missing dates and publication names, but from references in the text, they'd clearly been published contemporaneously and in local publications. The other was an excerpt from an article about songwriter claims that ran 16 years later in a national magazine. Tellingly, it referenced the lawsuit over "Blue Moon" as if the matter were common knowledge in the music 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 prime piece of 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 article had to have been from a newspaper in Ed Roman's hometown of Troy because the reference to his address includes only the number and street. Had the publisher been located elsewhere, a Troy address would have been "out of town," necessitating the naming of the city.
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.
The article was 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 a brief 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 fragment is part of the half-page that was found in the attic from a lengthy article in the Sunday Mirror Magazine (King Features Syndicate, Inc.) regarding litigation in the music business. It references Ed Roman by name, and includes the only published account we have of the amount of the settlement.
The name of the publication and the date appeared on the back, enabling us to access the complete article.
In our continuing search, we've found three additional press accounts regarding Ed Roman's 1936 lawsuit involving "Blue Moon." All were published in upstate New York newspapers, two 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.