Contemporaneous Articles

News of 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.

A comprehensive feature appeared in The Knickerbocker Press, which was then the major afternoon daily in the capital city of Albany. Included was a photograph of the young Ed Roman and his locally prominent attorney.

The article was discovered in the attic, along with a handful of others missing dates and publication names. Two have since been sourced. An additional three have surfaced from our research.

A segment of a magazine article about lawsuits brought against music publishers was also found. It had run 16 years after the filing. Tellingly, its reference to the "Blue Moon" lawsuit reads as if it were common knowledge in the industry.

E, Stewart Jones With Edward Roman in 1936

SELECT IMAGE TO VIEW ARTICLE

"Song Writer in Troy Seeking Legal Solace for 'Blue Moon,'" 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.


1930's newspaper article talking about copyright infringement lawsuit against Rodgers and Hart by E. Stewart Jones

SELECT IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW

"'Blue Moon' Made Author Blue, He Tells Court," The Troy Record, October 21, 1936

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


E, Stewart Jones With Edward Roman in 1936

SELECT IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW

"'Blue Moon' His Brain Child, Claim Of Trojan Seeking Data on Sales"

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.


E, Stewart Jones With Edward Roman in 1936

SELECT IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW


"Trojan Suing For Song Cash," Times-Union, 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.

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.)


"$ong in Your Heart—and $o Much $uing," Sunday Mirror Magazine (Knight Features Syndicate, Inc.), March 16, 1952. 

This fragment is from the half page found in the attic of a lengthy article in the Sunday Mirror Magazine (King Features Syndicate, Inc.) about songwriter claims against music publishers. 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, which enabled us to locate the complete article.


More Contemporaneous Articles Discovered

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.